Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

Lucy Maud Montgomery: A Writer’s Life

Lucy Maud Montgomery: A Writer’s Life

Elizabeth MacLeod
Nonfiction  Series
For ages 8 to 12
Kids Can Press, 2001   ISBN: 978-1550744897

For many of us Anne of Green Gables is as real as the people who live next door. With her bright red hair, her irrepressible imagination, and her often funny sense of the romantic, Anne is a treasure. Her creator, Lucy Maud Montgomery (who liked to be called Maud) was often just as courageous and as bright a spark as Anne was. Hers was not an easy life. She was brought up by loving but very strict grandparents who did not believe in letting young girls have much freedom, or much fun.

From a very early age the often alone Maud wrote. Often she scribbled poetry, and sometimes there were short stories. She was always sure that someday she would be a real writer and that was what she worked towards. She had to travel down a hard road to get to her goal, and often she had to teach in schools to save enough money to continue her education. Then she took on a job in a newspaper which gave her very little time to do her own writing. Nevertheless she soldiered on, finding time to write here and there and developing the talent for writing in her head while she was doing other things with her hands.

Maud was quite successful with her short stories and other pieces of writing when she got the idea of writing a book about an orphan girl who finally finds the home she is looking for. The manuscript was rejected many times before a publisher finally accepted it. When it began to appear in the bookshops it soon became clear that "Anne of Green Gables" was going to be a big success.

Maud was swept up by the triumph of her first book and went on to write several other Anne books. In all she wrote twenty four books, two of which was for adults. Hers is a story of success, of courage, of wonderful creativity, and great energy. She was a generous and big-hearted person, just like her much beloved Anne Shirley.

This is a book which will delight fans of L.M. Montgomery’s books. We are taken into her world, her life, and through quotes from her own private writings, we get a true sense of what she was like. Full of wonderful annotated photographs and packed with interesting details and facts, this is an excellent biography about an exceptional woman.