Friday, January 16, 2009

A Dustpile of her Own

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Our reading group is enjoying L. M. Montgomery's The Blue Castle. Can I
ever associate with the heroine, Valancy.
The publisher has this to say about the story:"At twenty-nine Valancy had never been in love, and it seemed romance had passed her by. Living with her overbearing mother and meddlesome aunt, she found her only consolations in the "forbidden" books of John Foster and her daydreams of the Blue Castle. Then a letter arrived from Dr. Trent -- and Valancy decided to throw caution to the winds. For the first time in her life Valancy did and said exactly what she wanted. Soon she discovered a surprising new world, full of love and adventures far beyond her most secret dreams. "
Poor Valancy, her mother and live in Cousin Stickles, ever the bain of her existence, had more than enough to overcome in her youth. Indeed, her clan on the whole were a sniveling, controlling, complaining, and rude lot to contend with. No wonder Valancy had grown into a socially stunted young woman, ruled by fear....of rejection, retaliation, and relatives.... fear of even getting up to face a new day. Even as a small child at play to have her tiny dust pile she was proudly creating stolen away by her schoolmates to be added onto Olive's pile....Olive, her beautiful cousin who had everything already, now she even had Valancy's meagre pile of dust added onto hers... that memory along with so many others the root of Valancy's flagging self concept. To grow up with no self worth, no hope for approval from anyone, it is no wonder that Valancy yearned to live in the magnificent Spanish Blue Castle of own imagining. There she found contentment, acceptance, and love.
As an only child I know the imaginary world of youth. Praise God, I never had to endure horrible degradation from my family that Valancy faced every day, my family was loving, nurturing, and encouraging, yet for me in my informative years, I still developed such a timid, self effacing attitude of spirit that I, too, felt that life in many instances was passing me by. My youth was ruled by fear as well. I was sorely lacking in confidence which prohibited me from exploring the physical pleasures of childhood. I was afraid to skate, to swim, even to ride a bicycle ...well, at least until I was approaching my teens at which time I finally took hold of my limitations and forced myself to overcome. I struggled all through my teen years to make myself step out of my comfort zone and experience all the things I had been missing. I learned to swim .... barely, in college, and thankfully with maturity now I know who I am in God.... a daughter of the King, and He is my confidence. Praise God. But this story really tugs at my heart strings! Like Montgomery's other series, Anne, of Green Gables, and Avonlea, Montgomery paints life with astounding color, and hits the mark with each vivid stroke!

5 comments:

  1. I noticed my comment worked yesterday!! YEA!!

    I am glad you like the book, and I am enjoying it as well I haven't read it for a few years. I am really excited about the change in the book group! Have a beautiful and blessed day!

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  2. I've never heard of that book but it sounds rather interesting to me. I think I'll check it out. Thank you for your review and I must say how wonderful it was you were able to gain cofidence and step out of your shell. My eldest girl was very much like that, but as she's grown and matured, I've seen her blossom as well. As a parent, it is a beautiful thing to behold :0)

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  3. What a great book review and I too was a late bloomer and didn't really step out until I met my hubby. I want you to know I really like your blog.
    Roberta Anne

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  4. I love L. M. Montgomery. I had never heard of that book, but I plan to read it now! I was also a late bloomer. It was well into my adulthood that I began to experience the good things of life. My own marriage did not happen till I was 43! I have also felt that life was passing me by, but with God's grace, I have taken risks... some worked, some didn't, but it was all worthwhile.

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  5. That's my favorite LM Montgomery book. When I first read it I was in my teens... and I read it again every couple years. I still love it.
    A Tangled Web is really good too.

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