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THE SELECTED JOURNALS OF L.M. MONTGOMERY, VOLUME III: 1921-1929

Edited by Mary Rubio and Elizabeth Waterston
Don Mills (Ont.), Oxford University Press, 1992. 434pp, cloth, $29.95, ISBN 0-19-540936-1.CIP


Grades 7 and up/Ages 12 and up

Reviewed by Gerri Young

Volume 21 Number 2
1993 March


Fifty years after the death of Lucy Maud Montgomery, the third volume of her journals has appeared, and what a wonderful gift she has left us. Montgomery was an extremely intelligent, complex, sensitive, influential woman with the powerful gift of being able to report on her society as well as her own problems and happiness.

In 1921, Lucy Maud Montgomery was forty-seven years old, had written twelve popular books, was the mother of two young boys, and the wife of a sadly depressed husband. He was a Presbyterian minister who took her away from her beloved Prince Edward Island and was not a congenial companion to her at all. He suffered from a religious melancholia and, coupled with that, was intensely envious of his wife's publishing and social success. She had lost her most beloved friend, Frede, who died in January 1919, and Maud never truly stopped grieving for her and aching for a "kindred spirit." She wrote in her journal almost every day; it was her release, her friend, her salvation.

Volume III of her journals touches every part of her life: her thoughts on her books (she wrote Emily Climbs, The Blue Castle, Emily's Quest and Magic for Marigold during this time), other writers and the books she was reading, women's rights, modern fashion and home decoration, the turbulent beginnings of the United Church, her husband's mental illness, her sons and their education, her legal battles with publishers, her public speaking engagements, her many fans, and her own hopes and fears. Her love and enjoyment of the natural world is an ever-present part of her life and is vividly described in these journals.

Lucy Maud Montgomery has been one of my favourite authors for a long time, but after reading this book, I find her strong, loyal, sensitive character shines through all her trials, and she is a true heroine to me. The editors, Mary Rubio and Elizabeth Waterston, are to be commended for presenting to the public this excellent book. It is pleasurable and inspiring to read. I recommend this sensitive and perceptive collection as a valuable addition to any home, school or public library.


Gerri Young works in the library at R.L. Angus Elementary School in Fort Nelson, British Columbia
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