Saturday, February 25, 2012
Thoughts: The Blue Castle by L.M. Montgomery
There are so many things a modern reader wouldn’t like about this book. You can see how the story will end from miles away, and that supposed twist in the end? It’s not a twist at all, because modern readers have probably seen it thousands of times.
With that said, it was virtually impossible for me NOT to love this book.
Valancy is beyond annoying in the beginning of the book. She wallows in self-pity and basically lays herself on the floor so the beautiful Olive and the other Stirlings can walk all over her. After learning that she has a severe heart ailment, she feels comfortable in her own skin, and unleashes all the venom she’s been storing inside her for the past twenty years or so. And all that venom was pretty freaking hilarious.
Don’t even get me started on L.M. Montgomery’s descriptions of Muskoka and Deerwood. The descriptions are so lush and vivid that I wanted to get on the first plane to Canada. *Sighs.*
And the mysterious Barney Snaith? The romance between him and Valancy was delicious to watch, and problematic at the same time. When Valancy has nowhere else to go, she turns to Barney Snaith, and he becomes her salvation. It’s cool that she’s striving to make a path for herself, but must the way to freedom always involve a man? Don’t get me wrong. I think Barney Snaith is worthy of Valancy in every sense of the word, but I just wanted to see her get together with him after she figured things out on her own.
On a somewhat different note, have you heard of The Ladies of Missalonghi by Colleen McCullough? The plot is really similar to The Blue Castle. Some might even call The Ladies of Missalonghi an Australianized version of The Blue Castle. I don’t want to jump on a pulpit and scream ‘plagiarism’ outright, but I think this should be a topic for discussion.