Montgomery, L.M. The Blue Castle. Valancy is twenty-nine and has been under the domineering thumb of her mother and other unpleasant family members her entire life. She expects nothing, but does retreat to her daydreams of her Blue Castle whenever possible. Her mother frowns on reading and will only rarely allow Valancy to check out even nature books by John Foster, Valancy's favorite author.
Valancy's life is devoid of beauty, of any genuine pleasure. After Valancy visits a local doctor about her heart palpitations, however, Valancy finds herself liberated and takes great pleasure in saying exactly what she wants and refusing to do many of things that have been taken for granted previously. She frees herself from her Cinderella role as servant and discovers that life does have something to offer.
As I mentioned in an earlier post, I can see why this book would become a favorite. Fans of L.M. Montgomery and the Anne books would find this little romance equally appealing. However, for me it won't replace the Anne books because I read those at a particularly impressionable time in my reading life and no books will ever mean as much to me as those favorites of my youth. There are better books, certainly, but Montgomery had a knack for grabbing readers and creating characters that we want to return to again and again; she had a great influence on my love of reading. Her books are dated by their time period only; emotionally, her books transcend time.
addendum: I first heard about this book from Melrose Plant at A Fair Substitute for Heaven. :) She is also a fan of Martha Grimes' Richard Jury mysteries...which I also adore.
Fiction. Romance. 1993 (original c. 1926). 218 pages.