Emily of New Moon (Emily of New Moon #1)
This observation is made by Lucy Maud Montgomery in describing her favorite character of mine: Emily of New Moon. Emily lives with her father and caretaker Ellen Greene in a house in the hollow, which is situated in a grassy dale. Emily doesn’t much care for Ellen, but she loves her father. She also has the company of her cats, the wind whom she calls Wind Woman, and the trees for whom she also has names. In the opening chapter, her father is sick. Once he drifts off to sleep, Emily slips away for a twilight walk.
“Do you know that your pa has only a week or two more to live?”
These words of Ellen greet Emily upon her return from her glorious walk. When her father awakes later, he berates Ellen for having revealed this truth to Emily in such a hurtful way.Then he shares memories with Emily of her mother and of the Murray clan.
When he dies, Ellen still doesn’t offer Emily comfort. She informs Emily that her relatives are coming to the house to decide who will raise her. Emily expresses the wish that her relatives will love her. Ellen denies her even this hope, calling Emily a strange child because she lives in her imagination as well as advising Emily that people don’t love strange children.
Upon their arrival, the relatives pick Emily apart in her presence, meaning they argue about who she looks and acts like down to whose forehead she has. Emily declares to their faces that they make her feel like “scraps and patches”. Her relatives order her to leave, but Emily hides under the table to hear her fate. When the relatives begin to criticize her father, Emily gives herself away by rushing out and yelling at them in her father’s defense. Tired of her outbursts, the relatives draw straws to determine who should take her. The rest of the book is about her life with the “winners”.
Although I love Anne of Green Gables, Emily of New Moon is my favorite creation of Lucy Maud Montgomery. Both girls are imaginative, outspoken, and passionate. Yet unlike Anne, Emily is more introverted with darker moods and less social grace. Perhaps for these reasons, Emily is often rejected for her differences, rather than embraced and loved like Anne. Therefore, I feel more akin to Emily.
For a book written in the time of Little Women, I find it much easier to understand and read. Unlike many of the books of that time, you are really able to relate to the characters and their actions in this book. The characters are very well written. You cry with them and get mad at them. Your are completely drawn into this novel.
The sequel is even better.
Emily of New Moon is about a ten year old girl whose father dies and her relatives have to decide who she is to live with. Emily eventually ends up with Aunt Elizabeth, Aunt Laura, and Cousin Jimmy of New Moon. Emily grows to love her new home, even though she misses her old one and her father. She also makes good friends, including Ilse, Teddy, and Perry. I enjoyed this book, because it was so interesting how the main character loved to write poetry. I can not believe no one has read this book yet! It is about as good as the author's classic, Anne of Green Gables.