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Halrloprillalar

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Kindred spirits.
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Over the last couple of months, I've re-read a number of L.M. Montgomery's books. The Story Girl & The Golden Road, Pat of Silver Bush & Mistress Pat, the first three Anne books, and just last week, the three Emily books.

Of all of those, Anne has really held up the best for me. Those characters seem the most original and interesting, especially when compared with Emily.

I was actually quite surprised by how little I enjoyed the Emily books this time around. I disliked the snobbery of the Murrays, I found the superiority and specialness of Emily and all her friends to be rather unlikely -- one genius out of four would have been sufficient. And there was nothing about Teddy Kent that made me even like him, let alone feel he was someone Emily should have spent all that time pining after. He seemed shallow and weak and uninteresting.

Dean Priest, on the other hand, was much more suitable, except for his fatal flaw of jealousy. But I was creeped out by how he met Emily when she was 12 or 13 and he was 36 and he immediately decided -- and said aloud -- that he was going to wait for her. Should I have been freaked by that? Were you, when you read it?

Most of all, though, I was struck by how little I seemed to know Teddy, Perry, and even Ilse. So much of the book is from Emily's own first person through her diary and letters. So, we get a lot of accounts of what they did, but not much first-hand dialogue between them. Maybe I would have liked Teddy better if I'd been able to get to know him.

I think I've read all of Montgomery's work, except for maybe some of her short stories. My favourites would be A Tangled Web -- so many interesting stories all interwoven -- and Blue Castle, with the rebellion of Valancy Stirling. I'm fond of Rilla of Ingleside too.

What's your fave?


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Re: Ah, LM Montgomery!

Have you read the Avonlea story collections? I quite like her short stories.

I have, though I don't think I own those. I have some other collections too, but I think they made a mistake in making them themed, because when you put a bunch of stories about orphans finding their families one right after another, they start to lose their punch.

I've always been fond of Anne of the Island and Rilla of Ingleside, though I haven't read all of Montgomery, not by a long shot.

I recently read Jane of Lantern Hill, which I didn't like for some reason. I think I would have adored it as a girl, but instead I just wanted to bitchslap half the characters in it.

Jane was insufferable once she got going. I could deal with her being a natural cook and housekeeper. I could deal with her shingling roofs. I could *almost* deal with everybody consulting her on everything.

But I couldn't deal with the lion. I wish it had eaten her.

...yeah.

wtf was with that damn lion?

irinaauthor and muffinbutt were telling me last year that they had just reread those books too. I haven't read Anne since I was probably 20 or so (which was over ten years ago) and i remember loving them just as much then.

Irina and Jo were totally creeped out by Dean. I vaguely remember thinking it was creepy when I was 14 too. But my Emily books are packed away somewhere and I don't know where.

I have been rereading all my Madeliene L'Engle books recently. I still love them so much.

I loved Anne of Ingleside. Is that the book with the beautiful neighbor with the long blonde hair. I have the visual of her with her freshly washed hair etched into my brain. What was her name? Cecilia? or Something?

I should re-read l'Engle sometime soon. It's been ages since I read A Wrinkle In Time.

I loved Anne of Ingleside. Is that the book with the beautiful neighbor with the long blonde hair. I have the visual of her with her freshly washed hair etched into my brain. What was her name? Cecilia? or Something?

I think you're thinking of Anne's House of Dreams. The beautiful sad neighbour was Leslie somebody or other.

That it is it. Gah. Lelsie. It has been an awfully long time since I read those books.

I just re-read the books with the O"Keefes and Murrays. Reading them is like eating comfort food.

Jesus, that's scary. I just re-read The Blue Castle today--TODAY, having found it at the used bookstore two days ago. Whoo.

And I love the Emily books. The beauty of having someone explain what it's like to need to write. That alone is enough to make me love them.

And I love the Emily books. The beauty of having someone explain what it's like to need to write. That alone is enough to make me love them.

I did enjoy that aspect of them. And I used to love the books a lot. Perhaps I'm just more cynical now. :)

I was deeply obsessed with the Anne books and the Avonlea short story collections---and, because they came out when I was first discovering the books (when I was about 8) the Disney television series and the Anne miniseries. I didn't actually read the Emily books until two years ago, when I was 20, and yes, Dean Priest creeped me out---not because he essentially fell in love with her when she was twelve, but just because of the deep freaky level of his jealousy.

I have not read the Pat books. I think I will now.

My favorites are probably the first three Annes, though Rainbow Valley and Rilla are wonderful too. Magic for Marigold will also always be important to me.

I have not read the Pat books. I think I will now.

I quite like them. Not so much as Anne, but they satisfy me.

Magic for Marigold will also always be important to me.

You know, I've read this book more than once, but can never remember it. Every time I think I'm recalling some detail, it turns out to be about Pat instead.

I agree that Emily has some major flaws, and the secondary male characters are most of them. Dean Priest is the most interesting, and his jealousy of anything that would take Emily away from him is really frightening. As far as a relationship between them when she is 13... you're talking about a completely different era. Look at Laura Ingalls. There was a time when couples began forming relationships in their early teens, married in mid-teens, and frequently began having families before they left their teens. Of course, they also tended to die in their forties and fifties, so it's a different stretch of time entirely.

Parts of Tangled Web squick me. It also squicks me in Rilla that the boy drowns the kitten, but it's such a childish thing to do that I can grit my teeth and go past it.

I love Rilla. One of my ongoing projects, some twenty years old now, is a WWI series, and I've been collecting WWI children's books for about that long.

