I feel like someone is going to revoke my membership in the L.M. Montgomery fan club any day now, after the ho hum review I wrote of Magic for Marigold and the downright snarky review I wrote of Kilmeny of the Orchard. The purpose of this post is to convince everyone, myself included, that I do indeed still love L.M. Montgomery.
First, a little anecdote from this week. Lulu has fallen in love with reading, a transformation that I am nearly speechless over. (Me! I have a child who loves to read! Oh, the joy!) Her latest bookish infatuation is the My America series, Hope’s Diary in particular. She read books one and two on Monday and Tuesday of this week (I think–I truly can’t keep up with what she’s reading now!), and on Tuesday afternoon she requested that we go to the library immediately, if not sooner, so she could check out book three. She proceeded to read aloud to me, her face positively glowing, her favorite bit in the book: a long lost older brother, who I presume ran off to join the army, returns home to a warm welcome by his family during a cold and snowy Philadelphia winter. Lulu plotted and planned all day to turn this story into a play when she and Louise went to visit Nana that night. (Play acting is something they do a lot at Nana’s. They are so blessed to have a Nana who enters joyfully into play with them.) She had even already assigned roles to everyone: she, of course, would be Hope; Nana always gets the male roles; and Louise was to be the baby sister, Faith. Faith, an infant, has no speaking parts. 🙂 The joy that both girls were already deriving from this bookish play–even before actually carrying it out–was just wonderful.
Watching Lulu fall in love with a story she read herself, to the point that she had to share it with me, reminds me so much of myself when I was a girl. I didn’t discover Anne of Green Gables until I was eleven or twelve years old, but I very clearly remember reading the entire series, and then being positively blindsided by Rilla of Ingleside. Awestruck. Heartbroken. Oh, the pathos! I promptly did two things after reading that part of the story. (If you’ve read it, you know which part I’m referring to. If you haven’t read it, you must.) First, I copied out in longhand several pages from my tiny little Bantam paperback, which translated to many pieces of noteobook paper, and sent them to at least one of my best friends back home in Alabama. (We had moved to Georgia for my dad’s job, and I enjoyed corresponding the old fashioned way with several of my friends back home.) Second, I held some of my school buddies captive one morning at the table in the cafeteria, where we had to await the bell signalling us to go to our first class, as I read aloud to them that part of the novel. I have no idea if they enjoyed it or merely tolerated it (although now, some twenty years later, I have a good idea), but I simply had to do it. It had to be shared. (Maybe this was an early precursor to my book blogging days! 😉 )
I have debated several times over whether or not to read Anne of Green Gables to my girls, and I can never bring myself to do it just yet. Part of it is because I discovered Anne when I was older myself, and it seemed to be just the perfect time. I want my girls to get maximum enjoyment from it. Also, I wonder if some books are best discovered solitarily? Knowing how much Lulu has enjoyed her own private forays into Hope’s world, I wonder if I should leave a few books unopened for her and Louise to discover for themselves. I wouldn’t knock the bloom off these particular roses for anything–even the joy of experiencing these stories with them.
I actually have other stories to tell about my LMM obsession, but I’ll save them for another time. Just in case what I’ve written above isn’t enough to get reinstate my LMM fan club membership, I want to share a little bit of the decor of the House of Hope. Way back before I had children, I collected teapots. What was at one time a sizeable collection has been de-cluttered down to a mere handful to make room for more books, toys, etc. One of the prizes of my collection, though, and one that I won’t be compelled to part with, is a teapot I purchased on our honeymoon trip to PEI. This piece just makes me happy. I hope when you look at it, you think of Anne.
And so ends the third annual L.M. Montgomery Reading Challenge hosted by Carrie at Reading to Know. I am so glad Carrie does this every year; without it, I doubt I’d ever make time to visit these old favorites of mine. To close out this post, I am linking up all the books I’ve read and reviewed for the challenge in the past two years. These reviews, plus the ones from this year (linked above) and my photo-heavy honeymoon post (also linked above) make up the bulk of what I’ve written about LMM here at Hope Is the Word.
Lord willing, I will be back at it again in January 2012! 🙂