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November 26, 2012


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Are any of LMM's books particularly recommended for boys? I just finished reading aloud Anne of Green Gables, which was enjoyed by both my sons and my daughter, and we all wanted more, but I didn't think the subsequent Anne books looked very boy-philic.

I've read it, a long time ago. Wasn't overly thrilled with it but maybe I need to revisit?

I am jealous that you have new ones to read. :)

I've read the Kilmeny book before; it's on my bookshelf. I wasn't thrilled with it the first time and I feel like it does not hold up well to re-reading, unlike most of LMM's other works. Please do post the spoilery comment!

I loved the Blue Castle before Anne, and thought that I might name my first born daughter Valancy.

Ah, yes, Kilmeny. Her weakest book by far, imo. Her first novel, I think? I like it from a scholarly perspective--seeing her play with themes she'll explore far more successfully in later books.

Have you read many of LMM's short stories? I binged on them at one point and was fascinated by their overlapping themes & plots, including many plot points that worked their way into later novels. Of course she was making a living at that point selling stories to as many magazines as possible, and it was common in those days to rework your most popular material. Long-lost family members reuniting by chance -- a hit with readers? Tweak the plot & try again! :)

But always, always, I come back to Anne, Emily, Valancy, and Jane. Oh how I love them.

I think Rainbow Valley might be boy-philic? Probably Anne of Ingleside and Rilla of Ingleside both as well - Anne of I is pretty heavy on her small children (though not as much as Rainbow Valley), and Rilla of I is war-heavy. Yikes.

I actually re-read Emily's Quest before letting my dd read it, and put it off for later/never. Emily Climbs is fine, but Emily's Quest is so... saccharinely romantic/ swooning/ making stupid decisions on behalf of "lerve" junk that I don't want to encourage in my daughter's head. You can make good decisions about vocational call without getting all het up and/or hurting those around you the way the book glorifies. Now, I loved it growing up, but re-reading it I could see how those ideas made my own life more of a struggle than it needed to be. So I'd leave it.

Kilmeny is... okay. Not my fave. The ending? meh. I just... okay, just not my fave. Love Jane, love love love Valancy. They're on my kindle, but my kindle is dead. Sigh. I'm hoping I get a new one for Christmas.

Oh! I love Maud, and am so glad that you are writing about her. One of the spots she lived with Ewan Macdonald (her minister husband) was a manse 5 minutes from my childhood home, and I did the pilgrimage to PEI as a teen. A life highlight? Getting to see a pre-release copy of "Rilla of Ingleside" with her handwritten notes in the archives of my alma mater, the University of Guelph, where one of her sons had also studied.

Like many posters, I was...not a huge fan of Kilmeny. It was one of her first non-Anne books, and she got better at them. What did you think of the "Blue Castle"? One of my friends is named Valancy because of her mother's love of that book. And what of "Jane", a book written much later. Have you read the "Silver Bush" books? Oh! I want to go and re-read now.

This isn't a comment on trajectory or character or anything bookish. It's about the bursting forth into speech moment at the end. Sad to say, it caused my suspension of disbelief to come crashing down like a falling anvil. It's like suggesting that you could live in a house where people played the piano and then, when you sit down at the instrument for the first time, knock out a Bach invention without a single mistake. Complex motor sequences require practice! That's why little kids talk funny.

I think I might be equally skeptical about the brain surgery episode in House of Dreams these days, but I haven't read that one in years and years.

Well, it WAS one of her first books -- remember how Anne killed off anyone she didn't know what to do with when she was writing stories? I see it as similar to that. :)

I am SO SO SO jealous that you have ones that you've never read. I've never been a big fan of the short story collections. Especially the themed ones where all those "tweaked" stories are in one book. There is a Christmas one that's pretty good, though!

Ahh, enjoy. I know you will. :)

I have read all of LM Montgomery's books, and own most of them. Her novel, "A Tangled Web" is one of my all time favorites, a must read, if you haven't yet.

I'm not remotely in the field of speech pathology and I was skeptical of the spontaneous speech, too! Not LMM, but your description of suspension of disbelief crashing like an anvil immediately reminded me of Charlotte Temple -- it was supposed to be so tragic, but I just found it to be absurd.

I've always been more sympathetic to the brain surgery plot line. Something in it reads to me that she knows such a surgery doesn't exist, but that she thinks it might be someday and in the meantime it's too good of a story not to tell.

You know, you might be willing to suspend disbelief a little longer on the brain surgery situation in "House of Dreams". I have re-read it numerous times as an adult (and once as a parent -- the heartbreak over Joy is just AWFUL) and I find myself hurting so much for Leslie and the agonizing decision that she is making (especially with her backstory) that I am willing to suspend disbelief for the payoff. With Kilmeny, I really didn't care all that much for the characters. That's not the case with the cast of "House of Dreams" and so I was willing roll with it.

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