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Kilmeny of the Orchard

3.68  ·  Rating details ·  7,209 ratings  ·  621 reviews
A sweet and moving romance from the author of the beloved Anne of Green Gables series!

Eric Marshall, recent college graduate, has the world at his feet. He’s handsome, popular, wealthy, and surprisingly, single. Living the bachelor lifestyle with his widowed father, he’s never given much thought to romance. When an old school friend asks Eric to substitute teach for him on
Paperback, 144 pages
Published September 1st 1989 by Starfire (first published 1910)
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Violet Perry I would say that it comes down to personal preference. It is a very mellow romance, as said in my review of this book. There is one kissing scene in i…moreI would say that it comes down to personal preference. It is a very mellow romance, as said in my review of this book. There is one kissing scene in it, but nothing beyond that. I would say it's good from about 6th or 7th grade. Hope this helps!(less)

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Average rating 3.68  · 
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Everyone I know who liked Anne of Green Gables saw a bit of Anne Shirley in themselves; someone who made mistakes, got laughed at, and worried because they weren't "angelically good, divinely beautiful, or dazzlingly clever." Nope, none of us are.


But you remember that Anne wanted to be all of those things, don't you? She wanted to be sweet as sugar to everyone, a genius, and, of course, with flowing midnight hair and an "alabaster brow," whatever the hell that is.

Now imagine if Anne was all th
Mar 12, 2018 rated it did not like it
While teaching at PEI, Eric Marshall sees the ~glorious Kilmeny Gordon in an old orchard. And because she's fair of face, he decides to fall in love with her because he could—AND I QUOTE—'never care for an ugly woman'. HOLD YOUR APPLAUSE TILL THE END PLEASE. So then he helps Kilmeny 'become a woman'—I DON'T EVEN KNOW HOW TO MAKE THIS SOUND BETTER I'M SORRY—and proposes except Kilmeny won't have him because she's unable to speak.


1. MON
This was a perfect Sunday-afternoon read. I really enjoyed the escapist quality of it...a fairy-tale type romance, with a brave hero and a beautiful heroine. And of course I loved that Kilmeny is such a talented violinist!
This book was really short, and hence, this review will probably be short.

First, L.M. Montgomery was not at her best in this novella. This had none of the almost unconscious charm of the famed Anne of Green Gables or even The Blue Castle (which was slightly shallow, yes, but still charming). Perhaps it's because neither Anne nor Valancy, the heroines of those stories, were particularly pretty. But they were witty and intelligent and their peculiarities and absurdities made them strangely lovable
Now I do feel a trifle guilty considering only a one star rating for L.M. Montgomery's Kilmeny of the Orchard (as from how much I have actually enjoyed this slight and rather overwrought 1910 romance novella I should probably be rating it with a low two stars, as there have indeed and certainly been a few descriptions of especially the Prince Edward Island countryside that have been magical and descriptively delightful). However and yes very much personally, I absolutely cannot really justify ha ...more
Clare Richardson
Dec 20, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
This little book is so unassuming, sitting on my shelf, with its battered corners. It is so very well-loved. As an adult, I realize all its faults, and I don't recognize it as one of Montgomery's best--but that's part of why I like it. I bought it when I was probably eleven or so and put it away for a while, and then it became one of my favorite stories. It feels like a story that an author wants to write simply to please herself, a pretty little thing like a soap bubble. It's simple and elegant ...more
L. M. Montgomery wrote Kilmeny when she was a teenager, this was her first attempt at writing so it comes off a little more childish than her other books. You can see her romantic soul in everything she writes :)
Also, Valancy in The Blue Castle, Kilmeny... such beautiful names I have in my list for potential daughters in the future! Valancy remains my favorite ever though.
Mar 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing
~4.5 stars~

