I don’t usually read or review children’s fiction, but Naomi at Consumed by Ink recently announced a Jane of Lantern Hill read-along, and I am happy to publicize it. I must have been bored, or just unable to sleep when I read her post as I found JoLH on Project Gutenberg and read it overnight.
Melanie would ask, Did I like it? It was ok. I don’t mind YA but this was younger again. Still, the story made sense and held together well with the right number of ups and downs (and a soppy ending).
LM Mongomery is famous of course for the Anne of Green Gables books set on Prince Edward Island in the Gulf of St Lawrence, Canada (map), just north of Nova Scotia. Not having sisters I never read Anne of Green Gables as a kid but listened to it as an audiobook a few years ago when Melanie was having a big LM Montgomery splurge.
I’ll link you to the eighth and final AoGG review on Grab the Lapels, which has links to all the others, and to Melanie’s (scathing) review of Montgomery’s autobiography/puff piece, The Alpine Path. Melanie’s take on the pressures leading Montgomery to write books she didn’t particularly like is worth reading.
Lucy Maud Montgomery (1874-1942) had published the eight Anne of Green Gables books between 1908 and 1921. Wiki says she wrote 50 novels in all, plus short stories and poetry. Jane of Lantern Hill (1937) appears to be her last novel (bar a ninth AoGG, The Blythes are Quoted, published in 2009).
So what can I say about Jane. She’s 11 and lives with her mother in her grandmother’s posh house in a once grand street in Toronto
[Grandmother] had come there as the bride of Robert Kennedy when Gay Street was the last word in streets and 60 Gay, built by Robert’s father, one of the finest “mansions” in Toronto. It had never ceased to be so in her eyes. She had lived there for forty-five years and she would live there the rest of her life. Those who did not like it need not stay there. This, with a satirically amused glance at Jane, who had never said she didn’t like Gay Street. But grandmother, as Jane had long ago discovered, had an uncanny knack of reading your mind.
Jane’s beautiful mother, seemingly, lives the high life, out to dinners and parties every night, though it soon turns out that she, like Jane, is unhappy under Grandmother’s iron fist in a velvet glove rule. Jane is driven to school each day in an enormous Cadillac, but has no particular friends there.
Her dearest friend is the orphan Jody, also 11, who works as a maid at the faded mansion next door, now a boarding house.
Various circumstances lead to Jane spending her summer holidays on Prince Edward Island, in a house on a little farm at Lantern Hill. There’s a duplicitous though seemingly nice aunt in the picture, lots of island children who think Jane is the bees knees. And of course, happy endings for Jane, Jody and Mother.
I will be interested to see what memories this brings back for Naomi and her friends who read it as children.
As for Journal stuff, I’ve had two or three weeks without work since my last report. The mid-west is still wet, too wet for me to get in with a second load, and today (Thursday as I write) there is a cyclone coming in over the coast to the north which will probably make the mid-west wetter still but hopefully will not prevent me doing the wide load to Onslow I have booked for the weekend.
I’ve read through Naomi’s post a number of times and I’m blowed if I can work out when the read-along is to take place but maybe she’ll see this post and let us know.
LM Montgomery, Jane of Lantern Hill, first pub. 1937