I LOVED Anne of Green Gables, which is why it completely baffles me that I never sought out more LMM books. I know I didn't read all of the Anne serie...moreI LOVED Anne of Green Gables, which is why it completely baffles me that I never sought out more LMM books. I know I didn't read all of the Anne series; I read the first two and then just watched the movie over and over again. Oh what a young nerd I was.
I recently picked up Emily at the request of my friend who is a fellow Anne lover but admitted she really liked Emily more. It took me a few chapters to really start enjoying Emily but once I started I finished all three books within a week.
The story and characters are similar to Anne but where Anne was always that girl that you wanted to be, Emily is that girl that you actually were. I think the character of Emily is one that girls could more easily relate to. Emily struggles with growing up and trying to balance making others happy while also making herself happy.
I found myself often comparing LMM to Louisa May Alcott and I am not exactly sure why except for the fact that both wrote for young girls of their times. What I find different and more attractive about LMM's writing is her descripions of people and place as well as her development of characters. LMM's love of nature and PEI are apparant and she easily transports readers and makes you want to be there. LMM also develops characters that you can actually believe exist. I found myself always feeling like Marme was too perfect and too good to be true but Aunt Laura and Aunt Elizabeth had their faults and good points. LMM also introduces some interesting aspects to her characters including disfunctional family with Teddy Kent and his mother.
The first book and the third are by far the better of the three although I enjoyed all three.(less)
In the start of the 2nd chapter the word "pantechnicon" appears. Doing what most readers do, I turned to the person closest and made them tell me what...moreIn the start of the 2nd chapter the word "pantechnicon" appears. Doing what most readers do, I turned to the person closest and made them tell me what the word meant. When he provided a vague answer, I was forced to pull out the dictionary. As more unfamiliar words started appearing, I got worried and then poetry (I didn't count the first two at the opening) kept cropping up and I got nervous. This book was getting a bit too intelectual for me. Had I not been reading this for a book club, I probably would have put it down immediately and moved on to something not as strenous. This book was tough to work through and not a good choice for bedtime reading as you have to be alert and ready to read and reread passages. Of course, there came a point where I found myself skimming some sections and I probably skimmed a bit more than I should admit to. The story has a handful of characters modern day and victorian. The focus is on two Victorian poet's lives and the modern day academics that are obsessed with them. The story unfolds slowly to be a mystery and love story. Byatt takes some punches at academia but her message (or at the least the one I walked away with) is the question of possession; not necessarily of things but also of person (self and others) and knowledge.
I applaud Possession for the way Byatt weaves multiple stories, with multiple characters and unfolds this story with the use of narration, poetry, stories, letters, and journal entires. The ability for just one person to write so many different ways is stunning but Byatt also makes use of each piece to lead the reader along. The poem at the beginning of the chapter is just there to set the mood or look pretty; it is there as a vehicle to move the story, clues to solve the mystery, and tools to help you forumulate your opinion. AS Byatt is really smart. She uses big, smart words and she makes literary references that make me feel highly uneducated. I don't get the sense that Byatt does this on purpose; I think it just comes out naturally. While I appreciate that what Byatt has done with this novel, I couldn't help wonder at what cost. I know Byatt doesn't care but how many readers did she ostracize with her brilliance? Could she have written the same story simpler? Do I really believ a writer should dumb down a book? What I struggled the most with Possession is the way the novel unfolded at the end. Byatt makes so much effort to building the story and then there comes a moment where she has given up and isn't sure where to turn. I felt like Byatt found herself stuck and quickly starting making characters and items appear so the story could end. There are a few chapters toward the end where the story unfolds as one of the Victorian characters narrates where previously we were introduced to these characters through their writing. It felt forced and too neatly summed up to work with the rest of the book. I am not disappointed that I gave this one a shot. It definitely was a worthwhile read but not a book that I can think I would recommend to anyone nor does this make me want to explore any of Byatt's other work (at least not right away).(less)
I saw this on someone else's book list and it brought back fabulous memories of reading this (and the others in the series) to the boys when they were...moreI saw this on someone else's book list and it brought back fabulous memories of reading this (and the others in the series) to the boys when they were little. The illustrations are simple but fabulous and use bright colors. The opposites used are different than what appears in most opposite books and they relate to kids's every day (mom's shoes are loud or mud pie is yucky). I am a bit bummed I can't grab mine off the shelf and make the boys read them with me right now as I passed them on to a cousin but I know she is getting just as much joy out of them as we did.(less)
JT got the first 4 Meg books for Christmas. Besides the heroine having such a stellar name, the boys are really taken with the stories. We have cruise...moreJT got the first 4 Meg books for Christmas. Besides the heroine having such a stellar name, the boys are really taken with the stories. We have cruised through the first 3 and we are dragging out the 4th since it is our last. The general theme of each is that young Meg is faced with a mystery: a missing baseball, a missing treasure map, a stolen chalice, and a summer camp ghost. Through the illustrations and story the reader is given clues to help solve the mystery. Along the way, the reader is asked to help solve various pieces of the mystery before they turn the page. Each mini-solution helps the reader reach the final conclusion.
The illustrations and story lines are simple which is what made me think of originally giving this one a 3 star rating but I think simplicity is outweighed by the series ability to entertain young readers, engage both their listening and visual skills, and introduce them to a genre that most kids don't explore until later in their reading careers if at all.(less)
I don't know how to review a book that I neither liked nor disliked. The writing was beautiful, the characters weren't very intriguing, and the story...moreI don't know how to review a book that I neither liked nor disliked. The writing was beautiful, the characters weren't very intriguing, and the story rolled along a slow pace. Never before have a dreaded a book but then felt myself so enthralled with the prose. I am sure I missed a lot in this novel; I definitely had moments where I felt dumb or maybe the whole time I was reading it I felt dumb. I feel like the Pablo Neruda poem (and I paraphrase) "I love you but I do not love you." I am not sure I will ask anyone to read this book but I will definitely want to talk with everyone I meet that has read the book. I know this one will haunt me for a while and some day (an I am talking years) I may pick this one up again. (less)