Emily of New Moon

Overview 

The story of an orphaned child who is sent to live with relatives who do not really wish her, but are doing their duty.

Emily of New Moon
Story by Lucy Maud Montgomery
© Seal Publishers 1983
ISBN 0770417981
Paperback: 352 pages
Reading Level: 9-12 year olds

Positive Elements

Lucy Maud Montgomery has such a picturesque way of writing. Like Anne of Green Gables, Emily of New Moon is filled with beautiful descriptions, colourful characters, and engaging action. Emily is a persistent writer and poet who never gives up her dream of becoming a poetess. She tries to make wise choices, to befriend lonely people, and please her relatives.

Negative Elements

Throughout this book there are small references that disturbed me: Emily is emotional and often hates her friend, her Aunt, her teacher. There is a underlying romantic theme: a 36 year old uncle decides to wait for Emily, although she herself misses the reference and most children probably would too. There are two elderly Aunts, who I would seriously consider disowning if they were real. There is a passing reference to the transmigration of souls, which Emily chooses not believe in yet!

Our Take

I really wanted to like this book! I love the story of Anne of Green Gables, and this book has much of the same flavour. Yet, all the way through I was disturbed by the underlying themes which make semi regular appearances. Disobedience to the matriarchal Aunt is encouraged by two other relatives when her decisions seem unfair. Several of Emily’s friends have no parental involvement at all. While many younger readers will miss the romantic storyline, it is there and must only get stronger in subsequent books. Finally, the comment about transfiguration nailed the coffin for me on this one.

I am aware that there are similar worries about Anne of Green Gables, but I personally did not find the same sort of ideas when I proofed Green Gables a few month ago for my oldest daughter. Emily of New Moon is beautifully written and I wish it didn’t make me feel so uncomfortable. My recommendation is to pass on this one for content reasons. Oh how I wish I had extra hours in the day, so that I could rewrite this book. It had such great potential!

Rating

Leave It.

About the Author

Lucy Maud Montgomery is the creator of the famous Anne of Green Gables. Mrs. Montgomery was born and raised on Prince Edward Island, where the majority of books take place. Anne Shirley, Emily of New Moon, and Sarah in The Story Girl, are all slightly autobiographical. Her whimsical characters, beautiful scenery, and vivid description of small town live have made her books international best sellers, and sparked many film, television, and stage adaptations.

Where You Can Buy It

In Canada
In the US