Anne of Green Gables recently, I was excited to read something else by L.M. While the story is different, it leaves you with a similiar happy feeling.I really liked this book! Having re-read
Valancy is 29, in the 1920's in Canada. She is part of a stuffy, snobby and controlling family. She lives in an ugly room, does the same boring things each day and takes the brunt of rude behavior from her mother and extended family. "As far as she could look back, life was drab and colourless, with not one single crimson or purple spot anywhere. As far as she could look forward it seemed certain to be just the same...." The beginning felt kind of slow to me. I didn't really want to try to keep all the relatives straight. I did think it was funny when Valancy plays out in her head what each relative would say and do because her life and the people in it are so predictable.
Then, bom-bom-bom, she gets some news after a sneaky visit to a doctor, and Valancy decides to start living her life for herself. She will say and do only what she wants. Then her life really begins.
And as in any good fairy-tale, there is a sweet romance. (Although I don't love how it gets started.) I love this description, "When he said good evening you felt that it was a good evening and that it was partly his doing that it was. Also, you felt that some of the credit was yours."
The Blue Castle is the imaginary home that Valancy used to escape to as a refuge from her boring, controlled life. Her fantasies about it remind me of Anne. But I also loved how when her life improves, she refers to her new home as The Blue Castle. Not because it was what she had imagined, but because it made her dreams come true. As she is reflecting on her happiness, she thinks, "It was amazing to be able to sit up half the night and look at the moon if you wanted to...Dawdle over meals as long as you wanted to....Sit on a sun-warm rock and paddle your bare feet in the hot sand if you wanted to. Just sit and do nothing in the beautiful silence if you wanted to." Sounds good to me.
I found this a charming little book. I would recommend it for a quick fun read. I think Disney could make it into a cute cartoon princess movie. It's that kind of book.