2011: 86. Emily of New Moon

"The house in the hollow was "a mile from anywhere" - so Maywood people said."

Emily of New Moon, L.M. Montgomery

     After Anne, we have Emily, Montgomery's second most popular heroine - and there a vocal contigent that are straight up Emily girls.  I'm not, obviously, but I understand why.  Anne is a cheerful thing who gets into scrapes, but Emily is a tortured writer.  To be true, there really is more to the Emily books than the Anne books (barring, say, Rilla), because there is more to Emily than there is to Anne.  The reason is that Emily is clearly a stand-in for Montgomery.  Not everything, obviously - I doubt Maud had the second sight, or "the flash", not was she as beautiful as Emily (who like all Montgomery heroines, doesn't have the favored looks of her time period, but is clearly a knockout), but Maud put a lot of her suffering into Emily - the loss of family, and growing up in hard circumstances under a martinet, the urge to become a writer, and while it makes Emily a darker book, it also makes Emily seem realer than Anne.  And there is a lot of good stuff here, as Emily loses her father, and goes to live with her mother's people at New Moon.  Haught Aunt Elizabeth, sweet Aunt Laura, dear Cousin Jimmy who "isn't all there."  And all the attendant relatives, and Ilse Burnley (and her scandolous mother whose sad story is the best part of the book), and Perry, and Teddy.  And, ugh, Dean Priest, the dirty old man (more of him to come in the later books).  And Emily's letters to her dead father, and getting her bangs, and oh, all the lovely things.  Let me be straight - Anne is my favorite, but I also love Emily.  If you've never read these books, and you have any interest all in Montgomery - if you loved Anne as a little girl - you must, must read the Emily series.

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

P.S. Please ignore the horrible image above. I cannot fathom who would ever put a picture of girl en dishabille on the cover of this book.  Find the old Bantam copies with the girls in the white dress petting the cat!!

© Carrie Dunsmore 2017