23/06/2005

Emily Climbs

This book is a sequel to Emily of New Moon, and is followed by Emily's Quest. This trilogy of books is by LM Montgomery who is best known for the 'Anne of Green Gables' series. However the Emily books have been republished in recent years and are available very inexpensively in paperback from Amazon UK, which is where we found them.

In this book, Emily is fourteen years old, and has the opportunity to go to high school. This is set in Canada in the early part of the 20th century, when many people ended their formal education at this age; the nearest high school is seven miles from Emily's home, so as this was a long way in the days of horses and carriages, Emily and her friends have to find lodgings nearby and can only go home at weekends. Emily stays with her strict Aunt Ruth and is very homesick, but learns a great deal about friendship and loyalty during her three years there.

There wasn't anything particularly exciting about this book, but I suspect it's somewhat autobiographical since Emily is an aspiring author. She keeps a private journal, which is referenced several times in the book, and also sends off various poems and short stories to magazines. As a piece of social history, it's fascinating to see through the eyes of a teenager; I can only assume that much of Emily's experience was that of LM Montgomery herself.

So it was a pleasant light read, with a few moments of mild humour and enough of interest to keep me reading. There isn't quite the sparkle, or the deeply moving sections of the 'Anne' books, but Emily herself does seem more realistic.

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