"The Blue Castle"

The Blue Castle by Lucy Maud Montgomery

I didn't read Lucy Maud Montgomery until I was an adult. I'm not sure how that happened, but once I discovered her I devoured everything I could get my hands on. I loved the Anne books (I'm trying to find a good time to re-read the series) and everything she wrote after that, but again, somehow I missed "The Blue Castle".

It is so much fun to read L.M.M. She has her characters step just over the line of socially acceptable behavior, never far enough to do any real damage, but enough to leave the people around her slightly shocked and horrified. For example:

" 'Don't worry, Mother,' said Valancy, lightly but quite respectfully. 'It isn't likely I'll do anything very terrible. But I mean to have a little fun.'  'Fun!' Mrs. Frederick uttered the word as if Valancy had said she was going to have a little tuberculosis." 

She paints a wonderful backdrop of prim and proper and then throws something a little uncouth up against it and the contrast is always funny. Watching superior people get their comeuppance never gets old. Probably not a great statement about  my own character, but moving right along...

In typical Lucy Maud style the heroine's name is Valency. There cannot be a more romantic name in the English language. I'm not usually a fan of romances, but I could read a lot of them when they're written in the wonderful language of the author's day. I wish we hadn't allowed our language to become lazy and mumbly. I think I'd rather read a bad story written in good English than a good one written in bad English. I guess that's why I love old books; authors seemed able to arrange their words in a more pleasing fashion and to say more with fewer words a hundred years ago. 

The characters, writing and appreciation for nature are all typical Lucy Maud. I can't say I liked it as well as the Anne books, but it doesn't matter. It's fun to read and I recommend it to everybody.
 This is my second book in the Canadian Book Challenge.


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