Bucketlists and marriages of convenience: The Blue Castle by L.M. Montgomery uses a bunch of tropes before they were popular

Valancy eventually finds herself a real home or ‘blue castle’ on a Canadian lake in Montgomery’s novel

The Blue Castle was L.M. Montgomery’s only book written for adults and my favourite of her non-Anne books. Really the only difference between it and her young adult novels is that the heroine is 29 and unmarried teen pregnancy is part of a minor character’s backstory.

Valancy Stirling is part of a large and conservative clan and her life so far has been ruled by her mother’s sulks and the opinions and criticisms of her extended family. Her only escapes are reading and daydreams about her imaginary ‘blue castle’. But when Valancy is told that a severe heart condition means she only has a few months to live, Valancy snaps, determined to really live in the short time she has left.

While it’s not too hard to see how the different plot threads will ultimately come together, the journey to get there and the characters along the way make it an enjoyable and ultimately satisfying novel and a pleasant and easy read.

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