The Books: “Pat of Silver Bush” (L.M. Montgomery)

Daily Book Excerpt: YA/Children’s books:

Pat-of-Silver-Bush.JPGThree more Lucy Maud novels to go and then we will be done!! I have been saving the dad-blasted “Pat” books – mainly because the two “Pat” books stink up the field (to quote my sister’s soccer coach from when she was little. “You stink up the field!”) Pat of Silver Bush. It’s truly bizarre to read them because they are both so bad. Lucy Maud didn’t write bad books. I mean, she wrote so many of them – and with the exception of Kilmeny – they’re all just GREAT. Kilmeny was one of her earlier books – it came out right after Anne of Green Gables [excerpt here] – but what’s interesting about the two Pat books [this one and Mistress Pat] is that they were written so late in her career. Like – how did this amazing author who had written so much that was awesome – come up with 2 such stinkers?

Having read her journals, I know that that last decade of her life was hell on earth for her. The fact that she was able to write anything at all is quite something. And she did write other books during that decade – not just the Pat books. But she really lost her way with these two – and I have speculated as to why. Lucy Maud – living as she did far from Prince Edward Island – with her high-maintenance insane husband … yearned, day and night, to go “home”. She never really got used to living away from the sea, and whenever she would go back to PEI for a visit, her writing in her journals about the island, and the sea, and the fields of her home, and all that …. are so lush and so nostalgic and so full of yearning that they are almost painful to read. It’s like – her real life, with her husband and her two kids, wasn’t really the right life. She never should have moved from PEI. (But then again, if she had lived on PEI, she might not have written so eloquently and memorably about that island. Being in “exile” does wonders to someone’s art. See Joyce.) But anyway, what I’m getting at here is that Lucy Maud Montgomery, a grown woman, a famous woman, lived in an almost constant state of agonizing homesickness. Like, it wasn’t pleasant nostalgia – it hurt her – almost physically to be separated from PEI.

Now – anyone who has suffered through the Pat books knows – that’s the whole theme of those books. Pat’s love of her stupid home, Silver Bush. But the thing that doesn’t work in the books is that: Pat LIVES at Silver Bush. She is not living out in, say, Manitoba, far from the red red roads of PEI. No. Pat is a little girl, LIVING at Silver Bush … and she is so attached to her home that she literally gets sick – yes, sick – if she has to spend a night away from it. Or … if a tree falls in a storm … she grieves so much that she has to take to her bed. And this isn’t just a childish attachment – the books start when Pat is 6 and ends when she’s in her 20s – and this bullshit “Oh, how I love Silver Bush” thing never stops. And they’re long books, too. Like – how many times do we, the reader, have to be told how intensely Pat loves her home? By the third chapter, I’m like, “Jesus. I get it. Okay? I get it. She loves her home.” But it doesn’t work for some reason.

I’d be eager to hear from other Lucy Maud fans what they think of this book. Does it work for you? Why? And if it doesn’t work for you – why do you think?? Like – what is missing here, in your opinion? Where did Lucy Maud go wrong?

I believe that Lucy Maud was creating an outlet for her own homesickness … which, of course, is a completely valid thing … but she didn’t do it in a way that makes a compelling book. She is somehow trying to make ME, the reader, love Silver Bush as much as Pat does. But the opposite occurs. Her narration keeps going back to the “how much Pat loves Silver Bush” thing that it actually starts seeming like a neuroses than anything else. I start to think that Pat could benefit from psychotropic drugs. Something is wrong with Pat. Like – why is she so homesick for her house when she lives there??? GET OVER IT, PAT. Get a LIFE, Pat. Lucy Maud also – unlike her other heroines – doesn’t give us anything else about Pat to latch onto. It’s not like Emily, or Anne, or Valancy … characters who are three-dimensional, who have all KINDS of responses to things, who are complex people, and yet logical – by that I mean, Lucy Maud has made these people seem so real that their responses to things – in all different kinds of situations – seem life-like. These are not cardboard cutouts. These are not people with One Theme Only, One Theme Only, come on, sweet baby, come on … Pat has ONE THEME. “I love my home.” And you expect me to give a crap about that for 600 pages? No. I’m glad you love your home, Pat, I hope you’re happy, but honestly – I think your attachment to your house (and, by extension, to things never changing) is actually neurotic – and I think you should, oh, go away to college. Go travel in Europe for a couple of months. Do SOMEthing that doesn’t have to do with your stupid house. Lucy Maud makes a fetish of the house. It is described in such detail that I could probably draw a floor plan, and list every single pillow in every window seat, every dish in the cupboards …. Now, details are fine … I mean, Lucy Maud described Green Gables in detail. Who of us can’t remember that spare room? Or at New Moon, too? Each room has its own vibe, its own character … but for some reason in those books it works, because – although the house is very important – it is, in the end, just background. In Pat of Silver Bush and Mistress Pat – the house is the thing. The house comes to life more than PAT does. And why should I care about a house? I don’t. Or I might – but not just because Lucy Maud TELLS me to. I love Green Gables because it feels like a vibrant other character in those books – and I love it because Anne loves it. It is background to other things.

