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The Joy of Re-reading: Emily of New Moon

Montgomery, L. M.- Emily of New Moon Narrator: Megan Follows (!!!)

*I couldn't find a page for this audiobook version, but I found a Canadian publisher page (the top link), so you can find all the info. I listened to it through a library service called Hoopla.

I've written before about how I love L. M. Montgomery's books. I started reading her through the Anne books, as most people do, but because Emily Starr and I share a first name, I've always had a soft spot for her books. They have the same sweetness as the Anne books- the orphan softening the heart of an older person who takes her in, the gorgeous descriptions of the landscapes, this time at New Moon Farm. (I am determined to visit PEI someday. Hopefully in the autumn.)

These stories have a different streak of darkness in them. Emily is living with family and doesn't have to do a stint in an orphanage like Anne, but it's a family that her own mother ran away from. They didn't approve of her beloved father and sometimes speak disrespectfully of him. She, like Anne, is very sensitive and imaginative, and sometimes people pick on that. She also has the second sight, inherited from her Scottish ancestors, that pops up from time to time, and which freaks her out.

She also aspires to be an author and poet, which no one in her family can understand. At this time and in their social circle, she should've done well in school and then gotten married, but she's hard to manage and they can't stop her from writing. She decides that she is a writer from a young age and can't be cowed. This was probably the first thing to make me think that I could be a writer someday. I'm finally working on something that I feel really good about, fingers crossed.

I have read these books over and over- I still have the trilogy in paperback, received as a Christmas gift many many many years ago, when I didn't appreciate because at the time, (sigh and nose wrinkle) "I don't read old books like that." (I'm so glad that I was raised to be grateful for presents and thanked the giver properly. I can't remember which aunt and uncle it was, or I'd remind them and tell them that I still have those books!)

Luckily, after I chanced on Anne of Green Gables at the library, it occurred to me that that was the same name as on those Emily books I had stuck on my shelf, so I jumped in and loved these stories.

I listened to the audio version, narrated by Megan Follows, who starred in the excellent 1980's version of the Anne of Green Gables movie. She, no surprise, read it extremely well. I found myself laughing out loud several times, at jokes that I've read a dozen times, at least. How are these still funny?

I think that Montgomery's humor is what makes me still love her. I think that if I found another writer of her era that had the same drama, sentiment, and sweetness, but not the humor, I probably wouldn't like it. I'm pretty sure that I wouldn't LOVE it. The same with Jane Austen, and even The Secret Garden, which I wouldn't really have put down as a funny book when I read it as a kid, does have some really funny stuff. So, I guess that funny is one thing that really makes me LOVE a book. I do love some books that aren't funny, but if it makes me laugh, it has a special place in my heart.

Sadly, Hoopla, at this time at least, doesn't have the rest of the trilogy with Follows narrating.

I'm pretty sure that I have almost all of Montgomery's novels and most of the short story collections. I dip into my collection pretty often for comfort reading or just because something made me think of them and I have a craving as bad as a food craving. I don't know if I'd say that I have a favorite, but I could probably narrow it down to a top ten, and Emily of New Moon would be in the top ten.

Please leave a comment if you love this book, or if you have another LM Montgomery fave.

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