Hello dear world! Here are a few mini reviews of books I’ve read this past month.
Emily of New Moon, Emily Climbs and Emily’s Quest by L.M. Montgomery – I’d never read this delightful series before, but thought I’d try it after loving some novels by Lucy Maud last month . . . and what can I say, I love Emily almost as much as I love Anne! She takes the same tender delight in the things of the earth (anthropomorphizing everything in sight), and she’s bright, engaging and charming. Emily grows, matures, endures. As I finished the second book, I was thinking thoughts like, “Oh my, a simply perfect series!” But my one reservation is with the third book in the series, Emily’s Quest. I flew through it because of the tenuous love situation, the knot in my stomach growing and growing as the end of the book neared. And oh, I found the ending disappointing! I was really hoping for some depth of character to Teddy, but he remained aloof and boring – an unsatisfying ending to a very good series.
Anne of Green Gables, Anne of Avonlea and Anne of the Island by L.M. Montgomery – I’ve read and re-read Anne of Green Gables many times already (it’s one of my favourite novels), but it’s just as lovely and stirring the tenth or twelfth time as it was the first. I love Anne, her penchant for large words and her delightful capacity for appreciating beauty – not to mention her amusing misadventures. Anne of Avonlea was wonderful, too – and then (again) I came to the third book in the series. I don’t know what it is with Lucy Maud, but she certainly enjoys wreaking romantic havoc in the lives of her characters! Again my stomach was in knots and I raced through the book even though I already knew the ending, which, incidentally, I found much more satisfying than Emily’s Quest – probably because Gilbert’s character is much more developed than Teddy’s.
Mistress Pat by L.M. Montgomery – this is the sequel to Pat of Silver Bush, which I read last month. I must say I felt a lot of tender concern for Pat with her fear of change (it’s so bad that she despises the hymn Abide with Me for its line: “change and decay in all around I see”). I suppose I identify with her; while I enjoyed changes and challenges in my twenties, I’ve become much more fond of stability and rootedness in my thirties. I read of Pat’s enormous love for her childhood home and I grieve the fact that our family won’t have that (my husband is becoming a pastor in a church federation that typically sees pastors move from congregation to congregation every five to ten years). Anyways, I really enjoyed the book; there’s a certain delicate bittersweetness to it as Pat grows up and experiences loss, change and love.
Tigana by Guy Gavriel Kay – this novel seemed like a study in shades of gray: the bad guys show their vulnerable sides and develop their capacity for love, while the good guys engage in one-night stands with dominatrixes. Ugh!!! Disgusting lack of virtue = so not my kind of novel. (I had to read it for book club.) And even worse when read right after Anne of Green Gables!