2011: 100 & 101. Pat of Silver Bush & Mistress Pat

"Oh, oh, and I think I'll soon have to be doing some rooting in the parsley bed," said Judy Plum, as she began to cut Winnie's red crepe dress into strips suitable for "hooking." ~ First line of Pat of Silver Bush

Pat of Silver Bush & Mistress Pat, by L.M. Montgomery

      Well, I am always torn about the Pat books.  Because there is some great stuff her.  Judy Plum, the Gardiner's maid (but really, a member of her family) is one of the great characters Montgomery ever created.  Came over from Ireland as a young girl (where she worked in a castle!) speaks in a brogue (without having the dialect drive me crazy - itself a feat), full of stories of the oulde country, and set in her ways, and just a delight.   And Jingle! Oh, Jingle (aka Hilary Gordon) is one of the great Montgomery hero.  He's no blank slate a la Teddy Kent - but rather, from his first appearance, with his dog, McGinty, you adore him (and you loathe the mother who deserted him - Jesus, Maud, break our hearts, why don't you).  And there are great stories in the books - happy and sad, and it has that old Montgomery charm.  

     The problem, of course, is PAT.  My god, Pat is such a drip.  She is so obsessed with her home, Silver Bush, and with things staying just as they always have been, that she almost ruins her life.   I understand that Silver Bush was a beautiful farm, and that she loved every sprig of grass, but the girl almost had a heart attack if someone cut down a tree - or her uncle shaved his beard.  That seems unhinged.  I mean, (SPOILER) Montgomery had to burn the damn house down to get her to finally move on with Jingle.  I guess, maybe there really are people like that, but it's very, very hard to relate to.  In fact, my instinctual annoyance with Pat is such that, in the end, I actually found myself thinking the books were better than I remembered - because in my aggravation with Pat I'd forgetten the other good stuff.  And there is good stuff,  but my lord, Pat needed to get a grip.

Categories:  Fiction, Re-Read, L.M. Montgomery Project

© Carrie Dunsmore 2017