Release date: April 25th 2017
Fourteen-year-old Lucy Maud Montgomery — Maud to her friends — has a dream: to go to college and become a writer, just like her idol, Louisa May Alcott. But living with her grandparents on Prince Edward Island, she worries that this dream will never come true. Her grandfather has strong opinions about a woman’s place in the world, and they do not include spending good money on college. Luckily, she has a teacher to believe in her, and good friends to support her, including Nate, the Baptist minister’s stepson and the smartest boy in the class. If only he weren’t a Baptist; her Presbyterian grandparents would never approve. Then again, Maud isn’t sure she wants to settle down with a boy — her dreams of being a writer are much more important.
But life changes for Maud when she goes out West to live with her father and his new wife and daughter. Her new home offers her another chance at love, as well as attending school, but tensions increase as Maud discovers her stepmother’s plans for her, which threaten Maud’s future — and her happiness forever.
At first, I admit, it was a little strange reading a YA version of Lucy Maud Montgomery’s life since I grew up on PEI and Anne and Emily were a huge part of my childhood, as was visiting Green Gables and all the sights. It didn’t take long to get over it and become completely absorbed into the story.
The book was very well researched and it was easy to see the connections between Maud, Anne, and Emily. It focused more on her childhood in PEI and her teenage years in Saskatchewan, before the huge success of Anne. After finishing this book I wanted to go back and re-read the Anne of Green Gables series. This book worked as a standalone for anyone interested in reading a well-researched fictionalized version of LMM’s life but it also would work well as a prelude to the Anne and Emily series.
Maud was a very relatable character. It could be I found it so easy to relate since I’m from the same area and grew up on her writing, but I do think I would have found her relatable without that. It was also easy to see parts of Anne and Emily in her, where she may have drawn inspiration from her own experiences and given her characters some happiness she wished she could have had.
The book was very character-driven so there were a few times it was slow, but not in a way that made me enjoy it less. It was that the plot focused on Maud’s growth, her goals, her dreams and her survival in a time when women were not encouraged to go to college. It meant there wasn’t a lot of action in the plot but I do love character growth so I really enjoyed that the plot was so character driven.
Overall, a great fictionalized telling of LMM’s life and one that fits in wonderfully with her series.
*I received an advanced reader copy of this book from Indigo Books & Music Inc. in exchange for an honest review*