But it’s just interesting to me because Lucy Maud wrote so much and as far as I’m concerned she rarely faltered. Here she does. Her own powers of creativity failed her (the journals mention it briefly – how hard she found it to write these two books) – you can really feel it in Mistress Pat – where she completely runs out of steam maybe 150 pages before the book finally ends. The chapters get shorter and shorter and shorter as the book goes on … Lucy Maud just has nothing else to give by the end of that book.

And because I know the background – the horror of grief and anxiety that she lived in, day after day after day … the books end do end up seeming like a small triumph. Perhaps not of art – but of the WILL. (heh heh triumph of the will) No but I mean: she didn’t WANT to write a book at that point. She wanted to crawl into bed and sleep for 5 months. Oblivion. But since she couldn’t do that … she forced herself to sit at her desk every day, with her madman husband down the hall, causing all kinds of problems, and black clouds of war gathering over Europe again – much to her horror – her ongoing horror … and she ploddingly, determinedly, kept at it – and kept writing – until these two books were done. These were the books she had in her in those moments. And so she wrote them. And worked on them, and sweated over them … she knew something was off. She knew that it wasn’t a good sign that the books were so hard for her to write. But she just kept going.

I find that so admirable.

But still. The books stink up the field. It’s okay. Lucy Maud wrote so many books that will be read by generations to come …. it’s okay that a couple of them, only a couple, are stinkers.

So. The excerpt. Pat has made a friend – Bets Wilcox. Oh, and here’s another thing that is bad about these books. Everything is foreshadowed WAY too clearly. In her other books, when you get those moments of the future – it can be either chilling, or exciting … but here? You know from the first what will happen … Like stupid Jingle, Pat’s “boy”friend. You know that the childhood friends will grow up and Jingle will be a Gilbert-esque suitor, and Pat – with her neurotic horror of change – will not see Jingle “in that way”. It’s all basically set up from their first meeting – and Judy Plum, the gabby Irish servant, with her keen eyes – sees everything. But I think she sees too much because it leaves nothing to the reader. So Bets. Pat’s dear friend. Who is barely developed as a character – we just hear what she looks like, and we know – basically because Judy Plum makes a cryptic comment – that Bets is not long for this world. And oh no, boo hoo, Pat will lose her best friend. The book is full of “foreshadowing” like this – but it’s too obvious – so Lucy Maud doesn’t develop things – it feels more like events march to some inevitable conclusion. VERY un-Lucy-Maud-like. She really lost her way here.

Okay – so Pat – who is 11 or 12 here – has a sleepover at Bets’ house right across the way. But oh no! How on earth will neurotic dipshit Pat handle sleeping away from her beloved house for one night?? Because, as we have been told on every damn page, Pat loves her house with a passion. We, the reader, are supposed to sympathize with Pat. But no. THIS reader thinks, “It’s about time to start to cut the ol’ apron strings, Pat – because you’re starting to sound like One-Note Johnny and that is very neurotic. Get a life, hon. Things DO change in the world. And you better start to get used to it.” So Pat and Bets have their sleepover and the world, unbelievably, DOESN’T end … so Pat starts to go spend the night there even more, now that she knows that her house will not cease to exist just because she is not there.

See? Neurotic.

Oh, and one other bad thing about these books: Lucy Maud relies too much on montage to get us from event to event. It’s the Lucy Maud equivalent of Rocky IV. Way too many chapters have sections that read like: “So summer turned to fall. The leaves began to turn, the air began to get chilly, the maple leaves fell …” etc etc etc etc. Long chapters with two-page montage sequences at the beginning – basically skipping over huge chunks of time. Lucy Maud couldn’t get us from A to B without a montage in these books – and again, that is so unlike her. I mean, she would use such a device in other books too – but it never felt so … imposed in the other books. Here you can tell she’s running out of steam.

