Saturday, April 24, 2010

Get Your Own Blue Castle

I am somehow catching up with everything. I can't believe it! My online classes are in order, discussions are posted, all papers are graded, everything is ready for the upcoming weeks, all e-mails responded to... it has been a very productive last couple of days.

Okay, so I haven't made a single edit to my play, and I need to do that. Miryam, the director of my staged reading coming up in a little over a week, is going to kill me if I don't get the revisions done (and I have no desire to die, by the way). But I now feel inspired to get my play done, soon... as soon as I finish a book.

Just since last night I've been reading a truly lovely book. It is L.M. Montgomery's lesser known book The Blue Castle. And I like it so much I'm already almost finished with it. In fact, I like it so much that once I'm done I might very well start at the beginning and read it all through again (once I've added pieces to my play and made Miryam happy).

Had I found it when I read all the other books by the same wonderful author--most famous for her Anne of Green Gables series--I might have moved out of my parents' house several years earlier. Honestly, I kick myself that I missed it then, for now it's like a kindred spirit coming out of the pages, reminding me about what I left behind all those years ago, reminding me why I am now so happy, and why, then, when I was still at home, I was so miserable.

Thank God I left. And thank God for L.M. Montgomery, who wrote this fabulous book to show how happy we are when we act to make ourselves happy, and not just in fear of what others will think. I feel like ordering 20 copies of it and giving it out to all of my friends.

Perhaps, when I order one book, I'll just get three copies... one to keep, one to lend out, and one to send out to anybody interested. The book may only speak to women out there--male readers are notoriously priggish about reading books with female protagonists living in the feminine world--but it speaks to me on more levels than I can possibly tell you.

Anyone interested?


  1. I didn't even know LM Montgomery had any works outside of the Anne of Green Gables series. Thanks for the tip - I'll have to check it out.

  2. Wow, glad to see a book has touched you that much. I might have to find that book for my fiance someday, as how you describe it sounds like it is relevant. Though male, I'll likely read the book sometime as well, as it seems quite interesting. I especially find the title intriguing.

  3. Anne of where? There is only one color of castle and that my dear is White Castle. Why do women think that if we can suffer through a chick flick we don't or won't read chick goodness some of may have even written some. Of course if that were widely bandied about some manly man might try to emasculate us. So don't tell anyone that in every long work I have sitting in my archives has a strong female lead ok?

  4. I am so glad you found a book that speaks to you so well. I know I love it when I find something that strikes a chord in me, that makes me feel validated in my choices and my life.

    One can't have too many castles and I've always liked blue.

    Only suggestion I have to make is not to be too quick to presume about men. As I have begun reading aloud, I've discovered men can be more openminded than I'd thought. Men can feel just as trapped by expectation as women, and many not only appreciate a female protagonist but prefer it.

  5. Jill-- You are not alone. I am lucky to have an aunt who adored LMM, and ordered scores of books directly from Canada, the only place at the time one could get them. I'm not sure, though, that this book was even in print at the time.

    Wandering Poet-- Though I do not know your fiance, she might every well enjoy the book. And you might too!

    Walking Man-- I should have expected the Anne from where comment. Her Anne series is more popular in Canada than Little Women is in the U.S., and for good reason. Better storytelling, better characters, no preaching. As to the White Castle, I cannot comment. I've been a vegetarian for 13 years now, and even before that, I never ate there.

    Stephanie-- I'm not presuming, believe me. After my various posts on Austen, I learned pretty quickly that my male readership would joke about Austen, but had absolutely no intention of trying any of it out. As it is, publishers and editors have said for years that, in the YA world, at least, female readers will read books with main characters of either gender, but male readers are not nearly so open. The only reason I put in a disclaimer is that the protagonist's journey is specifically a female one, and many readers will find her references to male freedom offputting (however true I think they are)... and the book itself is a romance. These two elements together do not tend to make the work one men usually gravitate to.

    Then again, I feel men SHOULD read books like this--and Pride and Prejudice, and so many other books they typically ignore or pass over. They could learn quite a lot about women if they did.

  6. I am so glad you are getting on top of all your work. I am too, but still have loads to do. I would absolutely LOVE to read Blue Castle. I love LMM growing up, the Anne books were such good friends to me and I am really looking forward to rereading some of them this summer.

  7. "... acting to make ourselves happy." I like that. It reminds us that happiness is, after all, a choice rather than circumstances.

    It is so hard to decide to lend out a book. I seldom get them back, or at least in a timely fashion and in good condition. Yet I like the idea of sharing good books. I don't want to buy 3 copies of new books. I think I will ask this question of Ask Me Anything. She is very wise.

  8. I'll have to get that book for my wife, she loved Anne of Green Gables series... thx for the heads up.

    and you're right about men being piggish about such things, hopfuly one day i can grow enought to not be that way.


  9. You know I've never read Anne of Green Gables or watched a show of it or anything, though I've heard about them all my life.

    I wonder why.