The Blue Castle by L.M. Montgomery

The Blue Castle

Valancy lives a drab life with her overbearing mother and prying aunt. Then a shocking diagnosis from Dr. Trent prompts her to make a fresh start. For the first time, she does and says exactly what she feels. As she expands her limited horizons, Valancy undergoes a transformation, discovering a new world of love and happiness. One of Lucy Maud Montgomery’s only novels intended for an adult audience, The Blue Castle is filled with humour and romance.

The Blue Castle by L.M. Montgomery
Published 1926 by McClelland and Stewart
Format: e-book rental from Hoopla*; 218 pages
Classics/Romance/Adventure
Also By This Author: Anne of Green Gables, Anne of Avonlea, Anne of the Island, Kilmeny of the Orchard
Goodreads | Amazon 
My Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥

Thoughts

Happy Valentine’s Day! Today I am blogging about a new favorite love story of mine by one of my favorite authors.

The Blue Castle was the first book I read in 2018, and as soon as I finished, I knew I had found my favorite read of the year. I know I will probably read 40+ more books this year, but I don’t think any of them will resonate with me more than The Blue Castle. It’s a hidden gem of a novel and I only wish I had read it sooner!

The characters in this novel are so bold and entertaining. The heroine, Valancy Sterling, is as lovable and admirable as Anne Elliot, Jane Eyre, and Jo March, and the supporting characters will honestly make you laugh until you cry. There was a smile plastered on my face for most of the novel (with the exception of a few moving scenes–I mean, this is L.M. Montgomery we’re discussing!).

The Blue Castle is one of those books you bring with you everywhere, just in case you’re able to sneak in a page or chapter while you’re out, and once you finish the book, you’re ready to start it all over again. I felt so happy and thrilled when I finished it, and I couldn’t stop recommending it to friends.

You May Also Enjoy…

Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
Wives and Daughters by Elizabeth Gaskell
Persuasion by Jane Austen
Dr. Thorne by Anthony Trollope
(I haven’t read this one yet, but I loved the miniseries!)

Final Musings

I tried listening to The Blue Castle on audiobook, but it just wasn’t good. This is one of those books you need to read in print.

One of my favorite things about reading The Blue Castle is that I didn’t know anything about it beforehand, and even the blurb on the cover gives nothing away, so I was in full suspense and surprised by so many of the plot points. That’s why I’ll keep this review short and sweet, but if you have read it and would like to gush about it with me, leave a comment below :)

*Hoopla is one of my favorite bookish services! It’s a free online digital library that offers 6 e-book, audiobook, album, or film rentals a month, and there are NO waitlists! If they have it, you can check it out. They partner with public libraries, so see if your library offers membership :)
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The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson

Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde

One pitch-black London morning, a ghoulish little man tramples a young girl and continues heedlessly on his way. Caught by a passerby and returned to the scene of the crime, the man is forced to pay £100 in restitution. He produces ten pounds in gold and a check for the remainder. Curiously, the check bears the signature of the well-regarded Dr. Henry Jekyll. Even stranger, Dr. Jekyll’s will names this same awful and mysterious little man, Mr. Hyde, as the sole beneficiary. Troubled by the coincidence, Dr. Jekyll’s attorney visits his client. What he uncovers is a tale so strange and terrifying it has seeped into the very fabric of our consciousness.

The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson
Published January 5, 1886 by Longmans, Green & Co.
Format: e-book/audiobook; 64 pages/3 hours 3 minutes
Classics/Science Fiction
Also By This Author: Treasure IslandKidnapped
Goodreads | Amazon
My Rating: ♥♥♥

Thoughts:

I was really looking forward to reading this spooky gothic classic by Robert Louis Stevenson, especially during the Halloween season. Unfortunately, I was sadly disappointed. While the novel’s plot and characters were intriguing, I found the writing style incredibly boring. It took me at least two weeks to finish a three hour audiobook, mainly because I kept zoning out and losing interest as the story went on.

Everyone knows the basic plot of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde: a curious scientist drinks a potion that turns him into a murderous lunatic, and overtime Dr. Jekyll becomes consumed by this psychotic half of his split-personality. It’s a fascinating plot for a story, which is why Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde remains so popular over a century later. While I did enjoy the beginning and the end of this novel, I felt that the middle dragged on without very many exciting things happening, aside from some very lengthy passages of dialogue that could have used a sentence or two of description.

I would recommend this book to fans of gothic lit and classic sci-fi (namely H.G. Wells’s novels), but I wouldn’t necessarily recommend an audiobook version unless the narrator is extremely entertaining. I believe the version I listened to was from Librivox.

You May Also Enjoy:

img_1269FrankensteinThe Invisible Man by H.G. Wells

Frankenstein by Mary Shelley