Wednesday, December 27, 2017

The Blue Castle by L.M. Montgomery

The Blue Castle by L.M. Montgomery
Published by: Sourcebooks Fire
Publication Date: 1926
Format: Paperback, 4256 Pages
To Buy

"Okay, so this doesn’t really count as research, per se. The Blue Castle is the story of downtrodden Valency Stirling, the awkward cousin and perpetual poor relation, who finally kicks over the traces and blossoms into her own person, horrifying her family and delighting readers.

Yes, yes, all very well, but what, you may ask, does a novel set in rural Canada have to do with a murder suicide in Gilded Age New York? (Aside from Anne of Green Gables’s feelings about puffed sleeves.)

Here’s the answer: there are two female narrators in The English Wife: Georgie, an actress, and Janie Van Duyvil, younger sister of the murdered man. My little sister always gives me comments on the early chapters of my books. This time, she took one look at those Janie chapters and said, “You do realize that Janie is Valency Stirling, right?” Actually, I hadn’t realized. But, as always, my sister was right. (She has a habit of being right about these things.) Janie Van Duyvil and Valency Stirling are kindred spirits, quirky characters who have been cowed into conformity by overbearing mothers, both of whom are freed by the catalyst of a traumatic event: in Valency’s case, thinking she has only months to live; in Janie’s case, the death of her brother, disappearance of her sister-in-law, and savaging of her family’s reputation. So that’s why The Blue Castle is on this list. Also because it’s one of my favorite books of all time and everyone should read it, right away." - Lauren Willig

The official patter:
"An unforgettable story of courage and romance. Will Valancy Stirling ever escape her strict family and find true love?

All her life, Valancy Stirling lived on a quiet little street in an ugly little house and never dared to contradict her domineering mother and her unforgiving aunt. Then she gets a letter―and decides that very day things need to change. For the first time in her life, she does exactly what she wants to and says exactly what she feels.

At first her family thinks she's gone around the bend. But soon Valancy discovers more surprises and adventure than she ever thought possible. She also finds her one true love and the real-life version of the Blue Castle that she was sure only existed in her dreams..."


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