The Blue Castle Discussion Post
Hope everybody's been having a good past few weeks! Sorry this is a bit late. I got distracted earlier today, and now LJ isn't letting me post anything, which is annoying. Also, I spent an embarssingly long amount of time trying to find a picture of my copy of this book, only to decide that one doesn't exist on the internet that is bigger than a thumbnail. Especially since I've decided not to try linking the cover, since LJ is already having some issues. Hopefully this post goes up sometime today...
Anyway, the book.
It’s the only one of LMM’s novels that doesn’t have P.E.I. as a setting at some point, though it does still take place mostly on an island. I’ve also heard it’s one of her two novels intended for a more adult audience (the other is A Tangled Web), while most of her books were originally intended for young adults. And it is my favourite of all of her novels. I love this book so very much. It just makes me happy, so I hope everyone else loved it too.
I’ve come up with a few questions. As always, feel free to answer as many as you like. Or to talk about other things.
1. Let’s start with Valancy herself. Do you find her a bit blah at the start? A bit irritating? She is a basically a complete doormat. It doesn’t bother me, but during this reread, I could see how it might not make her the most likeable heroine.
2. Barney rushing over to rescue Valancy from the dance, and their resultant night in the woods, best thing ever?
3. Do you like the romance between Valancy/Barney, or does it feel contrived and too perfect? (After all, not only is he her favourite author, but he’s conveniently a millionaire as well.)
4. What do you think of the Stirlings in general? Are there any you especially like? Any you especially dislike?
5. The Stirlings, an accurate portrait of a large family? Or does the mockery of Valancy get a little mean-spirited? Or both?
6. What do you think of the addition of the character of Cissy Gay? She’s a rare character in these books in that her life is genuinely pretty bleak from beginning to end. What do you think she adds to the book?
7. Do you think Cissy knew that Valancy loved Barney?
8. This is one of the books that makes me realize how much I love LMM’s narration. One of my favourite lines of this whole books is, “There was a convenient gate-post hard by. Cousin Georgiana took firm hold of it.” Just because it makes me laugh each and every time. I don’t know why. Do you have any particular favourites.
9. Do you think everybody has a Blue Castle?
10. “People who wanted to be alone, so Mrs. Frederick Stirling and Cousin Stickles believed, could only want to be alone for some sinister purpose.” Any truth to this?
11. Would you want to live in a cabin in the Muskokas all alone, even if it was with the person you loved?
12. What do you think of Doc Redfern? Will Valancy and Barney still be happy with their millions?