It was pretty short and I thought it was cute! Not my favorite L.M. Montgomery book, but it's nice for a light, quick read :) Don't want to say too much about it because then I feel like you won't have much to read about since it's only 134 pages XD I think it would be better to just read it without knowing anything if you usually enjoy Montgomery's books.
"More than ever at that instant did she long for speech - speech that would conceal and protect where dangerous silence might betray."
― Kilmeny of the Orchard

Kilmeny of the Orchard (1910, Grosset and Dunlap) by L. M. Montgomery, is a sweet romance set in an unspecified year on Prince Edward Island. This book is not part of a series, unlike most of Lucy Maud's novels. Montgomery published many short stories before her first novel was published, and it appears that Kilmeny of the Orchard was pub
Sherwood Smith
A friend gave me this book years and years ago--I think it's a first edition. On Anne Osterlund's recco, I took it down to look at it.

I can see why many love it still--the true star of the book is the scenery, rather than the characters. The way that Montgomery writes about nature shifts you to liminal space, within a heartbeat of the numinous.

The reason, though, that I hadn't reread it in all these years was because the basic plot feels like a short story stretched out into a novel. That, and t
Nov 27, 2015 rated it it was ok
I've never particularly liked this story, one of Montgomery's "adult" romances, with an unbelievable array of offensive stereotypes and casual sexism - the hotheaded Italian (the ethnicity you're born with being inescapable despite your upbringing) who is "foreign" and for whom equal treatment is spoiling him, the literally silent heroine, mute but unbelievably beautiful who is immediately recognizable as ideal and sweet by anyone who sees her, the wealthy young man who falls head over heels for ...more
This was sweet - a bit cheesy a times and also had a few instances of backward thinking when it comes to "foreigners" and some unrealistic ideas about beauty. All in all though, it was an easy read with a fairy tale quality to it. Although I've only read the first Anne book and enjoyed it much more (I know, I'm behind!), I'd say it's worth the read if you enjoy LLM's stories. ...more
zane deann
Oct 27, 2017 rated it really liked it
It had its flaws, but it was a darling book, as most of L.M. Montgomery's are. <3 ...more
Rachel Brown
Aug 11, 2012 rated it did not like it
Shelves: mainstream, canada
This has got to be Montgomery's worst book. By far.

A young man of staggering perfection takes over a teaching position for a few months, and discovers a beautiful mute girl, Kilmeny, and a Italian gypsy named Neil. Even worse than it sounds. The prose is stilted and overwritten, Italians are lusty bundles of untamed passion, and the story is sappy. But don't take my word for it: meet Kilmeny:

"Her face was oval, marked in every cameo-like line and feature with that expression of absolute, flawle
Jul 31, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
“More than ever at that instant did she long for speech—speech that would conceal and protect where dangerous silence might betray.” (p. 171)
Feb 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A sweet way to spend a bookish Friday. Highly recommended for a nice romance.
Gracelyn Buckner
4 Stars

Really, really sweet. The ending was a bit predictable, though. But really sweet.
He tried to put her out of his thoughts, but he could not. The memory of her beautiful face drew him with a power he could not resist. The next evening he went again to the orchard.
Kilmeny of the Orchard is the tale of Eric Marshall, who as a favor to a sick friend comes to the small town of Lindsay on Prince Edward Island to teach at the school. While walking one day, he wanders into a long forgotten orchard and hears beautiful violin music being played by a beguiling young lady, the book's namesake, Kilmeny. Frightened, Kilmeny flees the orchard and though Eric comes back the next night and then the next, she doesn't return. Disappointed and intrigued, he asks his landla ...more
After two books of Montgomery I have understood why she is known as one of the best authors of children's books. Despite the fact, that I have read The Blue Castle and Kilmeny of the Orchard which are rather romances for adults or young adults (there aren't children's books) I saw how great she could describe world of a small community. I regret that Kilmeny of the Orchard is so short, because there wasn't more space for the secondary characters.