Lastly – in the excerpt below – when we hear about Pat’s milestone – her “soul’s awakening” – I just don’t feel like Lucy Maud’s heart is in it. Compare it to the moment when Emily lies awake all night in the haystack – staring up at the stars – and has a truly spiritual experience, a soul’s expansion that will last her the rest of her life. THAT is what Lucy Maud is trying to do here – only in Pat of Silver Bush’s world – not Emily’s … and it just doesn’t … quite … work …


Excerpt from Pat of Silver Bush by Lucy Maud Montgomery

Pat went up to the Long House over a silver road of new-fallen snow. Every time she turned to look down on home the world was a little whiter. Bets, who had not been in school that day, was waiting for her under the pine. Just above them the Long House, amid its fir trees, was like a little dark island in a sea of snow.

There was something about the long, low-eaved house with the dormer windows in its roof, that pleased Pat. And Bets’ room was a delightful one with two dormers along the side and one at each end. It was very grand, Pat told Judy, with a real “set of furniture” and a long mirror in which the delighted girls could see themselves from top to toe. The west window was covered with vines, leafless now but a green dappled curtain in summer, and the east looked right out into a big apple tree. Pat and Bets sat by the little stove and ate apples until any one might have expected them to burst. Then they crept into bed and cuddled down for one of those talks dear to the hearts of small school-girls from time immemorial.

“It’s so much easier to be confidential in the dark,” Pat had told Judy. “I can tell Bets everything then.”

“Oh, oh, I wudn’t tell iverything to innybody,” warned Judy. “Not iverything, me jewel.”

“Not to anybody but Bets,” agreed Pat. “Bets is different.”

“Too different,” Judy sighed. But she did not let Pat hear it.

To lie there, with the soft swish of the fir trees sounding just outside, and talk “secrets” with Bets … lovely secrets, not like May Binnie’s … was delightful. Bets had recently been to some wedding in the Wilcox clan and Pat had to hear all about it … the mysterious pearl-white bride, the bridesmaids’ lovely dresses, the flowers, the feast.

“Do you suppose we will ever get married?” whispered Bets.

I won’t,” said Pat. “I couldn’t ever go away from Silver Bush.”

“But you wouldn’t like to be an old maid, would you?” said Bets. “Besides, you could get him to come and live with you at Silver Bush, couldn’t you?”

This was a new idea for Pat. It seemed quite attractive. Somehow, when you were with Bets, everything seemed possible. Perhaps that was another part of her charm.

“We were born on the same day,” went on Bets, “so if we’re ever married we must try to be married the same day.”

“And die the same day. Oh, wouldn’t it be romantic?” breathed Pat in ecstasy.

Pat woke in the night with just a little pang of homesickness. Was Silver Bush all right? She slipped out of her bed and stole across to the nearest dormer window. She breathed on its frosty stars until she had made clear a space to peer t hrough … then caught her breath with delight. The snow had ceased and a big moon was shining down on the cold, snowy hills. The powdered fir trees seemed to be covered with flowers spun from moonshine, the apple trees seemed picked out in silver filigree. The open space of the lawn was sparkling with enormous diamonds. How beautiful Silver Bush looked when you gazed down on it on a moonlit winter night! Was darling Cuddles covered up warm? She did kick the clothes off so. Was mother’s headache better? Away over beyond Silver Bush was the poor, lean, ugly Gordon house which nobody had ever loved. Jingle would be sleeping in his kitchen loft now. All summer he had slept in the haw-mow with McGinty. Poor Jingle, whose mother never wrote to him! How could a mother be like that? Pat almost hated to go back to sleep again and lose so much beauty. It had always seemed a shame to sleep through a moonlit night. Somehow those far hills looked so different in moonlight. A verse she and Bets had learned “off by heart”, in school that day came to her mind:

Come, for the night is cold,
And the frosty moonlight fills
Hollow and rift and fold
Of the eerie Ardise hills.

She repeated it to herself with a strange, deep exquisite thrill of delight, such as she had never felt before … something that went deeper than body or brain and touched some inner sanctum of being of which the child had never been conscious. Perhaps that moment was for Patricia Gardiner the “soul’s awakening” of the old picture. All her life she was to look back to it as a sort of milestone … that brief, silvery vigil at the dormer window of the Long House.

