More Emily!

Emily Climbs sees our friends and relations from New Moon relegated to the background as Emily goes off to high school in Shrewsbury, boarding with her prim, judgmental Aunt Ruth, forming new friendships and setting out on her 'Alpine path' -- her writing career. The book ends with a potentially life-changing offer from a fairy godmother figure; but can Emily tear herself from her beloved New Moon?

Spoiler: she doesn't! Emily's Quest is in many ways the saddest of the trilogy. Where Emily of New Moon is fresh and sweet, and Emily Climbs is hopeful, Emily's Quest is a book of disillusionment, misunderstandings and disappointment. This final novel sees the tangle of relationships between Emily, Teddy, Ilse and Perry (and the creepy Dean!) which was set up in the first book, play out in full. There are moments of joy, where Emily has her first book published, and she has plenty of offers of marriage, but of course we know that no one will do for our Emily but Teddy... But Teddy is going to marry Ilse! How are they going to get out of this one?

I think I prefer the first two books, before Emily gets sad and lonely, even though it all works out in the end. In some ways the last book feels rather perfunctory, as if Montgomery had decided well in advance how the story was going to end but almost lost interest before she came to actually write it (dear readers: this can happen.) There is quite a bit of Tell-Not-Show and the quirky character studies and amusing anecdotes are less prominent, and as I get older I find that these are the parts of Montgomery's writing that I enjoy the most. It's still a lovely trilogy though!

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