Wednesday, October 12, 2016
Book Review: The Blue Castle by L.M. Montgomery
Received: Library, now own
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars, Special Shelf
2016 has been a crazy year. Work has been super busy with a lot of huge projects (including redesigning and opening a library, among other things), I decided to lose my mind and go back to school to pursue another degree, and then of course there's things like all the awful things happening in the world this year, my own family dramas (I swear I can't not think of Carrigan from Casper whenever I hear anything about my soon to be step mother) all the regular normal things in life (sometimes I feel like the world is a revolving door of supermarket trips and laundry. And baking. Thankfully, I've been doing a lot of baking, too).
I'm a very type A, high stress, perfectionist kind of person, so with this type of schedule I really only had one path: death due to stress.
Obviously I'm not really ok with that path, so I had to try to take a different approach to things. A more relaxed, go with the flow kind of approach.
My reading has definitely reflected that new approach as well. Filled with comfort re-reads, feel-good stories, grab-on-a-whim books, and a whole lot less reading (only 46 books so far this year! Last year was 93! But I'm not stressing about it...), 2016 has been both my worst reading year and my best reading year.
The Blue Castle by L. M. Montgomery falls on the side of "best," and not just for this year, but right up there with best ever in my entire reading life. You know the type of book I'm talking about: book hugging, buying every copy in sight, random sighs and smiles at the thought of different scenes, rereading favorite parts, contemplating naming children and/or pets after the main characters (yeah, even with names like Valancy!), and having to force myself not to spend the rest of 2016 just rereading The Blue Castle over and over.
Dare I say it, but I love Valancy even more than L. M. Montomery's Anne (of Green Gables), and I feel blasphemous even thinking that, but it's true.
Ok, so what is this book even about? The short and sweet sticky-note version is that Valency has a horrible family who she's stuck living with and they run every aspect of her life. It's a misery. Then, Valency goes to the doctor and finds out that she's dying and has only a short while to live. So she decides to shuck off her wallfloweryness and start living for herself.
In doing so, Valency finds empowerment, validation, happiness, tranquility, and love. It is all so, so, so perfect and really is exactly the type of book I needed to read in 2016.