10 Comments

  1. It’s been forever since I’ve read this one … and I seem to remember thinking it was pretty adult at the time I read it (maybe early 20’s when I discovered this one?) But, I do remember thinking it was funny and so not her normal book when I read it. : )

  2. I think that air of melancholy/despair/pathos (yes, I have noticed its pervasive presence in her work, especially her Emily books) is what makes L.M. Montgomery’s books perfect for the angsty pre-teen set -about 11 and 12- that have those vague feelings themselves at that stage. I remembering being introduced to them at that stage, and it was perfect. I could fully empathize with the pathos and drama, and it didn’t seem silly, since I was full of pathos and drama myself.

    I reread The Tangled Web myself just a year and a half ago, because I couldn’t remember if I’d read it before. It’s probably my least favorite of her works because of the sheer number of eccentric characters in it. Every person in the book is eccentric. It gets exhausting, repetitious, and tedious after a while.

    • Amy

      Megan, I think you hit the nail on the head when you call this despair and pathos. That’s it exactly. You know, I love, love, love Emily, or at least I did the last time I read the trilogy as a college student (the third time around, I think), but I’m not sure I’ll still feel the same way about it the next time I read it. I probably won’t, actually.

      I think you’re right about the “sheer number of eccentric characters” in A Tangled Web. I just had trouble keeping them all straight, period. I needed a Cast of Characters list!

  3. A Tangled Web has always been one of my favorites. Not my favorite-favorite of her standalones, perhaps, I just love A Blue Castle, but still, one of my favorites to reread. Again not that it could really hope to compare to the Anne or Emily books, but still such a great read for me. I think what I love about it are her characters. They’re just so very human, so fallen, so broken. Some are more likeable than others, but they’re just so quirky that you like to spend time observing them.

    I’ve not read anything about L.M. Montgomery’s theology, so your link was very helpful!!! It’s definitely given me something to think about.

    • Amy

      Becky,
      LMM’s characters are just that–CHARACTERS! I agree that this is part of what makes her writing enjoyable, but this time it just seemed a bit over the top to me. Of course, LMM IS over-the-top, so I guess that is to be expected.

  4. Yes, I like this one and Blue Castle very much because they stand out as being a little more unique from her regular works. As you point out, it was written for an adult audience which makes it a nice little departure from her usual fare, except for the fact that it’s still predictably Montgomery.

    I still love Montgomery passionately, despite age and time and added maturity. (Well, maybe the added maturity part is debatable?!) Reading about her personal life and believes causes me to have a more realistic picture of her works, I think, but then I can also say I love them more honestly because I know where they come from. Her work inspires things inside of me that no other author quite manages. Yes, she has flaws and they can and probably must be confessed. 😉 But I find myself still holding on to the magic and as long as I can do that, I’ll re-read her over and over again!

    (Your membership is not revoked. Although someone else’s was. ;D haha!)

  5. I don’t think I’ve heard of this one. I’m surprised at the “damns” even in an adult book considering she was a minister’s wife, but I don’t know what was considered offensive then. In the one I just finished, Rilla of Ingleside, a character apologizes profusely for saying “Darn.” Of course, Rilla is for children, I think.

    Some of LMM’s rapturous descriptions and and the eccentricity of some characters is a bit over the top and seems more so each time I read them (whether that’s due to my advancing age or increased familiarity with the books, I don’t know), but there is still enough else that I really like about her that I can forgive that. In fact, I think I might add that sentence to my own wrap-up post! 🙂

  6. I think if I had written one more lukewarm and slightly critical review Carrie would have given me the boot this year. I couldn’t help it. I think January is the wrong time of the year for me to read Montgomery. January finds me focused and task oriented whereas July finds me lazy and looking for a long meandering read. It’s still fun to participate. Even if I’m not a huge fan.

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