Archive for the ‘ L. M. Montgomery Challenge ’ Category

REVIEW: “Pat of Silver Bush” by L. M. Montgomery

Pat of Silver Bush

L. M. Montgomery
Seal, 1988 (first published 1933)

CHALLENGE(S): L. M. Montgomery Challenge

Finished 30 Jan 2010

I have to admit, I was both excited and apprehensive to begin reading Montgomery again, which is why it took me so long to get around to reading this. I used to love her books as a child – I’ve read a number of the Anne series, wept over the movies, and the Emily series was my absolute favourite for quite a long period of my youth. I also seem to vaguely recall my mother, in an attempt to make me read more “classical” literature, bribing me with money to read the Road to Avonlea series which, for some reason, I always despised. Hm. My childhood rebellions notwithstanding, I have in the past enjoyed Montgomery as an author (Kilmeny of the Orchard still makes me smile), but I was rather hesitant to retrace old paths for fear of disillusionment.

I need not have worried. Pat, like Anne and Emily, is a story about the exploits of a little girl, in this case Patricia Gardiner of Silver Bush, Prince Edward Island, Canada. Beginning when Pat is “almost seven” it chronicles her loves and losses, along with those of the wonderful supporting cast, until she reaches the age of eighteen and goes away to Queens College, where she is to study to be a teacher.

I have to admit, there are things about Pat’s story which could have been lifted directly from any of Montgomery’s other novels (that I have read) – her “queerness”, her love of nature, the passions she throws herself into, and so on. It also took me a while to sink into the flowery prose sufficiently to begin to connect with Pat and her fellows (I was particularly thrown off by Judy’s dialect – it was rather difficult to make sense of at times). However, once I’d gotten used to it, it was like coming home. I read most of the book on a sunny afternoon and it was a rather nostalgic experience, as I have posted elsewhere. Quite apart from the atmosphere, the prose quickly came alive for me and I came to sympathise greatly with Patricia and her friends. I am quite looking forward to tracking down the rest of the Pat saga and finding out what happens to her and Silver Bush!

Somehow, I get the feeling that Montgomery and I would have gotten along well; her characters seem to see the world the same way I do. Perhaps its a result of reading so many of her novels while I was growing up. I particularly empathized with Pat’s dislike of change, and her obvious love for her home which made this book a real pleasure to read. I’ll always have a soft spot for Montgomery’s novels, if only for the beauty she so rapturously describes.

RATING:

CHALLENGE COMPLETE: The L. M. Montgomery Challenge

The Challenge:

  1. Pick the Montgomery book (or books!) that you most want to read and then read them during the first few weeks of January. Your introductory blog post does not need to be excessively long or grand. You merely need to create a blog post saying, “I’m in!” and link it up here in the comment section. If you’d like to say which books of Montgomery’s you plan on reading during the challenge, do so then! There are a great many to choose from.
  2. Come back on Sunday, January 31, 2010 and leave a comment “linking up” to however many Montgomery related reviews/posts you like.
  3. Visit around and get to know the other people who are participating in the challenge and read about what books they’ve involved themselves with. Be friendly! =)

I chose to read Pat of Silver Bush this year. You can find my review here. I loved it! It really was wonderful to get back to Montgomery again; that plus the wonderfully warm weather we’ve been having recently reminded me of the summers of my childhood. Ah, nostalgia…

Here’s to the first finished challenge of the year!

L. M. Montgomery Reading Challenge: Book Selection

I am a big L. M. Montgomery fan; I have been since I was a kid. Over the years I’ve read nearly all of her books that I could get my hands on (my favourites are the Emily series and Kilmeny of the Orchard). Unfortunately, that means that there are few that I have left to read to complete this challenge. I’m just in it for the reading, as I don’t qualify for the contest (I live in New Zealand) but fortunately I have an almost identical locket anyway, so nevermind!  I did manage to dig up a copy of Pat of Silver Bush at our local library, which I haven’t yet read, so I’m going to go with it.

  • Pat of Silver Bush

    Patricia Gardiner loved Silver Bush more than anything else in the world. She was born and raised in the beautiful old-fashioned house on Prince Edward Island. “where things always seemed the same” and good things never changed. But things do change at Silver Bush — from her first day at school to the arrival of her new baby sister. from her aunt’s joyous wedding to her own first romance. Through it all. Pat shares her experiences with her beloved friends and discovers the one thing that truly never changes: the beauty and peace she will always find at Silver Bush — the house that remembers her whole life.” (from the back cover)

It sounds very much like Anne and Emily, so I’m sure I’ll enjoy it a great deal. More updates once I start reading it.