Category Archives: Biographies

House of Dreams: The Life of L. M. Montgomery –  Liz Rosenberg. Illustrated by Julie Morstad

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Maud

Walker Books Australia

ISBN: 9780763660574
Imprint: Candlewick
Release Date: August 1, 2018
Australian RRP: $19.99
New Zealand RRP: $22.99

This year marks the 110th anniversary of the publication of Anne of Green Gables and what more fitting way to celebrate the author who brought so many thousands of readers such a memorable cast of characters than a brand new biography.

While others have been written about this remarkable resilient woman this is the first specifically aimed at younger readers. The story of Maud’s life from small girl growing up with strict grandparents, after her mother’s death and virtual abandonment by her father traces her development as an often solitary child who retreated into her writing and books for comfort.  Prince Edward Island a quiet little piece of paradise in Maud’s youth was always her lodestar of inspiration and though she left it in later life she would always return there to refresh her spirit.

Her life, often far from happy, resounds throughout her many books and we can recognise the lonely girl, and then young woman, repeatedly stymied by circumstances beyond her control. A marriage later in life than most of her generation brought her some degree of fulfilment but was also fraught due to her husband’s mental health issues and later her eldest son’s despicable and often illegal actions.  Throughout every tumultuous interlude Maud never gave up her dream of writing – not only with a view to success but because of the compulsion to do so. Her determination saw her become Canada’s most successful and wealthiest writer, one who left a legacy around the world for generations and to this day is still revered by readers of all ages.

If like me and those many thousands of others, have read and re-read Maud’s wondrous stories, you will enjoy knowing more about the woman behind the books. The delightful line illustrations denoting each new chapter bring a stylish suggestion of the period to the work.

Highly recommended to readers of around 13 upwards.

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