Wednesday, January 30, 2013

The Blue Castle by L. M. Montgomery

L. M. Montgomery Reading Challenge

I've thoroughly enjoyed participating in the L. M. Montgomery challenge hosted by Carrie @ Reading to Know.  

I initially became acquainted with Ms. Montgomery through her Anne of Green Gables series  and the subsequent movies. This year though, I wanted to branch out to read some of her other books and so I chose to read The Blue Castle

ISBN-10: 1843913941
  • ISBN-13: 978-1843913948

The story centers around Valancy Stirling, a 29 year old unmarried woman who is considered by many to be an "old maid". She lives with her mother and aunt and as the story opens Valancy is submissive, depressed and living a bleak, miserable life.  

The only joy she can find in her life is secretly reading the books written by her favorite author, John Foster and in dreaming of her Blue Castle. The blue castle is her imaginary place where she can live life as she wishes and where she can be free of other's expectations, demands and criticism.  Oh, how  she dreams of such a life!

As I read The Blue Castle, I started out having trouble relating to Valancy. I was frustrated by her lack of "take charge attitude" and her acceptance of some pretty awful treatment from her family.  I just wanted to walk up to Valancy, look her straight in her eyes and say, "Wake up! You don't have to live like this. Get on with your life."   

Luckily, as I continued to read further, Valancy did just that!  

Through a course of mishaps and events, she receives a letter that advises her she has only a short time to live and that certainly opened her eyes! From that point on, Valancy decides to set aside her fears (not so easy a task for anyone) and to begin to live life from a place of trust and as God leads her. In spite of all the  resistance she receives from her not so well meaning family, she follows her heart and the results are a life better than she could ever have dreamed! 

While I enjoyed reading the sweet love story that occurs in this book, I was impacted more by another theme shared by Ms. Montgomery  ~ the need to release and move beyond one's fears, to follow your heart with God's guidance and trust. 

Ms. Montgomery equated fear to a sin that can separate us from God and His will in our lives. She shows through Valancy's life the effects of choices made from fear and choices made from a place of trust and a heart searching for God's will. Rather a profound theme and one that has me contemplating it still, even days after finishing this book.

I also truly enjoyed Ms. Montgomery's writing style. She beautifully and in descriptive detail paints a picture with her words that brings the story to life for both her characters and their surroundings. Her description of nature is just breathtaking and as I read, I felt the scenery being painted and coming to life. It was just absolutely amazing!

I certainly will be reading more of her books and will keep you all updated with reviews. I'm currently am almost finished with The Story Girl. Unfortunately, I don't believe I will be able to post that review before the  end of this challenge but I will post it soon. I am enjoying the story but overall, I have to say I prefer the The Blue Castle

1 comment:

Barbara H. said...

I hadn't heard about this book of LMM's, but it sounds really good. She seemed to write a lot of orphans, "old maids," and oppressive relatives.

I've had to deal with myself in the moving past fear department many times. It seems a lesson I am continually having to reteach myself.

I'm so glad you're joining us for the Laura Ingalls Wilder challenge as well!