Margaret's Reviews > Emily of New Moon

Emily of New Moon by L.M. Montgomery
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Jul 24, 14

bookshelves: children-s-and-ya-fiction, favorites, canadian-literature, authors-mn
Read in July, 2014

Emily Byrd Starr is almost the prototypical L.M. Montgomery heroine; she's an orphan who goes to another home where she becomes beloved of her new family, and she's a writer, who actually creates a successful career for herself. Emily is orphaned at the age of eight by the death of her beloved father (her mother died when Emily was much younger); as her father has no family, Emily is taken in by her mother's family, who have never forgiven her parents for eloping. Emily has allies from the start in her loving Aunt Laura and friendly Cousin Jimmy, but it's harder for her to win over her Aunt Elizabeth, a stern, dignified woman rather like Marilla in the Anne of Green Gables books.

This first book, Emily of New Moon, is very much taken up with how Emily settles herself in her new family, but the last line of the book betokens the direction the next two will take: Emily writes in a new journal, "I am going to write a diary, that it may be published when I die."

From here on, Emily Climbs and Emily's Quest are focused on Emily's creation of herself as a writer and of her career. There are, as must be expected, romantic and family issues as well, but it's the story of Emily the writer which makes these books particularly special to me. Montgomery's portrayal of the difficulties of the writing path is perceptive and often poignant, as Emily is torn between her writing and her family and love interest. These books are a little darker than the Anne books (at least than the early Anne books), as Emily herself is a more complex, less sunny character; there's even an element of Montgomery's interest in the supernatural, when Emily is shown to have a touch of the second sight.

I must admit to being less fond of the last book, because it's so focused on Emily's romantic travails, and the ending is dreadfully abrupt after the labyrinthine plot turns of most of the book. Still, although the Anne books are probably my favorites overall, the Emily books are easily my favorites of the rest of Montgomery's work (along with The Blue Castle).
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07/23 marked as: currently-reading
07/24 marked as: read

Comments (showing 1-3 of 3) (3 new)

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message 1: by Moira (new) - added it

Moira Russell I totally love the Emily books (not the Anne ones at all, really, I don't know why) - especially after Madeleine L'Engle said she identified with Emily so much! I think that was what put me on to them, actually. I think I like the first the best - you're right that the third is dreadfully disappointing, and DEAN, UGH.

(Ilse/Emily OTP!)


Margaret TEDDY UGH, too. They're both so repellent, in different ways.

Aw, yeah, was it Rachel who wrote that Ilse/Emily Yuletide fic? I loved that!


message 3: by Moira (new) - added it

Moira Russell Margaret wrote: "TEDDY UGH, too. They're both so repellent, in different ways.

TEDDY VERY UGH, Jesus.

Aw, yeah, was it Rachel who wrote that Ilse/Emily Yuletide fic? I loved that!"

I think so! It was perfect.


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