Comfort Re-Read: Emily of New Moon

I grew up with Anne of Green Gables, but I didn't find Emily until quite recently (thanks to dear Suzanne from book group, who shares my tastes!). I've been in the mood for something non-threatening and sweet, and Emily fits the bill perfectly.

There are certainly parallels with Anne's story -- eccentric, gifted orphan girl lands in a household where she is not at first entirely welcome, wins over her guardians, makes friends and communes with nature as life's lessons help her to mature -- but Emily is quieter than Anne. Instead of a fiery temper and impulses that land her in scrapes, Emily has a steely determination and a gift for poetry (surely at least in part a self-portrait of the author?)

There were a couple of aspects of the story that made me cringe slightly. There is a frankly creepy friendship with a thirty-five year old man (Emily is twelve) who comes across like a grooming paedophile (he says, rather ominously, that he'll 'wait for her' -- yuk!) and the story of Emily's friend Ilse, completely neglected, even disliked, by her father, because he's under the impression that her mother betrayed him, just makes my blood boil! The morality of the day has not aged well. It was chastening, too, to read about children dying of measles. This is why we have vaccination, people!

But on the whole, this was a quick, delightful re-read.

No comments:

Post a Comment