Monday, October 24, 2016

Emily of New Moon - L. M. Montgomery

Emily of New Moon
Title: Emily of New Moon
Author: L. M. Montgomery
Publication Date: 1923
Pages: 339
Genre: Classic / Historical / Young Adult / Fiction
How I Found It: I enjoyed the Anne of Green Gables series and figured it was finally time for me to read some of Montgomery's other work.
Date Completed: 9/21/16

Summary: When Emily's father dies, her late mother's family is faced with the unwanted responsibility of her care and well-being. She ends up at New Moon with two aunts and a cousin. There, her passionate personality and unfettered childhood serve more as liabilities than gifts as she tries to make a new life in a new home.

What I Thought: Since reading through the full Anne of Green Gables series, I have been more aware of talk about L. M. Montgomery's other work. Until recently, I did not even know Montgomery had written other books, much less another series about a Canadian orphan girl. 

Emily is more complex with Anne. She comes with some darker qualities. Where Anne was nearly eternally optimistic, Emily carries her shadows with her in a heavier, more pervasive way than Anne ever seemed to. She has darker shades to her personality. I know Anne had her faults, particularly in those earlier books, but Emily's seem to be of a deeper nature. Anne strove to please others; her antics often came out of forgetfulness or a misguided good intention. Emily more outwardly disobedient and fiery. This, of course, does not make Emily a lesser heroine. Instead, it makes her a more complex rewarding one in some ways. My allegiance still likes with dear Anne Shirley Blythe right now, but as I read more of Emily, I certainly see more of myself in her. 

One thing I really missed from the Anne novels was Montgomery's effusive descriptions of Prince Edward Island. Reading the Anne books always leaves me looking up the cheapest flights to P.E.I. and attempting to convince my husband of a Canadian vacation. Emily of New Moon has little of that element. The charming small town atmosphere and quirky characters are in place, but the extensive paragraphs describing the landscapes are missing. I felt their absence keenly. 

At this point, I do not feel swept away by Emily or her story, yet I know I want to keep reading. My favorite Anne years came once she had matured a bit but not yet become the sidelined mother she is in the late books. I'm hoping since Emily's story is a trilogy, the next two books will fall in that sweet spot for me. Though I found her petulance a bit trying at time, Emily certainly grew as a character over the course of the novel and I look forward to seeing where Montgomery took her next.

Quote I Loved: "It was a child's tragedy - and all the more bitter for that, since there was no one to understand."

Rating: ★★★☆☆
Will I Re-Read: Yeah, at some point I imagine I will

A Reduced Review: Fans of Anne Shirley will likely find another kindred spirit in Emily Starr, a more complex heroine than her red-headed counterpart. 

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