Valancy's Blue Castle. The Blue Castle by L.M.Montgomery
This book may not be as memorable as the Anne or Emily novels, but L.M. Montgomery still weaves her famous magic into this lovely story.
The heroine, Valancy, is 29, living at home and considered an 'old maid'. She is downtrodden by her rather nasty family - even her mother is quite cold and sulks when she is opposed - and she seems to be completely lacking in spirit. She even hates her bedroom and its view over the railway station with its derelicts and flappers. Valancy feels that she is 'lonely, undesired, ill-favoured - the only homely girl in a handsome clan, with no past and no future...' She is even called Doss by many of her relatives, a name which she understandably hates.
The only joys that Valancy has are dreaming of her Blue Castle in Spain and reading John Foster's books which describe the beauty of the Canadian countryside in a dreamy manner. It is not his descriptions of nature which interest her, however. She feels that he writes as if he is searching for an elusive and indefinable mystery.
When Dr Trent tells Valancy that she has a fatal disease, she begins to rebel. After all, if she is about to die, why should she care what people think or be afraid of them? She tells her family what she thinks of them, to their great shock, and she finds new friends. She even moves out, and then she meets wild Barney Snaith with his kind heart and bad reputation with women...Will Valancy finally find her Blue Castle?
I loved this book, and I could read it again and again! Valancy and Barney are such likeable characters, and the hypocrisy and bossy attitudes of Valancy's materialistic family is described perfectly. The beautiful Canadian setting is almost a character in itself.
If you like L.M. Montgomery, you will probably enjoy The Blue Castle.
I read this for the Lucy Maud Montgomery Reading Challenge 2017 - I know that it's late!