The Blue Castle Readalong: #ReadingValancy

Back in May, Sarah Emsley extended an invitation to read and discuss The Blue Castle by L.M. Montgomery in November. May was a while ago, but November is coming up fast, so this is a friendly reminder.

Please join us by commenting, talking about the novel on Twitter (hashtag #ReadingValancy), and/or by writing a blog post of your own. If you write a blog post, we hope you’ll share the link in the comments on one of our blogs, so we can keep track!

Now, just for fun, some of the covers through the years (with some huge gaps – can anyone fill some of them in for me?):





I don’t find many of these covers enticing. And, well, there’s not really a ‘blue castle’ in the book. On one of the covers she looks like Peter Pan. What do you think? Which copy do you own?

39 thoughts on “The Blue Castle Readalong: #ReadingValancy

  1. Sarah says:

    You can always rely on an eighties’ cover to deliver extra cheese, can’t you? Those are brilliant! I’ve been failing all my reading challenges of late, but I’m quite tempted by this as I could read it with my daughter. I’ll see if my local library has a copy.

  2. juliae1 says:

    I have the ‘Peter Pan’ cover. What I like about it is that the illustrator has read the book! That is exactly as Valancy is described once she has broken free from her unloving home.
    By the way, I’ve accepted the particular view that her name is pronounced with the emphasis on the middle syllable.

    • Naomi says:

      It’s hard to accept, isn’t it? It takes practice.

      You’re right about the “Peter Pan” cover. I think it would help if we could see the whole dress. The way it is, it looks like a tunic.
      It’s amazing that the cover artists feel free to change her looks so drastically!

      Happy you’ll be joining us again!

      • juliae1 says:

        It is like a tunic. You forget this is the twenties. The dress is exactly as described … Cissy talks about ‘a green moonbeam with a gleam of red to it,’ and later Barney shingles Valancy’s hair and cuts a fringe … shades of Emily Starr! Then he speaks of her looks as ‘elfin, mocking,elusive.’ And about her being a creature of the woods … your Peter Pan analogy is spot-on.
        Would that all illustrators would read the books!

  3. Jaclyn says:

    I’m so looking forward to this readalong! The Blue Castle is one of the few LMMs I’ve not yet read. I don’t own a copy (yet) but will order mine in early November (thanks, Project 24) – can’t wait!

  4. Café Society says:

    Having just checked that I can get hold of a copy, I’ll join in. It is far too long since I read any Montgomery although some years ago I supervised a dissertation on the relationship between Montgomery’s letters and journals and the Anne series, which was fascinating.

  5. The Cue Card says:

    I have not read The Blue Castle but of all the covers pictured here : I sort of like the one you have before your first paragraph at the very Top in the Middle. It appears to be an old cover but simple and to the point. Classic.

  6. Grab the Lapels says:

    Hey, I bought this book last summer, but haven’t read it yet! I have the second cover down. I’m in! Are we reading a certain week in November? Also, what does the hashtag mean? I don’t know the reference.

    • Naomi says:

      Hi Melanie! I’m finally getting to your comment. I’m so happy you’ll be joining us for this book! We’re not reading a certain week… just planning to post our thoughts and discuss that month, so it might even be good to read it before November.
      Valancy is the protagonist’s name. For the Emily readalong, we used #ReadingEmily, so we decided to go the same route.

  7. Jenny @ Reading the End says:

    I own one of the 1980s covers! It’s — fine, I guess? I’d love it if someone put out the LM Montgomery books in hardback. Wouldn’t that be good? I’m constantly having to worry about my mass market paperbacks, and I’d feel so much better if they were lovely sturdy hardbacks.

    • Naomi says:

      That would be great! Although, I don’t need any more book-buying temptations. 🙂
      I saw a hardcover Anne of Green Gables in the store last time I was there – it was very tempting. But, you’re right, the others are always paperback.

  8. TJ @ MyBookStrings says:

    How about that Robin Hood-inspired one? Who designed that one? I am the proud owner of the book with the cover that shows her dressed in red. I love the unique look she has on that one. I’m looking forward to everyone’s reviews and comments!

    • Naomi says:

      I think that’s my favourite cover, besides my own, which I’m sentimentally attached to.

      The one with the feather coming out of his hat? I’ve been trying to figure out what that reminds me of, so thank you! It’s published by Indoeuropean Publishing. It really doesn’t suit at all!

  9. buriedinprint says:

    I’m hoping to join in with this as a reread. It’s a longtime favourite. I don’t think I see my copy in your collages; I’ll snap a pic and share on Twitter!

    • Naomi says:

      I know there must be some covers I’m missing! I couldn’t find a picture of Sarah Emsley’s either – maybe you have the same one.
      I’m glad you’re taking part! 🙂

  10. juliae1 says:

    Brona’s Link to Appellation Mountain was fascinating, and even this Aussie gets the pun. But I don’t think anyone can say, You’re pronouncing this name ‘wrongly.’
    Your name is pronounced the way you say it is.
    In the case of an author’s character, do we have any clues?
    We do know that Emily liked her name to have three syllables, and we have plenty of information about Anne’s name, even if there’s no problem with the pronunciation!

  11. juliae1 says:

    I picked up Val-AN-cy from another link and liked it; I think the reason given was that it was derived from Valencia.
    But I don’t think we get any clues.
    I prefer my name to have three syllables but when people give it two I just feel it’s an alternative ME.
    What I don’t like is having it shortened to Julie as then it isn’t ME at all!

    • Naomi says:

      The more I say Valancy your way, the more I like it!
      And then there’s Barney Snaith. She’s not going to win any prizes with that one. ha!

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