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22 Responses to The Books: “Pat of Silver Bush” (L.M. Montgomery)

  1. Jayne says:

    I actually said “ugh” to myself when I saw the name “Pat.”

    You already know how I feel about annoying ol’ Pat and Silver Bush.

    But – I didn’t know what was going on with Lucy Maud when she wrote it – and even thought it doesn’t make me like Pat any better – I can appreciate it…sort of…knowing the background.

    But still. Pat. Ugh. I just want to smack her upside the head.

  2. red says:

    hahahaha I know. She’s so annoying, right? Like – what are her qualities? what is her character? Damned if I know.

    For example – the section in the excerpt where she breathes “wouldn’t it be romantic” about dying on the same day …

    That just doesn’t strike me as “in character”. That’s more of an ANNE moment than a Pat moment – who has no imagination, and is so terrified of change that the future looms before her, full of dread. Like – she goes into mourning when her sister goes away to school. She grieves when her aunt gets married. Like – Pat is a person who has PROBLEMS. It’s not cute or endearing – like Anne’s problems, with not being able to distinguish reality from fantasy. It’s an ANNOYING problem. So the “wouldn’t it be romantic” moment just doesn’t seem right. Pat would never say something like that, as far as I’m concerned. She’s too house-bound, too earth-bound.

  3. RTG says:

    It’s very wrong for your sister’s soccer coach to tell her she stinks up the field. Funny as heck, but wrong.

  4. ilyka says:

    Good gravy. What schoolgirl gets up in the middle of the night to check on her damn house?

    I haven’t read these–didn’t even know they existed–but from what you’ve said, and from what I’ve read here in the excerpt, it sounds like Lucy Maud does too much telling, not enough showing in these books. Like, she tells you this (idiotic) moment in Pat’s life is a “milestone,” whereas in the Anne books, at least, she might also tell you, but more importantly she’d SHOW you. She’d have the character flash back to it, or write a letter to another character about it, or something besides just flatly announcing, “All her life she was to look back to it as a sort of milestone.”

    Oh, was she, Lucy Maud? Was she really? Why did you give her such a crappy milestone moment, anyway?

  5. melissa says:

    You know, I haven’t read these either…and I’m not going to.

  6. red says:

    ilyka – hahahahahaha I love how you put idiotic in parentheses. Exactly! You have hit the nail on the head. She tells, she does not show. It is so out of character for her as a writer – it’s quite odd to read. And Pat just seems pathetic to me. Like – yay for you, you love your house. Get over it.

  7. Virgrin says:

    Pat makes me see red *stabs Pat*. It always seemed to me that it was kinda… ridiculous and unbelievable that she was all the damn time *obsessed* with Silver Bush.
    Jingle wasn’t that bad though. To me, anyway. He deserved someone better than… ugh… Pat.
    Of course it was OBVIOUS they’d end up together, but I think the Anne/Gilbert pairing was even more predictable… so I won’t complain about PoSB’s predictability (does that word exist?).

  8. Lauren says:

    Pat of Silver Bush and Mistress Pat are my absolute two favorite books of all time. It is rather cruel for you to bash them in such a way. I think Pat is a very endearing character. It isn’t very fair to hate on such a lovely, innocent creature. These books are so beautiful and special and much different from her other books. I love Pat and always will. I get attached to my book characters.

  9. sheila says:

    Cruel? To who? You?

    Cruel to Pat? She’s a fictional character. She can take it.

    I’m glad you like the books, but I don’t. I’m sure you can take it.

  10. Kate says:

    i know what you’re saying. i can remember thinking when reading those books that it is just a house and the world will go on without it. but i do like the books, granted they’re not my favourite, but i still like them. i dont exactly know what it is, i think the main reason is because Lucy Maud wrote them. but i also think it’s the sense of humour that comes through pat and in most of Lucy’s heroines, i think too that i can relate to pat in some ways. i love my home, where it is and how it is, not quite to the OCD extent of pat, but i still love it. change too is not my favourite thing, only after i’ve gotten used to the idea do i start to like it… soo i don’t think that they are complete waste of time, i still get small thrills from lucy’s descriptions and i will most likely read them again

  11. lyn says:

    Get a grip, people!! These are children’s books of the 1930’s!!
    Can’t believe the long and detailed analysis going on here.
    I loved the Pat books- “Pat of Silver Bush” and the sequel “Mistress Pat”. Thought the characters were a bit more “real” than those in the “Anne” books, but they were good too.
    Books of their time -good stories, well-constructed and using language that doesn’t “talk down” to kids.

