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Book of The Week #31 "The Blue Castle"

by L.M. Montgomery

Valancy Stirling is 29 and has never been married; never even had a hope of being married. She lives with her mother Mrs. Fredricks and Cousin Stickles and the two, along with a host of other family members, keep a close watch on Valancy and all that she does. It seems that every moment of her life is planned out for her by her mother and cousin and she is constantly compared to her beautiful and congenial cousin Olive. On her 29th birthday, Valancy is depressed by her sad life in the house on the hill and ends the day the way she started it; by crying. The next day, she decides to have the pains around her heart checked by a doctor (one that her family would disapprove of). Flustered by the fact his son has been in an accident, Dr. Trent leaves without telling Valancy what her condition is. Yet in a matter of days, Valancy receives a letter in which Dr. Trent plainly tells her she has angina and a limited time to live. Valancy is shocked by the news, sad that such a pathetic life will end before anything worthwhile takes place. Yet she might find a way to remedy that.....

This book was so good. It's the second adult novel that I've read by L.M. Montgomery and I have to admit I enjoyed it more than A Tangled Web.  The characters all seem so real and one can't help but become absorbed in the book. Thank you, Amber, for suggesting it! :-)

Valacny is a wonderful protagonist. In the beginning she's so pitiful and miserable and you just feel so sorry for her, but as the book moves along, Valancy learns to stick up for herself and really becomes her own person. I have to admit I wasn't so sure about Barney Snaith in the beginning, but he turned out to be perfect for Valancy. I won't give away any spoilers, but I will say the ending of this book totally surprised me; I did not see it coming (and I was surprised in a good way!).

All in all, The Blue Castle is a lovely read that I would recommend to all fans of historical romance.

I give this book a 5 out 5.

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