Jenna St Hilaire's Reviews > Emily of New Moon

Emily of New Moon by L.M. Montgomery
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's review
Dec 07, 11

The impressive thing about Montgomery’s writing is that, though I only recall reading this once before, and that probably close to two decades ago, I remembered an impressive percentage of the story as I re-read it. Her descriptions are more effusive than is usually tolerated today, more poetic-prosy; her interactions get away with dialogue tags and adverbs more frequently, not to mention the passive voice; but things play out memorably, and with warmth and interest.

Emily had interested me when I first read her, perhaps in my early teens. This trip through, she won my heart. I found something of the kindred spirit in her, what with her penchant for scribbling and her rather lonerish way of looking at the world.

I enjoyed rediscovering a lot of other characters as well: Ilse, whom I'd always loved; Mr. Carpenter, whose unorthodox classroom rule made me smile; Father Cassidy, whose brief appearance was so packed with kindness and a love for all things faerie that I picked him out as a favorite on the spot. Jimmy, the gentle poet. Elizabeth and Laura, the grim aunt and the kind, yet both wholly human—Elizabeth proven to have a heart, and Laura to have weakness—and both ultimately lovable.

The book was darker than the Anne of Green Gables series, as introspective, passionate Emily is darker than laughing, sparkling, fiery Anne. I like a little darkness in story, provided it exists to set off light rather than to moralize or just be dark for dark's sake, and Emily passed the test in this her first book. I intend to get hold of the sequels immediately. Emily Climbs I’ve once read, but Emily’s Quest I have not.

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