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The Emily of New Moon trilogy by L.M. Montgomery

// Book Review //

L.M. Montgomery has been a favorite author of mine since I was a young girl primarily because I adored Anne Shirley and watched the Megan Follows movies over and over. My love and devotion to Anne kept Emily on my unread shelf until recently. I am so happy that I now know and love Emily too! Emily and Anne share similarities - they are both orphans with bright imaginations - yet they are distinctly different characters. It is understood that Montgomery closely identified with Emily which is an analysis worthy of its own separate post. My wish is that Montgomery would have written more of Emily so we, the reader, could know her to the depth we have known Anne. I know you will ask which of the two series - Anne or Emily - are my favorite and my honest answer is they are both my favorite. Anne and Emily are like two sisters with different strengths and weaknesses that are love equally.

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In the first book, we meet Emily as a young girl and follow her heartaches and triumphs as she moves to New Moon. Her story continues through book two and three as she forms new family bonds, develops her love of writing and grows into a young woman. Montgomery weaves themes of isolation, loss, grief, individualism, the necessity of imagination, writing for therapy and exploration, the bond of friendship, familial expectation, love, acceptance, ridicule, loyalty and the benefit of following one’s heart. Of the three books, ‘Emily’s Quest’, the third book, was my favorite as I didn’t want the series to end!

Trigger Warning:

I do think it’s important to mention that there is an uncomfortable relationship that could be a trigger for some as it pertains to childhood grooming. I don’t want to give spoilers but I will say that the situation is positively resolved.

Favorite Quotes:

From Emily of New Moon (Book One) by L.M. Montgomery:

“Tell me this--if you knew you would be poor as a church mouse all your life--if you knew you'd never have a line published--would you still go on writing--would you?'

'Of course I would,' said Emily disdainfully. 'Why, I have to write--I can't help it at times--I've just got to.” 

“To love is easy and therefore common - but to understand - how rare it is!” 

“She will love deeply, she will suffer terribly, she will have glorious moments to compensate.” 

“But I don't want to be a different girl," said Emily decidedly. She had no intention of lowering the Starr flag to Aunt Ruth. "I wouldn't want to be anybody but myself even if I am plain. Besides," she added impressively as she turned to go out of the room, "though I may not be very good-looking now, when I go to heaven I believe I'll be very beautiful.” 

“But I don't want to be a different girl," said Emily decidedly. She had no intention of lowering the Starr flag to Aunt Ruth. "I wouldn't want to be anybody but myself even if I am plain. Besides," she added impressively as she turned to go out of the room, "though I may not be very good-looking now, when I go to heaven I believe I'll be very beautiful.” 

From Emily Climbs (Book Two) by L.M. Montgomery:

“My pen shall heal, not hurt.” 

“As she walked along she dramatized the night. There was about it a wild, lawless charm that appealed to a certain wild, lawless strain hidden deep in Emily’s nature—the strain of the gypsy and the poet, the genius and the fool.” 

“Well, it all comes to this; there's no use trying to live in other people's opinions. The only thing to do is to live in your own. After all, I believe in myself. I'm not so bad and silly as they think me, and I'm not consumptive, and I can write. Now that I've written it all out I feel differently about it. The only thing that still aggravates me is that Miss Potter pitied me -- pitied by a Potter!” 

“I've a pocket full of dreams to sell," said Teddy, whimsically,... "What d'ye lack? What d'ye lack? A dream of success--a dream of adventure--a dream of the sea--a dream of the woodland--any kind of a dream you want at reasonable prices, including one or two unique little nightmares. What will you give me for a dream?” 

“It was a lovely afternoon - such an afternoon as only September can produce when summer has stolen back for one more day of dream and glamour.” 

“Fear is a vile thing, and is at the bottom of almost every wrong and hatred of the world.” 

From Emily’s Quest (Book Three) by L.M. Montgomery:

“Never be silent with persons you love and distrust," Mr. Carpenter had said once. "Silence betrays.” 

“Night is beautiful when you are happy--comforting when you are in grief--terrible when you are lonely and unhappy.” 

“Don't let a three-o'clock-at-night feeling fog your soul.” 

“This afternoon I sat at my window and alternately wrote at my new serial and watched a couple of dear, amusing, youngish maple-trees at the foot of the garden. They whispered secrets to each other all the afternoon. They would bend together and talk earnestly for a few moments, then spring back and look at each other, throwing up their hands comically in horror and amazement over their mutual revelations. I wonder what new scandal is afoot in Treeland.” 

“It is hard to understand why work should be called a curse—until one remembers what bitterness forced or uncongenial labour is. But the work for which we are fitted—which we feel we are sent into the world to do—what a blessing it is and what fullness of joy it holds.” 


Book Details:

Titles: Emily of New Moon, Emily Climbs, Emily’s Quest

Author: L.M. Montgomery

Publisher: Tundra Books

Format: Hardcover

ISBN: Emily of New Moon 978-1770497467; Emily Climbs 978-1770497481; Emily’s Quest  978-1770497504

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