The Anne of Green Gables series was a favorite of mine when I was a child. In fact, I’ve already introduced them to Miss Adventure as bedtime stories. So, when I found out from a friend there was book about the writing of the series, I was intrigued. I really knew nothing about the author beyond the fact that she wrote the Anne of Green Gables series. I was interested in learning more.
Length: 262 pages of text, 312 pages total
Setting: mostly Prince Edward Island, Canada, 1903-1938
Summary: The book talks about Lucy Maud Montgomery’s life and all the influences that went into creating the Anne of Green Gables series. Maud grew up on Prince Edward Island and she was a bit of a dreamer. She turned to writing short stories to make some money for herself. She also always kept a journal to write down her thoughts and paste in her inspirations, including those for Anne. She was drawn to close female friendships and didn’t really fit in her family. She was courted by the pastor, Ewan Macdonald, and although she preferred her freedom, she ultimately married him. She wrote the novel quickly but had a hard time getting a publisher. We see a bit of her life after Anne of Green Gables was published and she got married.
Final thoughts: An interesting book that is something for the die-hard Anne fan to read. I did enjoy learning more about Maud’s life and literary career (she started in short stories published in magazines). I also enjoyed learning more about the life of women in the early 1900s. Maud pulled inspiration from everything from fashion to the poetry of the day to her gardens to her physical surroundings. It does make me want to go to Prince Edward Island for a visit. The book contains three sections of photographs, many of which correspond to images discussed in the text. That was nice so I didn’t have to imagine the photo Maud first saw as an inspiration for her character of Anne. I could actually see the image.
I did find it interesting that Maud self-censored her journals. Reading after the fact, we can’t be sure exactly how she felt at critical times in her life. She often burned her letters and old notebooks, too, so the image she was leaving for posterity wasn’t left to chance and circumstances. One thing that is quite murky was her sex life. Maud liked her men to be charming, but seemed to shut down as soon as they got physically intimate. She didn’t seem to pull away from her female friends, though. Certainly makes you wonder!
Title comes from: Descriptive of the book’s topic
Reading challenges fulfilled: #74 in my Maybe 100 This Year Challenge
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