  12. sheila says:

    // Can’t believe the long and detailed analysis going on here. //

    Really? LM Montgomery is an important author, one of the most successful of her time and our time. I think everything she wrote deserves long and detailed analysis. And I don’t think children’s books should be exempt from analysis. That’s quite a condescending view.

  13. Danae says:

    The Pat books are my favorite of Montgomery’s but it’s not because I love Pat. Actually, the character I really love is Judy Plum. I find her funny, wise, and admirable in her industriousness. I do think it’s sad that Pat is so attached to her house–and I think Montgomery feels that way, too. She doesn’t veil the fact that Pat’s attachment to Silver Bush holds her back from experiencing other things in life. On the other hand, I sometimes wish I could find as much pleasure in my home as Pat does.

    I think a key point that Pat doesn’t really realize (until maybe at the very end) is that people make the home, not the building. There is a point later in the second book where everyone is away and she is shocked to find herself feeling lonely/homesick at home. It is not a good mentally healthy sign. She’s not a character to look up to or emulate in most things, but I do feel more positive and industrious by reading the descriptions of housekeeping and cleaning and people enjoying each other’s company.

  14. sheila says:

    Danae – I agree that Judy Plum is a great character, one of LMM’s most memorable creations.

  15. Margaret says:

    I’m surprised to hear how much some people dislike the Pat books. I did not love them as much as I did Anne, Emily, Valancy and perhaps most particularly Jane (of Lantern Hill) when I was a child but I certainly didn’t find them abhorrent. And recently having re-read them with my daughter, I find that they are deeply insightful, painful, poingnant and very true in describing a certain kind of person. There are people who are just made to be home bodies and for whom the modern world (which generally disapproves of that tendency) is a bit discordant. And my own 6 year old daughter loves things with exactly that kind of fierce intensity that makes her both an amazing human being but also someone who will have a lot of pain in life. She is currently in despair because we are painting the kitchen a new color. :) I can see how the foreshadowing feels a bit clumsy but also wonder if that is not just the mark of an older writer who sees from her perspective the inevitability of certain things and wants us to see them too. As I watch my own parents age, my childhood home alter, the town i grew up in completely transform itself I do have an appreciation for the ways in which change can be overwhelming.

  16. sheila says:

    Margaret – what a lovely and eloquent defense of the book (which, obviously, I didn’t like). I so appreciate your take on it, and loved the anecdote about your daughter and painting the kitchen!

  17. Brigitte Schimek says:

    I thought the books were delightful and I re-read them frequently. The characters of Judy, Tillytuck, the Binnies and others are unique. So Pat is obsessed with her home. So what? The descriptions are beautiful, and I’m sure describe a fearful period in Maud’s later life. Sorry to hear that so many of you despise the books.

  18. sheila says:

    Don’t be sorry. I am sure we are all quite content in our own opinions. The book bored me to tears. I’m fine with that. I love her other stuff. Again: don’t you worry your little head about me, I’m just fine!

  19. K says:

    I appreciated your piece here. You have an interesting tone – I’d love to see how you handled the – what’s her name – the vampire chick – her books. I tend to turn to Montgomery in my stress times. For some reason, her slow, nature-anchored pace seems to balance me. And this was one of those times. I pulled Pat out of the bookshelf as I headed for the airport. I don’t remember when it was I read it last. But when I finally got to my daughter’s house, alone in the guest room, exhausted – and began to read the first chapter, almost immediately, I find myself mired.

    I do like Judy. I’d like her in real life. Reading dialect wearies me, I’ll admit. The truth is, I began to skip her stories. I’ve never done this before that I remember – but I found myself skipping huge globs of paragraphs – too much effusion, too, too much descriptive weight. Of course – as you point out – too much foreshadowing. I don’t really mind knowing what’s inevitably going to happen – part of the comfort of comfort reading is letting things find that inevitable end. But you have to be allowed to enjoy the journey. Which I didn’t this time.

    I do understand the attachment, however. I think I was probably very much like Pat as a child. I didn’t want anything to change. I didn’t want them moving the furniture in my room. I wanted to be home. I loved it all. I don’t think I was crazy – just attached. The only house in my life that had never changed on me was my father’s mom’s house in the midwest. Still with the cool 1930s Persian rugs and windable clocks and all my aunt’s stuff left behind in her bedroom – her brush set on the dressing table. It wasn’t old and yucky – just kind of cool and mystical.

