Friday, October 13, 2006

Emily of New Moon

Emily of New Moon

Lucy Maud Montgomery

Date: 01 April, 1983   —   $4.99   —   Book

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Fiction, Juvenile

By now, readers should know that I have a soft spot for Lucy Maud Montgomery, even though her strength is in one particular story, that of an orphaned child, usually a girl, who finds love with a new family. As Montgomery was not an orphan herself, I've often wondered about her devotion to this particular topic, but I'll mostly just shrug and enjoy the text.

This is, surprisingly enough, the first time I have read this book. Of course, I didn't know about Anne of Green Gables until well past the time I read Nancy Drew, so I can probably be forgiven for not reading Montgomery's entire catalogue.

In this book, as with her other novels, Emily is a sensitive, feeling girl whose father's death throws her into the company of her mother's estranged relations, who don't entirely know what to make of her and her poetry and writing. (One gets the sense that Montgomery herself had a lot of pre-teen writing that later embarrassed her as her literarily inclined characters so often create elaborate romances that on later reflection turn out to be foolish.) She is eventually taken in by her strict Aunt Elizabeth and her loving Aunt Laura, who live with Cousin Jimmy, who is a bit simple following a childhood accident involving a stone well. (One gets the sense that he's pretty well all there; perhaps the knock on his head only made him extreme ADD or something.)

Naturally, what at first seems an untenable situation soon becomes home, with the inevitable scrapes, misunderstandings, and human interest that Montgomery fills her stories with. There's two more books based on Emily, and I am looking forward to reading them, but I only recommend this to those who like Montgomery's writing because it is really more of the same, just a different iteration.

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