Review: “The Blue Castle” by L. M. Montgomery

Thumbs up for The Blue Castle by L. M. Montgomery. Young adult.

All sorts of grim, melancholy and disfunctional Japanese literature have made my desires swing entirely in the opposite direction: in other words, romances. L. M. Montgomery is about as romantic as I can stand. I’d heard this one was particularly good, so I thought I’d give it a try. Not just a love story, but the story of a repressed woman conquering fear and striking out on her own, it was utterly satisfying; good enough, in fact, to stay on my shelf. The twists at the end are foreshadowed perfectly, leading to some mighty fun reveals; the “positive” characters are mostly brilliantly drawn; and the landscape is gorgeous. The one complaint I have is that the unpleasantness of the heroine’s family is laid on with a trowel – but that does make their comeuppance all the sweeter.

“And yet she was enjoying herself – was full of a strange exultation – bumping over that rough road beside Barney Snaith. The big trees shot by them. The tall mulleins stood up along the road in stiff, orderly ranks like companies of soldiers. The thistles looked like drunken fairies or tipsy elves as their car-lights passed over them. This was the first time she had ever been in a car. After all, she liked it. She was not in the least afraid, with Barney at the wheel. Her spirits rose rapidly as they tore along. She ceased to feel ashamed. She ceased to feel anything except that she was part of a comet rushing gloriously through the night of space.”

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