What a sad, lonely glimpse into LM Montgomery's life this last book is. Years pass unmarked and indistinguishable for Emily as they did for MontgomeryWhat a sad, lonely glimpse into LM Montgomery's life this last book is. Years pass unmarked and indistinguishable for Emily as they did for Montgomery, looked away in the folds of isolation. The last chapter where Emily gets her happy ending is out of step with the tone of the rest of the book and feels like a dream of a women in her late 30s who didn't get the things she dreamt about when she was younger.
I know LM Montgomery wanted to prove something with Emily, that an authoress could be from a small town and still succeed in the literary world as she herself did, but this final book is more about the sense of loneliness that not having like-minded folks around you can bring to a life. ...more
As an avid LM Montgomery reader/re-reader, each pass through one of her stories is always filled with some new revelation. This time I really saw howAs an avid LM Montgomery reader/re-reader, each pass through one of her stories is always filled with some new revelation. This time I really saw how classist she was. She had Emily arguing fervently for the legitimacy of her Blair Water co-habitants, but also has her saying that Stovepipe Town is dirty, and filled with dishonorable people.
Because this story ends up holding true to the old rule: the secondary characters are the more interesting ones. They're the ones you want to know more about. I want to know about Perry and his drive to succeed. I want to know about Ilse and the impish delight with which she does whatever she pleases.
Also I've said it before and I'll say it again, if only LM Montgomery had been allowed to bring her lesbian relationships to fruition, her protagonists would have ended up so much happier, definitely with the person they were actually in love with, and knew things about, and had intimacy with. ...more
I am torn with the Emily series. I know most LM Montgomery fans consider these books to be her best, the closest she came to a more dark, realistic naI am torn with the Emily series. I know most LM Montgomery fans consider these books to be her best, the closest she came to a more dark, realistic narrative that has a lot of her own life in it. I personally think that she wrote more gothic stories than this, and that those stories were better executed than the Emily books (the short story collection 'Amoung the Shadows' would be the best example of this.)
To be completely truthful though the main thing that turns me away from the Emily series is the twp male love interest characters. Gilbert Blythe is one of LM Montgomery's strongest male characters because he is 1) believably male, not a dreamy, unrealistic image of what a young girl thinks a boy love interest should be and 2) is equal to Anne in his drive and spirit. Teddy Kent is barely a character. He's more of a concept, a conceit. The attempts to explain his motivations, the characterizations of him, everything she puts together to form this character fall flat. He comes off as two dimensional, without his own drives and passions. He's more of a worshiper of Emily than a character himself.
In contrast, Dean Priest blazes through this story with a fierceness that demands your attention. He is very obviously LM Montgomery's attempt at a Mr Rochester, and the flawed, angry, intelligence in his character captures even when seeing him through Emily's eyes. This is where LM Montgomery fails her audience - her need to moralize the actions and decisions of all her female lead characters drives Emily to be with Teddy, barely visible, and to push away the dark, challenging, father-figure of a lover in Dean Priest. The flaw of this makes these books almost unreadable for me. ...more