Author – Lucy Maud Montgomery (Canadian)
Publishing Year – 1923
Genre – Children’s Literature
My Rating – 3.5/5
Pages – 339
A sweet ride!
This book is about Emily Starr – a whimsical little good-hearted child, who has lived her life happily out of doors, befriending cats and trees and hedges and the “wind woman”. Her life takes a huge turn when her beloved father dies and she is taken to live with her mother’s snobbish relatives at New Moon farm. A proud little child, with acute sensitivity and understanding, a unique and exquisite slowly blossoming smile, she is an endearing character with a penchant for pouring out her heart on paper. She dreams to grow up and be a renowned poetess. She slowly falls in love with every stick and stone and blade of grass in New Moon. It fits her perfectly. She makes dear new friends with Teddy – who is an amazing artist, Isle- who has a talent for Elocution and Perry- who is going to be a politician. Trouble is never far away in the house of the stiff, stern aunt Elizabeth whose ways of living are quite different than those of little Emily. They cannot understand each other but can they find a way to coexist? Will Emily’s dreams of being a poetess be stunted? What adventures lay in front of the impetuous little brat, as Aunt Elizabeth may put it? How will she deal with the loneliness without her father?
I liked reading the story although the descriptions sometimes got too exasperating to read through. I found myself unwittingly skipping some of these passages. The difference of opinions and constant rifts between Aunt Elizabeth and Emily were sometimes irksome. But what I loved about this novel and Emily, is her love of writing. She would find bits and scraps of paper and write on the back of envelopes and unused government letters. She wrote long descriptions of the daily happenings, her thoughts and musings, her flights of imagination, amusing but incisive character sketches and peachy lines of poetry. I loved how she would pause and think to recall the “one “,”right” word for what she wanted to say. She was an artist of words and chose them with exquisite care. She cannot live without writing. She must write, at any cost. It reminded me again of what it means to write, how soothing and wonderful it is, how it can uncomplicate thoughts and be a stationary well for all your vehement feelings. Today, I took a pen and paper and wrote in my own style of what has been troubling me the most — in the back of my mind. For the first time, after a lot of days, I feel the knot at the back of my mind unravel and let go.
I also really liked the last few chapters of the book where Emily outgrows her childish self. Those little pieces of poetry, once so wonderful and precious to her suddenly read like trash. Her childhood strokes of brilliant fairypowder now seem like withered leaves, fit only for burning. Outgrowing oneself is never a pleasant process. And I, for one, felt it acutely. I could relate to Emily as she outgrew herself, changed into a more mature and contained young woman, went through disappointments and fell into delicious raptures. I feel this book about Emily’s adventures was much closer to reality then the Anne of Green Gables book.
“Emily went, still a bit scared but oddly exultant behind her fright. She was so happy that her happiness seemed to irradiate the world with its own splendour. All the sweet sounds of nature around her seemed like broken words of her own delight. Mr.Carpenter watched her out of sight from the old worn threshold.
“Wind-and flame- and sea!” he muttered. “Nature is always taking us by surprise. This child has- what I have never had and would have made any sacrifice to have. But ‘the gods don’t allow us to be in their debt’- she will pay for it- she will pay.”
I found this dialogue by Mr.Carpenter oddly profound. It is one of the harsh realities I have often thought but never been able to put into words as he does. A simple but nice read. I will not forget you soon Emily Byrd Starr of New Moon.