True confession time: I’ve never read Anne of Green Gables or any other of the Anne series by L.M. Montgomery. I grew up watching (and loving) the Megan Fellows version, but I have a weird thing about reading books after I see the movie. It’s not that I won’t do it, it’s just that those books never seem to make it to the top of my list without a push. I decided to dip my toe in the water with Emily of New Moon instead.
When Emily Starr’s father dies, she is taken in by her mother’s sisters—proud women Emily doesn’t know and her mother never spoke to after leaving home to marry Emily’s father. The first book in the series follows Emily as she attends school, makes friends, and comes to love New Moon. The time and place felt familiar thanks to many hours watching Anne of Green Gables: a one-room schoolhouse, preparting for exams for Queens, and fitting in as an orphan in a new place.
Unlike Anne, Emily is introverted and retrospective. She lives to write, first as a way to connect with the memory of her father and later as a future career goal. Even when her aunt and her teacher try and discourage her writing (for different reasons of their own), she cannot stop. It’s as much a part of her as her dark hair. I wondered if any of the experiences or feelings Emily has came from the life of L.M. Montgomery who was an incredibly prolific writer in her own right.
All in all, I was happy reading Emily of New Moon. I’m curious to see what happens next in her series, but not so compelled to rush right out and buy the next book tonight. It does have me wanting to sit my girls down and have an Anne of Green Gables marathon, though. I already know which of my daughters will love Anne’s puffed sleeves.