The Emily trilogy

Have any of you read the Emily books?

I have. And not just once–probably a dozen times through, starting at approximately age 9, and continuing to this very moment. At this exact minute, I have the last book (“Emily’s Quest”) on my desk, bookmarked with a receipt from Starbucks, with only about 100 pages left before I sadly have to close the doors on this magical world. Authored by L.M. Montgomery (most beloved for “Anne of Green Gables”), this trilogy is one of my lifelong companions. Know what I mean? Some books just walk through life with you.

Yes, they are a little sentimental. Maybe a lot. If you didn’t grow up with this writing, you might find it a little too saccarine. Even I wondered if I had grown out of them for the first dozen pages . . . and then quickly adapted again to the style. But its faults aside, if you have that girlishly romantic streak in you, you might just love them as much as I do, and be swept up in the torrent of the story. However much the plot may end up in satisfying places, there is also real heartbreak strewn throughout the story. Twists that make my heart clench even now, especially as I know the moments in question are approaching.

Emily, a native of Canada born some time in the early 20th century (or late 19th?), is orphaned at age 11, and taken to live with her relatives the Murrays, a clan of people known for their pride, traditions, and general hoity-toitiness. Tradition has it that in the days of Noah, there was a special ark just for the Murrays.

Emily moves to a a farm called New Moon to live with her two spinster aunts and “simple” cousin Jimmy. New Moon is a place of tradition and beauty, a place where only candles are burned–gas lamps being too modern–, where the parlor is meant for company, and where Emily must wear buttoned boots instead of running barefoot. Emily, with (of course) pale skin, thick black hair and violet-grey eyes, is a dreamy and imaginative girl who is always caught up in one flight of fancy or another. She’s an aspiring poetess, a loyal friend, and, having one foot in fairyland, not always as well-mannered and proper as her stiff-spined family might desire. The trilogy begins when she’s 11 and ends when she’s 24, covering all those important years of growth, maturity, awakening, and the beginnings of romantic love. Through narration (with just enough omnipresence of the author) and Emily’s journal entries, we watch Emily evolve and grow from a girl to a woman, pursuing her unconventional dream of making a living for herself through her pen, gaining her independence, and (of couse) finding love.

While L.M. Montgomery’s trademarks are all over the books (an orphan, a stiff and proper older woman whose love this orphan earns over time, a woman who aspires to support herself and be independent, etc.), Emily is a very different character than Anne of Green Gables, and most definitely has her own voice. In another life, she and I are fast friends, and never doubt it.

Your library is bound to have these books, so look them up and check them out! And then you will sink into this lovely world where the sea is moaning, the fires are rustling, the cats are prowling, and the wind is moving in the evergreens.

16 thoughts on “The Emily trilogy

  1. Jen Beach

    I love L.M. Montgomery! Her stories are what I put in the “comfort” genre. I’ll have to see if the SF libraries carry the Emily books.

    Reply
    1. Twinky

      Yes… if there is the edible genre of “comfort food”, L.M.Montgomery definitely serves up “comfort reading” for the female soul…

      Reply
  2. Erica

    I love these books. LOVE love love them. I think they have a little more of a dark side than the cheerful Anne books, which, like you say, lends a reality to them that draws you right on in. They are such good reading for your girls, as opposed to all the ridiculous “teen” fiction out nowadays! Yes. I am secretly 85.

    Reply
    1. Jenna Post author

      Dear 85-year-old,
      Yeah, they’re totally a little darker (in such a good way) than the Anne books. I love ’em and will always love ’em.

      Reply
  3. Suzie

    I’ve read the Anne of Green Gables books but, did not know about this trilogy. I really like the author’s style of writing so I will be sure to check these out at the library :)

    Reply
  4. Twinky

    I think I need some comfort reading…. could you bring them with you when you come to Wisconsin after Christmas?????? Please?? Pretty Please??? =)

    Reply
    1. Jenna Post author

      Yes! I’ll do my best to try to remember to pack them tonight after our Bible study party (we leave tomorrow for LaPorte and won’t be home again until Friday the 30th).

      Reply
  5. Veronica Miller

    I love Anne of Green Gables (I so need to read the rest of the series) so I immediately went to see if my library had these on audio. Well, they have the first one so I’ll have to use my eyes for the second two. :) I also found that there was a television show made after this series (Called Emily of New Moon but is based on all three books according to the write-up below the DVD set)! My library only has the first season so I don’t know if it made it any further.

    Reply
  6. kate

    Oh, I love the Emily books. I need to order them at some point soon. Did you know that most libraries do not carry them anymore? Tragic. Tsk tsk. -kate

    Reply

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