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Maud: A Novel Inspired by the Life of L.M. Montgomery Hardcover – April 25, 2017
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A Huffington Post Canada Selection: "Great Books for Kids in Summer 2017"
"Fishbane's affection for her subject shines through, making the character of Maud herself come alive for readers. An engaging depiction of an ambitious young woman . . . Maud is highly recommended for teen and adult readers." --National Reading Campaign
"[T]here's nothing dated about the relentless lack of understanding and warmth [Maud] experienced in her family life, something Fishbane conveys with aplomb." --The Toronto Star
"An engaging addition that will appeal to more than just fans of L.M. Montgomery." --School Library Journal
"... Maud will serve as a gateway to the world of Montgomery, which, even after more than a century, is in no danger of being exhausted." --Quill & Quire
"Fishbane places her readers in the historical and geographical environs of the teenage Montgomery and enhances their understanding of one of Canada’s most beloved authors." --CM Magazine
"Fishbane's historical research is thorough and comes out beautifully in the narrative. . . . [T]he spirit of Montgomery's writing breathes subtly within the pages." --Historical Novel Society
About the Author
MELANIE J. FISHBANE holds an M.F.A. in Writing for Children and Young Adults from the Vermont College of Fine Arts and an M.A. in History from Concordia University. With over seventeen years' experience in children's publishing, she lectures internationally on children's literature and L.M. Montgomery, whom she has been obsessed with since she first read Anne of Green Gables in Grade Six. Melanie teaches English at Humber College in Toronto, Ontario and is one of the contributor in the essay collection, L.M. Montgomery's Rainbow Valleys: The Ontario Years 1911-1942. Melanie lives in Toronto with her partner and their cat, Merlin. Maud is her first novel. You can follow Melanie on Twitter @MelanieFishbane and like her on Facebook.
Top customer reviews
Author: Melanie J. Fishbane
Rating: 4 Out of 5 Stars
I would like to thank Netgalley and the publisher Penguin Random House Canada and Razorbill Canada for providing me with this galley in exchange for a honest review.
I grew up with Anne of Green Gables. The world of L.M Montgomery was very engaging and real. Her world even drew in the boys in elementary school. It was really the first example of classic literature that was exposed to. So, whenever word got out that someone had written a book about a young L.M Montgomery, I knew I was going to have to read it.
I came in with high expectations for Maud. I was expecting Maud's world to just come off the page and to be every bit as well written and developed as Anne of Green Gables. It was kind of high expectations for Melanie to live up to. However, I did feel justified in these expectations. If you are going to try to recreate an author, then you had better do a very good job with it. Now, Melanie did. Her writing was very simple and readable, which is good. L.M Montgomery's books are not really written for any age level and I really do feel like Maud could reach out to so many different groups of people. Really, I think Maud would be a great addition to anyone who is either studying L.M. Montgomery's life or/and Anne of Green Gables. The connections between this book and Anne of Green Gables will be picked up by anyone who is familiar with Anne's story.
Maud is a very likable character and we can see a bit of Anne in her. She enjoys school, wants to be a writer, and really doesn't fit in anywhere. She wants to belong and is always looking for that one place where she can simply be herself. Like Anne, both of her parents really aren't in the picture. Like Anne, she also considered a bit of an outcast in her small town. Now, I do not know how much of this story is actually true, but I just love how Maud managed to put so much of her life into her books. It truly is writing about what you know at its finest.
The side characters were also enjoyable. I felt like there was not a character that did not go to waste. Even the smallest of characters were well done and developed. They were all given their own certain light. With such a large cast of characters, this is probably difficult to do, but I felt that Melanie did a wonderful job.
Now, the rest of you have to wait until May 2017 to read this. However, if you want to get a head start on the others, this book is still on Netgalley. Head on over and see if you can't get your own ARC. This truly is a must read for any Anne of Green Gables fan!
Taking cues from Loving Frank and The Paris Wife, Melanie Fishbane researched Montgomery's life and developed this fictionalized account. While I have long loved the work of Lucy Maud, I didn't know much about her childhood before reading this.
There are obvious comparisons between Maud's life and that of her beloved characters Anne Shirley and Emily Starr. While I've heard Emily is a closer read on Montgomery's life, Maud reminded me much more of Anne. At the same time, the novel paints a stark picture of what happened to one Lucy Maud Montgomery.
After the death of her mother, Maud grows up being passed around between family members. No one wants her for long, whether due to financial hardship or an inability to tame her tongue. Maud makes the best of her circumstances, longing for her father to send for her but when he finally does, the results only serve to break her heart anew. I was deeply sad she did not have her own Marilla and Matthew to give her the home she longed for.
At the same time, Maud is blessed to have wonderful bosom friends and a cadre of suitors. In fact, I found myself a little jealous over how many young men vied for her hand, especially since she wasn't all that interested in picking one. But I also admired her dedication to her dream of becoming a writer above all else and it was interesting to see the teachers who encouraged her and her beginning attempts toward making it.
My heart went out to Montgomery and based on where the book ends, I'm hopeful Fishbane will write a follow up. I want to see how Montgomery's foray into adulthood treats her. Although based on the reading I did after finished this, I'm not all that hopeful about her happily ever after. Perhaps this is why she wrote Anne and Emily, to give her characters her idealized life.
Disclosure: I was provided an ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Most recent customer reviews
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