Archive for June 13th, 2012

Booknotes: The Blue Castle

June 13, 2012 @ 8:34 pm | Filed under:

I didn’t mean to reread The Blue Castle again, but then I never do plan it; I just seem to tumble into it on a regular basis. Somehow it gets better, richer, every time. I feel like I could walk out my back door and be in Muskoka, watching the moon over the lake. You wouldn’t think it possible Montgomery could make any place sound as lovely as Prince Edward Island, but oh, those woods, those views.

I love LMM’s character transformations, and Valancy’s arc is one of her best—as satisfying as Jane’s, and despite a plot heavily dependent on coincidence, even more believable than Jane’s character arc. Montgomery does repressed, emotionally abused young women painfully well. I love watching Valancy shed her chains, coil by coil. One line in particular jumped out at me this time:

“Meanwhile she was giving herself such freedom of thought as she had never dared to take before.”

It never struck me until now how much Montgomery does with that notion of ‘freedom of thought’ being vital for a character’s happiness and growth—we see Anne thriving under the most miserable circumstances in her early childhood because of the saving power of her imagination; and Jane escaping her grandmother’s tyranny and general misery via her nightly ‘moon sprees’; and Valancy, finally, at age 29, giving herself free rein to evaluate her relatives’ behavior and make her own plans. Hmm, there’s an essay to be had there. Probably someone has written it already. 🙂

Must run, but if you want to gab about this much-beloved book in the comments, I won’t complain…

Related: Jane of Lantern Hill