Title: Maud: A Novel Inspired by the Life of L.M. Montgomery
Author: Melanie J. Fishbane
Blurb (taken from Goodreads):
Fourteen-year-old Lucy Maud Montgomery—Maud to her friends—has a dream: to go to college and, just like her idol, Louisa May Alcott, become a writer. But living with her grandparents on Prince Edward Island, she worries that this dream will never come true. Her grandfather has strong opinions about a woman’s place in the world, and they do not include spending good money on college. Luckily, she has a teacher to believe in her, and good friends to support her, including Nate, the Baptist minister’s stepson and the smartest boy in the class. If only he weren’t a Baptist; her Presbyterian grandparents would never approve. Then again, Maud isn’t sure she wants to settle down with a boy—her dreams of being a writer are much more important.
Life changes for Maud when she goes out West to live with her father and his new wife and daughter. Her new home offers her another chance at love, as well as attending school, but tensions increase as Maud discovers her stepmother’s plans for her, which threaten Maud’s future—and her happiness—forever.
My childhood was punctuated by entire evenings spent watching shows like Little House on the Prairie, Séraphin: Heart of Stone, Les filles de Caleb, etc. etc. You see the type. This shaped me to love fiction set in the prairies or in an older Canada, which pushed me to take a Canadian Fiction class in university, where I finally ‘met’ Lucy Maud Montgomery’s Anne of Green Gables. I fell in love, as so many others did, with the little redhead.
So to me, this book was a taste of home. It was as comforting as a pool on a hot day and a mug of warm tea during a winter storm. Not only was it super interesting to read, but it was effortless – the writing itself was excellent and engaging, and there was never a dull moment.
The best of it was obviously Maud herself. What an amazing characterization of the young teenage girl struggling through the various roles and lives people are trying to impose on her. Her courage just leaks through the pages. I think that if Lucy Maud Montgomery was alive today, she would be absolutely thrilled at how Melanie J. Fishbane has portrayed her.
I would definitely recommend this book to any young woman looking for a good Canadian fiction YA novel — I really have nothing negative to say about this novel, to be perfectly honest. Also, it’s an absolutely beautiful book cover, and it will make a lovely addition to any bookshelf.
I’d like to thank Penguin Random House Canada for the free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.