Next, the love story is so sweet. The main idea is
The Captain
Oct 02, 2019 rated it it was ok
Ahoy there mateys! I couldn’t remember if I had read this one or not. Turns out not. This book was published in 1910, two years after anne of green gables. What a silly romance this was! It was so melodramatic. There is a man, Eric, who goes to PEI to teach and meets a mute girl, Kilmeny, in a garden playing a violin. He immediately falls in love with her beauty and innocence and child-like nature. Sigh. So they meet in the garden in secret. He gets called out for his thoughtless behavior and tr ...more
Jul 21, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: classics
Okay, I'm adding a star! Upon re-read, I enjoyed this even more. While the conversations and some of the writing still felt a bit contrived in places, I truly loved it for what it was. All in all, a quick, delightful read that is sure to charm a smile from anyone with a heart for classics.

Original review:
Short, sweet novella by one of my favorites, LMM. I could tell this wasn't her peak writing, but I enjoyed it, just the same. I liked the characters, but wish we could have gotten to know Aunt a
Hannah Mead
Oct 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-in-2018
How does LMM do this?!?! Pretty much every single thing I've ever read by her has been delightful and infused with such a beautiful charm. This book is no exception. I love everything about it -the descriptions are so delicate and vivid and the storyline, while a bit cliche, is just so sweet and innocent and beautiful you can't help but fall in love along with the characters. Every time I finish an LMM book I'm overtaken with a desire to craft characters and write stories like she does. She is a ...more
Sep 26, 2016 rated it it was amazing
A remarkably quick read (two hours?) and a delightfully fast-paced romance.
Jennifer Thompson-Thalasinos
A beautiful book that can be finished in an evening about a mute girl and the college-bound boy who falls in love with her. I loved how Kilmeny realizes her true worth throughout the book.
Very wholesome and sweet. What you'd expect from LMM. ...more
Jenna St Hilaire
Jun 12, 2012 rated it really liked it
All of Montgomery's fiction seems to turn on the concept of a personal fairyland, a world of radiant dream and joyous vision, of "beauty beyond the lot of mortals". This was perhaps most obvious in The Blue Castle, but is no less central to Kilmeny's story.

Eric Marshall finds his personal fairyland when he stumbles across an abandoned orchard, with lilacs and June lilies and apple blossoms running wild—a realm possessed by an exquisite, silent child-woman with a superb gift for the violin. Kilme
Mar 27, 2013 rated it really liked it
This is a sweet novella from the author of Anne of Green Gables. Eric goes to Prince Edward Island to provide teaching cover for his friend. While exploring one evening Eric comes across Kilmeny,the most beautiful girl he's ever seen, playing exquisite music on the violin. He finds out that she is mute and has had a very isolated upbringing. Being unable to forget Kilmeny, Eric finds himself going back time and again to the orchard. Although mute, Kilmeny isn't deaf and she's able to communicate ...more
Anne Osterlund
Apr 17, 2009 rated it really liked it
Eric Marshall is a calm, straight-laced young man set to commit his future to business. Because he isn’t opposed to it. But when his friend, Larry West, has to duck out early on a teaching contract—due to health problems—Eric agrees to step into the breach and plunge into the abyss of the Lindsey schoolhouse on Prince Edward Island.

Little does he know that on P.E.I. waits a girl with jet black hair and sea green eyes. A girl who believes she is ugly and roams the orchard, speaking through her vi
Jul 01, 2019 rated it really liked it
Simple but sweet. Probably better than any new release this summer.
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Lucy Maud Montgomery was a Canadian author, best known for a series of novels beginning with Anne of Green Gables, published in 1908.

The author of the famous Canadian novel Anne of Green Gables, Lucy Maud Montgomery, was born at Clifton, Prince Edward Island, Nov. 30, 1874. She came to live at Leaskdale, north of Uxbridge Ontario, in 1911 after her wedding with Rev. Ewen Macdonald on July 11, 1911

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