(If interested in previous posts from the Quarterly Classics Club, you can find them here)
Have y’all ever read this delightful little gem? I enjoyed it so much and I also need this made into a movie right about now. Do you hear me movie makers of the world?! If you aren’t familiar with Blue Castle, here’s a quick description:
Valancy lives a drab life with her overbearing mother and prying aunt. Then a shocking diagnosis from Dr. Trent prompts her to make a fresh start. For the first time, she does and says exactly what she feels. As she expands her limited horizons, Valancy undergoes a transformation, discovering a new world of love and happiness. One of Lucy Maud Montgomery’s only novels intended for an adult audience, The Blue Castle is filled with humour and romance.
As always, since this is more of a discussion post, there shall be spoilers. So if you haven’t read it yet, don’t keep reading this because I promise you want to read the book first!
Now for more proper warnings…spoilers are ahead!
Y’all, I really hate having a book spoiled and since this isn’t as known as say, Dracula, I wanted to make sure!
Alright! Now onto the book! I thoroughly enjoyed this story. I don’t know why I haven’t come across it sooner, so thank you book bloggers and friends for telling me this was a must! I loved seeing Valancy change and her soul awaken for the first time. What a beautiful tale in it’s own right. While brief, I loved her interaction and friendship with Cissy Gay and crazy Abel. I loved watching her grow, her witty commentary to her relatives and how much she cared for the people she loved.
I knew I was going to like Barney from the first time Montgomery mentioned him, I just didn’t know how much!
And they aren’t the only characters to talk about – what a great cast of characters. She captures the world so well, with the family drama, the overbearing relatives and what finally gives Valancy the courage to live. Many laughs and sigh worthy moments.
Some quotes I loved because they made me laugh or smile, some because of the way they were crafted and some were so perfect for the story. Here’s a few:
“And Valancy had long ago decided that she would rather offend God than Aunt Wellington, because God might forgive her but Aunt Wellington never would.”
“It was permissible, even laudable, to read to improve your mind and your religion, but a book that was enjoyable was dangerous.”
“Fear is the original sin,” wrote John Foster. “Almost all the evil in the world has its origin in the fact that some one is afraid of something. It is a cold, slimy serpent coiling about you. It is horrible to live with fear; and it is of all things degrading.”
“It was so easy to defy once you got started. The first step was the only one that really counted.”
“To think I should have lived to hear my daughter swearing!” sobbed Mrs. Frederick.”
“She had wept all the beauty out of her eyes.”
“She was no longer unimportant, little old maid Valancy Stirling. She was a woman, full of love and therefore rich and significant—justified to herself. Life was no longer empty and futile, and death could cheat her of nothing. Love had cast out her last fear.”
“Love! What a searing, torturing, intolerably sweet thing it was—this possession of body, soul and mind! With something at its core as fine and remote and purely spiritual as the tiny blue spark in the heart of the unbreakable diamond. No dream had ever been like this. She was no longer solitary. She was one of a vast sisterhood—all the women who had ever loved in the world.”
“Love you! Girl, you’re in the very core of my heart. I hold you there like a jewel. Didn’t I promise you I’d never tell you a lie? Love you! I love you with all there is of me to love. Heart, soul, brain. Every fibre of body and spirit thrilling to the sweetness of you. There’s nobody in the world for me but you, Valancy.”
If you’ve read it, please feel free to join in the discussion! Here’s a couple questions to get things going:
1. Did you have a favorite character?
I have to go with Valancy and Barney.
2. What was one of your favorite parts of the novel?
I laughed a lot with Valancy’s spit fire sass after she decided to really live for the first time. Plus her relatives’ reactions? They had me cracking up! Also, the ending! The romantic in me loved every word Barney said in her mom’s house (see above quote!)
3. I think there’s so much to learn from many of the characters, especially Valancy. Any key takeaways for you?
There’s quite a few things I can say about this, but I’ll go with this one: Don’t be afraid to live.
Hope you’ll join in!