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New Year, New Books #6: Emily of New Moon by L. M. Montgomery

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Let me start by saying I have been a HUGE fan of Lucy Maud Montgomery since I was a kid and have read her “Anne” series more times than I can count. In fact, I have no doubt that during my 20 books this year she will pop up a few more times. In fact, similarly to how I feel about Hogwarts, there are moments when my heart yearns for Prince Edward Island and all the dear friends that live on it because they do seem like friends by the time you finish reading. Montgomery’s descriptions are tangible and earthy in a way that makes her stories relatable in spite of the 100 plus years that have passed since their publication.

My first introduction to Emily and New Moon came through a miniseries version which if I’m quite honest is terrifying. Similar to the recent “Anne with an E” series, it bares little resemblance to the original work outside of names and has been sensationalized to create something that in my opinion is farcically ridiculous because that’s the brilliance of Montgomery’s writings. They were never over-the-top with melodramatic storylines and they didn’t have to be. I love Anne because I understand her. I’ve made her mistakes. I’ve cried her tears. I’ve felt her triumphs and heartaches. Truthfully, had I not previously met Anne by page I would have NEVER picked up Emily. (For the record, the miniseries ran for several seasons because ??????)

I will say, unlike many of her books, the “Emily” series does not take place in beloved Avonlea and Anne doesn’t make the cameos you see in “The Story Girl” or “Chronicles of Avonlea”. (Maybe this will change as the series goes on?) And if I’m honest, it took me a while to get into the book because I only knew the warped miniseries version of the characters. I kept waiting for things to get creepy or cryptic but they didn’t.

What I have found is that Emily is just as headstrong and lovable as the familiar Anne and New Moon has a nice homeyness even if Aunt Elizabeth is harsh…even by Marilla Cuthbert standards. Just like Avonlea, Blair Water has some darling residents with its fair share of incorrigible characters, as well. And like Anne, Emily’s life is full of tragedy and triumph but most importantly wonder and awe for she too wants to be an authoress one day and finds the world around her full of creative potential.

Unlike, the “Anne” series which has eight books this series only has three so I will be interested to see how much of Emily’s life will unfold before us. Also, let me say, if you think you hate reading because you never enjoyed it in school or as a kid, I beg you to find something that interests you and try again. I hated reading growing up because all I read were the books required for my AP and Honors courses which required the typical highbrow stories with more symbolism than I was comfortable with and dismal characters, settings and outcomes. It wasn’t until college that I discovered how a great book could enrapture your soul until you felt you were a part of the story itself.

Emily Set (Amazon)

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