Fans of L.M. Montgomery will rejoice over Melanie Fishbane’s novel, inspired by Maud’s life and her truly admirable inner strength and passion for the written word.
Maud:A Novel Inspired by the Life of L.M. Montgomery by Melanie J. Fishbane
I recommend pairing this novel based on the life of L.M. Montgomery with this lovely Protea Dry Rose. It’s sweet and light, just like the book is.
*All wine recommendations are strictly for those of legal drinking age only.*
The Nitty Gritty
- Title: Maud
- Author: Melanie J. Fishbane
- Publisher: Razorbill Canada
- Pub Date: April 25, 2015
For the first time ever, a young adult novel about the teen years of L.M. Montgomery, the author who brought us ANNE OF GREEN GABLES.
Fourteen-year-old Lucy Maud Montgomery — Maud to her friends — has a dream: to go to college and become a writer, just like her idol, Louisa May Alcott. 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.
But 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.
I received an eARC of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
I admit that I knew next to nothing about the life of L.M. Montgomery before diving into this story inspired by her life. The amount of research that Fishbane did in preparation for this book absolutely shines through the text. It’s clear that Fishbone is a true Maud fangirl, and her passion is contagious.
I loved Maud’s character in this book. While she had her weaknesses and vulnerabilities, she also had this immense source of inner strength that was quite frankly inspirational. Despite having had experienced tragedy and being treated as an outcast most of her life, Maud remained true to her self and to her passion for writing.
The cast of characters around Maud weren’t nearly as dynamic for me. While they certainly had their fair share of subplots going on, their personalities fell a little flat for me and felt a bit archetypal.
I feel like this book stayed very true to the pacing of a story that would have been written during the time period this book is set in. However, that pacing for me as a modern reader felt really slow. I did struggle a bit to remain connected with the story as I was reading. That said, I think there is a very specific readership that will adore that pacing and authentic feeling.
I’m so glad I got the opportunity to read this book, because it truly was a pleasure learning more about L.M. Montgomery. If you are a fan of Anne of Green Gables, you definitely won’t want to miss this!
I do feel like this cover was a good fit for the book. It’s old-fashioned and goes well with the time period of this story. It is also classic and understated in a way that suits Maud’s character. There just isn’t really anything about it that makes it pop. If I saw this one on the shelves at a bookstore, I don’t think it would grab my attention.
There is a sweet romance in this book, but this story is much more focused on Maud and her independence and choice to pursue her writing over romance, something that was very unique during that time period.
From the Author’s Website:
MELANIE J. FISHBANE holds an M.F.A. in Writing for Children and Young Adults from the Vermont College of Fine Arts and an M.A. in History from Concordia University. With over seventeen years’ experience in children’s publishing, she lectures internationally on children’s literature and L.M. Montgomery, who she has been obsessed with since she first read Anne of Green Gables in Grade Six. A freelance writer and social media consultant, Melanie teaches English at Humber College. Melanie also loves writing essays and her first one, “My Pen Shall Heal, Not Hurt”: Writing as Therapy in L.M. Montgomery’s Rilla of Ingleside and The Blythes Are Quoted,” is included in L.M. Montgomery’s Rainbow Valleys: The Ontario Years 1911-1942. Melanie lives in Toronto with her partner and their very entertaining cat, Merlin. MAUD is her first novel. You can follow Melanie on Twitter @MelanieFishbane and like her on Facebook.
Have you read an ARC of Maud yet? If so, what did you think of it? Are you a fan of L.M. Montgomery and Anne of Green Gables?