Blue Castle is another one of my favorites, too.

As far as a relationship between them when she is 13... you're talking about a completely different era. Look at Laura Ingalls. There was a time when couples began forming relationships in their early teens, married in mid-teens, and frequently began having families before they left their teens.

Well, yes, and no. I do recall in By the Shores of Silver Lake, a girl getting married at 13 or 14. But Montgomery's heroines are in a social class where that wouldn't be likely to happen. They generally have mothers who make them wait until they're 20 or so.

It's the age difference there too. Dean talking about how he and Emily's father had been friends at school.

Hmm, perhaps I'd best not dwell on this. *g*

I love all the Anne books, but Anne of Green Gables is still my most constant re-read.

I'm least acquainted with A. Of Windy Poplars 'cause I was reading on the lawn mower when I was 11 or so and made the mistake of setting it down to make a turn. Was picking bits of paperback out of the lawn for weeks. =)

Yikes! Did you ever read it all through?

I was reading one of the Anne books while on a car trip with my mother. We were on the highway and I had the window down and was sort of leaning out the window as I read. I lost hold of the book and it flew out. My mother was not pleased at having to stop so I could retrieve it.

That sounds like something I would do as well. *grin*

Eventually I read Windy Poplars, but I think it took a few years.

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Re: Anne is the one.

I've been there too, though I don't remember much about the house. We went to see the musical at the Charlottetown festival and that was really neat.

Nothing original here; Anne's House of Dreams first and foremost, and Magic for Marigold close on its heels. (If you can't remember it, it bears rereading *grins*)

I was just reminiscing yesterday with some friends about the PBS Anne movies - those are so permanently imbedded in my subconscious, I can remember the exact inflections used for many of the lines.

OK, I'll definitely have to hunt up Marigold sometime this year. I don't think I own it.

I wasn't wild about the movies -- I think because I had read the books a zillion times and so had very definite ideas about the characters, which the movies didn't live up to.

Wow, we must be psychic twins, because your three favorites are my three favorites. I've given The Blue Castle as a Christmas present a bunch of times, and I've read Rilla more than any of the others in the series. Her green hat! Rilla was completely responsible for my middle-school obsession with WWI.

I also remember liking Jane of Lantern Hill, probably because the ending where she walks all the way! in the SNOW! or rain or whatever. And she gets SICK!

I was a sucker for melodrama when I was ten.

I love the dinner scene from The Blue Castle. And Barney! And the purple car! *happy sigh*

I love the dinner scene from The Blue Castle. And Barney! And the purple car! *happy sigh*

Oh, yeah. I think Barney was the best love interest in any of LMM's books, even if he did turn out to be rich.

Jumping back in... One of the irritating things in the Anne books was the old captain's journal/story, and how Anne wasn't capable of writing something that deep/significant/whatever. Anne's House of Dreams is, yes, I think one of the best of the series, although I still put Rilla at the top.

In a way, the saddest part of the Anne books is that she stops writing. She gets married, and gets caught up in being a wife and mother, and all of the creativity seems to go into that, as if she can't be all of that and a writer too.

And I always felt sad for Una in Rilla.

I think of all the books, the Pat duo is one of my least favorite. It's creepy, in a way. All of the characters in all of the books seem to form attachments to place, but Pat is so tied up in her childhood home that it almost becomes an incubus. To say nothing of the major mistakes in romance in it...

In a way, the saddest part of the Anne books is that she stops writing. She gets married, and gets caught up in being a wife and mother, and all of the creativity seems to go into that, as if she can't be all of that and a writer too.

Yes, you're right. And she's the only one of her heroines that LMM takes past marriage. I wish she'd done that with Emily -- then we could have seen her trying to balance those parts of her life.

I adore "The Blue Castle," because of Roaring Abel and Barney Snaith and his car named Lady Jane Grey. And because of all the early 20th century slang. I love the slang. (It's the same reason I love Dorothy Sayers so much).

Also adore Rilla and her war-baby. I do like Emily, but more for her relationship with her best friend (I can't remember her name, starts with an I? Ilse? Isabel?) than for Teddy "My Mom Is Crazy So I Can Sulk All The Time" Kent.

I also love "Kilmeny of the Orchard." I loved it more when I was a girl -- it is so very Upright and Moral that it gets on my nerves now -- but it's such a nice love story.

And because of all the early 20th century slang. I love the slang. (It's the same reason I love Dorothy Sayers so much).

Oh, the slang! OK, I must re-read this soon.

You know, Valancy is different from Emily and Pat and, to an extent, Anne in that she doesn't get left behind at home while her True Love goes out to see the world. *She* ups and leaves on her own. Granted, she doesn't go to Paris, but she breaks out of her usual world. No wonder I love her so.

My grandmother gave me her childhood copy of Anne of Green Gables when I was about 7. It's one of my most treasured possessions. I eagerly read the rest of the series and all the other Montgomery as it (oh so slowly) came back into print in the U.S. over the years. It's been a while since I reread it all, though. I should do that sometime soon.

immediately decided -- and said aloud -- that he was going to wait for her

Yeah, Dean creeped me out a little with that, too. The Emily books certainly aren't the best-written, but they're the ones I still love the most. Probably because I read them as an imaginative child who wanted to be a writer and lived a bit vicariously through the specialness of Emily's life. Maybe I felt more like Anne but wanted to be Emily? Something like that.

Maybe I felt more like Anne but wanted to be Emily?

Maybe we're all a bit like that. :)

:) Quite possibly. In fact, I've always wondered if that wasn't the case for Montgomery herself.

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