Friday, July 16, 2010

Emily Climbs by Lucy Maud Montgomery

Emily Climbs by Lucy Maud Montgomery is the second in a trilogy of books that almost seems derivative of Anne of Green Gables and if both books were not written by the same author there would likely have been accusations of this flying about.  Emily differs from Anne in that she is less gregarious, a physically darker and emotionally quieter character.  The adventures are somewhat the same.  In this book Emily goes to school where she deals with rivalries, misunderstandings, some gossip, and a few mishaps.  Not unlike when Anne goes off to school in her second book.

Montgomery, unfortunately, interjects herself into this book more than I have noticed before.  Perhaps she always had and I overlooked it but in this book, aside from occasionally assuring the reader that she is a biographer and merely recording the facts as she knows them, there are occasional judgments made on Emily's actions and the wisdom, or lack thereof, in her choices.  It as these moralistic insertions that I found most distasteful, even self-righteous.  And let's face it, a bit ironic because a biographer merely recording the facts should not interject personal opinion about the justice in the consequences of another's actions.

But this is a novel, after all, and the whole authorial voice, whether as biographer or moral critic, is an odd choice to begin with.  Again, it may be that I never noticed this before and perhaps Montgomery does this in her Anne books as well.  I guess I'll figure that out for myself eventually.

In the meantime, I liked the first book but this second one . . . meh.  Perhaps by the third book I'll be back in love with the series.  I still love Emily, not as much as I do Anne, but I can see where Emily might be more relateable.  I think I identify more with Anne, however, so that may be coloring my personal preferences as well.  *shrug*

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