Sunday, December 13, 2015

Fantastic (in more than one way)

So of course continuing with my comfort food books (once I get started, it's hard to stop :)) I picked The Blue Castle next.  This is one of two LM Montgomery books I own (along with Anne of the Island), so you know it's got to be good. It's a completely anxiety-free bit of fluffy romance (well I guess it's not quite that light, but there's really nothing going outside of the romance).  Henny G. once said that the ending was almost too happy, and that's true. But I'm not one to complain.

What's funny is that this book is very similar to my last read in that both are books about interesting, thoughtful, intelligent, loving people who have horrible families. This premise does bother me, definitely somewhat in A Company of Swans, but even more here.  Does Valancy's mother really not love her? She does seem a harsh and unfair person, but I just find it difficult to believe that such a lovely person would develop under the eye of such a cold fish.  And it's a large part of the book, not something to be easily dismissed.  But even with the implausibility of it, the Stirlings make for good reading, especially when the scales fall from Valancy's eyes and we can see them in their petty ridiculousness.

The family isn't the only implausible part of the story - the entire premise is quite ridiculous, not least because the medical aspect of it seems completely made up. But eh - it's a great story.  Barney Snaith is a great character, mysterious and attractive, unkempt and improper, but kind, thoughtful, self-confident and capable - and owner of his own island.  And of course a secret millionaire and author.

So basically - yeah I guess a lot of people would find this book silly, somewhat petty, and melodramatic.  But I'm not one of them :)

Verdict: 5/5