    Maybe some people are just more place oriented than others are. Over the years, I have dreamed once in a while about that house. I can tell you where every one of those odd ornaments were. I can describe the house in detail. It was a magical place for me. But I never worried, when I left it, that it would change. After she had been dead for some years, we stopped by that house on the way to a family reunion. It was for sale. Nobody home. I snuck up that little slope of a front yard, guilty, but meaning to take a peek through that front window. I knew I shouldn’t do it. But I got up there, and I swear to you – it’s the same little junipers growing there now that were growing there fifty years ago, and the smell got me. Got me and threw me right back there.

    But the glance through the window threw me right back out again. Surprise. The house had not magically stayed the same.

    After my parents had moved us across the country twice (four moves) – and I’d been to college, a 24 hour drive from home, when I married and had my own kids, I wanted to stay put, to have a place that was a real long-term home. And that’s what I’ve built. My kids were brought up here – we change stuff all the time – but there’s stuff we haven’t changed in their life-times. I like the idea of their kids being able to come back to a magical place. And I like living where there are traditions and memories. And every time a kid flies the nest, it’s been a big adjustment. Because I LIKE my kids. Still, life goes on, the very next day.

    But we get a lot of that in her other books. Perhaps you’re right. Perhaps the Pat books are a crisis event, and are a sort of desperate magnification of her need for peace. I haven’t read her history. From what you say, I am glad I don’t have her life. And all the books seem to me in that light to be a refuge she built for herself, steeping herself in a peace and beauty that was once the air she breathed. And the long traditions of a small and familiar community – knowing what the Robinsons’ family character is – must have rung in her memory as the world fell apart again in Europe. Personal, family duty is also a something you can do with the feeling that you’re doing something important – when you are just a small person in a chaotic world.

    So. Interesting. And it’s nice to know I haven’t lost my mind – that I really have enjoyed her other books – that they weren’t all like this one. Still – with an editor, this book could be easily readable. And maybe – if the mother had ever taken hold in her house and her children’s lives, the daughter might not have had to have held on so tightly –

    Well. Thanks for writing this.

  20. Lila says:

    yes, I love Pat, too! Fine, I liked the other books more – Anne, Emily, Jane – but I think that was because they had real ambitions. That’s what’s so cool about LMM – you think she only ever writes one sort of type of character, but she created all sorts. I thought Pat was a little over-dramatic regarding her house, but still believable as a character. I thought the two books together were beautiful – everything in the second book is basically a kind of sad answer to everything Pat loves in the first book. And Judy Plum is awesome. I still tell my brother all the time when suitable, “never is a long day!” I cannot believe that one author could have held all the wacky stories that Judy Plum told.

  21. Anna says:

    Sheila,
    Everyone can have his/her own opinions, yes. But it seems very immature to call Pat “neurotic” and your pet phrase that these books “stink up the field….?” “Get a life” is a cruel, dismissive, modern phrase that has no place in a serious review of a work. Have you read the journals? Are you familiar with Frede Campbell and Park Corner? This is what Pat was based on- L.M.’s beloved friend and cousin and the idealized home she lived in- a home dear to L.M. as the Cavendish home of her grandparents. Yes, she was tormented in those last years and perhaps did not do her best work, but a semi-orphan like L.M. Montgomery without a certain place in the world might just have a “Silver Bush” consciously or unconsciously emerge from her pen. Give her that break. And on another note’ “Gone with the Wind” by Margaret Mitchell- wasn’t that known for Scarlett’s obsessive love for Tara? Maybe L.M. does lay it on a bit thick but please be mature and fair.

  22. alonzo says:

    Pat was a little annoying but I’m kind of fond of her because I think she’s a lot more genuinely flawed than Emily and Anne. And I think Jingle is a much developed love interest than others. These were actually my favorite L.M books besides Anne and the Blue Castle. Emily was a bit too Mary Sue-ish for me – purple eyes and psychic visions, and the third book was a bit of a let down – but these kept me pretty engaged. And Judy (although her dialogue is cliche as hell), Tillytuck, Jingle, and Rae are good characters. And I thought these were much better than Jane of Lantern Hill, which I found alright but forgettable and had way too many ellipses.

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