The Emily of New Moon series is a sweet and delightful collection of books by L.M. Montgomery. It was a terrific discovery to listen to during my commutes over the last month. Like the Anne of Green Gables series it is full of stories about a feisty, orphaned girl who struggles to fit in with her new family in Prince Edward Island.
Emily of new Moon introduces the creative Emily Starr who had only faint memories of her mother who had died years before. She had enjoyed living with her loving father, who homeschooled her and supported her stories, until he died of tuberculosis. She had never met her mother’s family who had been estranged from her mother for many years, angry at her elopement with her father. The family arrived en masse for the funeral, determined to do what was right and drawing names to decide who would be responsible to bring up the young girl.
As Emily adapted to living with her two maiden Aunts she struggled to conform to expectations. Her Aunt Elizabeth was very strict and did not appreciate Emily’s creativity and love of writing. Aunt Laura was loving and was a sweet refuge from the high expectations and cousin Jimmy who had an acquired brain injury from a childhood accident doted on Emily. Emily adapted to school despite challenging early days. The fun began as she developed a group of friends including Ilse, Teddy and Perry, who helped to make her days more interesting.
In Emily Climbs, Emily moves to Shrewsberry in order to attend highschool. She lived with her elderly Aunt Ruth who had even stricter rules than New Moon. Aunt Elizabeth had not been keen to continue her education. A deal was struck that she stopped writing fiction if she wished to attend highschool. Emily worked hard at her studies and began writing poems in the absence of fiction. As she gained success, publishing her poetry and later writing for the newspaper, she proved that her writing could be lucrative. Emily had yet frustrated the proper Aunt Ruth as she had fun, got into a few scrapes and experienced misunderstandings with her friends who had also moved to Shrewsberry. to attend school. Regardless of the challenges, she slowly gained the love and support of Aunt Ruth just as she had done with her family at New Moon.
The final book, Emily’s Quest is full of marriage proposals! Emily received multiple offers in marriage waiting for the one man who has always had her heart. Like Anne and Gilbert, in the 8 book Anne of Green Gables series, Emily and her love had a series of misunderstandings and it took a long time for them to realize their love at the same time. During these years, Emily remained single, wrote stories to support herself and enjoyed her time at New Moon.
The Emily of a New Moon series is a sweet collection of tales detailing the struggles of an orphaned girl who came to love her new family and life at New Moon. There are certainly similarities to Anne of Green Gables but it is also unique with vivid descriptions of Emily coming of age. The books describe life on Prince Edward Island during the early twentieth century and helps a reader to reflect on simpler times. Although technology was not a complication then, Emily experienced the age old challenges of bullying and fitting in at school as she grew into a confident young woman.
These books were great to listen to during commutes, had me chuckling and reflecting on my own visit to Prince Edward Island in 1996. They are beautifully written and I look forward to returning to PEI and reading more of the works of L.M Montgomery.