When my life gets stressful, I don’t read new books. Hence I am rereading a bunch of old things. The Color Purple and now all of L.M. Montgomery’s Emily books.
I have to confess that I don’t understand the undying allure of Anne of Green Gables. I don’t dislike those books or anything, but I can totally live without them – and God, how boring is Gilbert? Is it just me? Isn’t Gilbert dull? Don’t we all sort of want to chuck Gilbert off a cliff? When I was a little girl I read Anne of Green Gables and stopped and I nearly went off LM Montgomery for life. Happily my mother said I should try reading Emily of New Moon, and I did, and it was brilliant.
It’s still brilliant. I totally love it. I like all the bits where people tell Emily she’s a good writer. I know it’s silly, but I always read those bits several times when I’m reading these books, and they always make me smile. I actually only just made that connection: I knew there were bits I reread a lot, but I just realized this minute that they were all the bits with people telling Emily she’s a good writer. In my mind they were just the Father Cassidy bit and the Mr. Carpenter bit, but of course, that’s what’s going on there. Huh.
Well, anyway, Emily of New Moon is one of my favorite books ever. I will soon post happy posts about the two sequels and how much joy they give me.
While I’m on the subject, though, I have to say this: There are a whole bunch of books by L.M. Montgomery that are way better than those Anne Shirley books. The three books about Emily Starr are better, and Jane of Lantern Hill is substantially better, and The Blue Castle is ten thousand bazillion times better and contains a scene that is one of the best scenes of all time and always makes me laugh no matter how often I read it. So if you have only read the Anne books, you are missing out like whoa. And even if you don’t think the other books are better, they are definitely worth reading – the aforementioned ones are all good, and A Tangled Web is very delightful and I have it in hardback.