January means a lot of things, but one of the best things it means to me is time to hunker down with a L.M. Montgomery on the nightstand or in the read-aloud basket (or both!). Carrie has been hosting this challenge since 2009 (!), and I have been with her since the beginning (!!). The moment I knew it was on again for 2018, I began making plans. This afternoon my girls and I had a bit of time after dinner, so we took up the thread of the Sarah Stanley and friends again in The Golden Road, the sequel to The Story Girl, which we read before our Year of Anne (it stretched into more than a year). We weren’t twenty pages in before we read this Christmas-time exchange:
The Story Girl also got a present from the Awkward Man–a little, shabby, worn volume with a great many marks on the leaves.
“Why, it isn’t new–it’s an old book!” exclaimed Felicity. “I didn’t think the Awkward Man was mean, whatever else he was.
“Oh, you don’t understand, Felicity,” said the Story Girl patiently. “And I don’t suppose I can make you understand. But I’ll try. I’d ten times rather have this than a new book. It’s one of his own, don’t you see–one that he has read a hundred times and loved and made a friend of. A new book, just out of a shop, wouldn’t be the same thing at all. It wouldn’t mean anything. I consider it a great compliment that he has given me this book. I’m prouder of it than of anything else I’ve got.” (16)
When I read this I was struck by how similar the Story Girl’s feelings are to mine. My girls and I have read a lot of books together. Hundreds of them. Read-aloud time has grown exceedingly precious, especially with these two. They’re growing up. If I only have a few more years to read aloud to them (and that’s the realization that is dawning on me), I want to spend most of those years with Old Friends.
I’ve written a lot about L.M. Montgomery’s books over the last decade. Here’s a master list with links of all of my L.M. Montgomery-related posts.
L.M. Montgomery’s Anne of Green Gables, adapted by M.C. Helldorfer review (also thoughts on what makes a good adaptation)
PEI Reminscences, a post in which I share pictures and memories of mine and Steady Eddie’s honeymoon on the Island*****My favorite post!
L.M. Montgomery Meanderings, a post in which I reminisce about how I became such a fan