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Kilmeny Of The Orchard (Annotated Edition)
Kilmeny Of The Orchard (Annotated Edition) | Lucy Maud Montgomery
19 posts | 18 read | 4 to read
The secluded old apple orchard in which Eric Marshall, a young Canadian, finds the beautiful, though dumb, Kilmeny, is on Prince Edward Island. Eric is the son of a wealthy man and had come to a small village on the island to teach school for a month as a substitute for a sick friend. In one of his rambles he comes upon the old orchard, and hearing strains of music is tempted to investigate. He finds Kilmeny alone playing a violin. At sight of him the girl rushes away. The young man, however, is fascinated by her beauty and loses no time in finding out how he can make her acquaintance ... This is the extended and annotated edition including an autobiographical annotation by the author herself.
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Daisey
Kilmeny of the Orchard | L. M. Montgomery
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Pickpick

This was a light and enjoyable listen for a long rambling walk today, but I can definitely see why it‘s a lesser known book of Montgomery‘s. It was just too sweet and simplistic. I wonder how she decided to write from Eric‘s perspective and how it would have been different from Kilmeny‘s. I had never read it before, so I was glad to finally make time for it.

#audiobook #KindredSpiritsBuddyRead

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BarbaraJean
Kilmeny of the Orchard | L. M. Montgomery
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#KindredSpiritsBuddyRead Discussion Part 4

Kilmeny is a short little novel, and everything wraps up quite neatly. Are there aspects of the story you‘d like to have seen developed a bit further? If so, where would you have liked to see the story deepened or expanded?

What are your overall thoughts on Kilmeny of the Orchard? Anything else you‘d like to discuss?

Bkwrm7 All I could think while listening to this one is that it seemed exactly like something Anne or Diana would have written for their Story Club. Full of melodrama with a complete lack of nuance. Seeing what Eric and Kilmeny's life was like upon their return would have perhaps added some depth - assuming it wasn't depicted as all sunshine and roses. Some exploration of the difficulties Kilmeny would have faced adjusting could have been interesting. (edited) 3mo
BarbaraJean @Bkwrm7 YES! Except Eric would have been named Perceval or Horatio or something “romantic.“ Eric seems far too prosaic for the Story Club. 😉 I agree it would deepen the story to see them navigate Kilmeny's entry into the world beyond Lindsay (or just beyond her family circle!). It's entirely too optimistic to assume once her muteness was cured she'd automatically be able to be comfortable outside the very limited world she'd had up to that point. 3mo
Bkwrm7 @BarbaraJean 🤣 Excellent point. Simple Eric as a name would never have done! 3mo
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quietjenn Ha, I love those thoughts, @Bkwrm7 and @BarbaraJean - I totally see it! This felt a bit “first draft“ to me and I found it pretty slight and a bit forgettable. Seeing more of the “after“ may have flushed things out, but really I'd prefer something a little more nuanced and developed. 3mo
TheAromaofBooks I think in many ways, this story just is what it is... I would love to see things from Kilmeny's perspective, and to see her say no to Eric not because of her muteness but because she hasn't experienced the world more widely yet. So in other words, I'd love to see this entire story rewritten 😂 3mo
BarbaraJean @quietjenn “Slight” and “first draft” feel like very accurate descriptors! It really felt like one of her short stories to me. And I feel rather “meh” about most of her short stories. 😆 @TheAromaofBooks 😂😂 There are some kernels of ideas there that would be really interesting to explore in a complete rewrite! 3mo
AvidReader25 I got halfway through and just didn‘t feel invested in it! It did feel like a first draft. 3mo
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BarbaraJean
Kilmeny of the Orchard | L. M. Montgomery
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#KindredSpiritsBuddyRead Discussion Part 3

There are some problematic elements in the story, both in its portrayal of Neil Gordon and of Kilmeny‘s disability. Do we just chalk these up to “an earlier time,” or is there more to be said here?

The story seems to communicate that there are inherited traits and consequences of your heritage that just can‘t be escaped. Do you agree with this idea at all?

Bkwrm7 Not everyone in earlier times was racist or ableist and this story very much is. The way Neil Gordon's Italian ancestry is described and depicted was horrifying - I mean, this could be used a textbook example of stereotypes and racism. I know we've seen racist things in some of Montgomery's other works, often as asides, but here - like in Tannis of the Flats - the racism is central to the story and I just couldn't get beyond it. 3mo
BarbaraJean @Bkwrm7 I was kind of able to set aside the racism & ableism while reading, but as I thought about discussing the book, I found both very troubling. The racist nature vs. nurture thread was so awful, and the family curse theory of Kilmeny's muteness really underlines that deterministic idea of heritage. Except the young innocent white girl's disability can of course be quickly cured while the swarthy, coarse, passionate Italian is irredeemable. 🙄 3mo
sblbooks No, I don't agree with that idea. Unfortunately back in the day many did. (and some still do) That doesn't make it right. Like everyone else said, both storylines were problematic for sure. 3mo
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quietjenn This book is certainly one that I think, “man, that's messed up“ the more I think about it. Not the most eloquent insight, I know, but there you go. 3mo
TheAromaofBooks I've never read this one with the intention of discussing it before, so I think I've always just been more along the “earlier times“ lines with a shrug, more or less. Reading it this time, perhaps more objectively as I was thinking about what I actually do and don't like about this, the racism struck me a lot more than it has in the past. Montgomery definitely believed in nature over nurture, and in fairness in this era eugenics was considered ⬇ 3mo
TheAromaofBooks (cont'd) somewhat valid science and was gaining traction. I don't know if Montgomery studied the topic per se, but many educated people of the day believed in eugenics as a natural next-step to Darwin's evolutionary theories. So terrible, yes, but I also don't think it was far out of line of many common beliefs of the time. 3mo
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BarbaraJean
Kilmeny of the Orchard | L. M. Montgomery
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#KindredSpiritsBuddyRead Discussion Part 2

There are fairy-tale tropes throughout the story, with Kilmeny as the innocent young girl rescued by the romantic hero. Does the fairy-tale feel enhance or diminish the story for you?
How did you feel about the romance between Eric and Kilmeny? Endearing and sweet? Over-idealized? A little problematic?

BarbaraJean I wasn‘t as bothered by the setup of the young man out to woo the sheltered, innocent girl who has literally never seen a man outside her family circle, because it felt like a fairy tale rather than realistic romance. Some of the other paternalistic love stories we've read by LMM have felt problematic for me, but this one felt softer—muted a bit by the fairy tale vibes. I did find the romance a little over-idealized, though! 3mo
Daisey @BarbaraJean I very much agree with your thoughts. I wasn‘t really bothered by the setup and knew what to expect early on, but it was all just a bit too simple and idealistic. 3mo
Bkwrm7 The romance felt icky to me like many of her others. It really bothered me that there was no happy ending until Kilmeny's muteness was “healed.“ Maybe if I had thought about it like a fairy tale as you say here while I was reading it, it wouldn't have bothered me as much. As it was, I just saw a lot of the same things Montgomery has elsewhere: a man who finds a girl he can mold into the perfect wife. Yick. 3mo
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sblbooks Over idealized a bit problematic. I wish Kilmeny had not been "healed" I don't mind fairytales, but just not what it's supposed to be a realistic book. 3mo
quietjenn The fairy tale quality for me felt most pronounced and effective in the way that it feels very enchanted when Eric for stumbles upon Kilmeny and how he keeps things a secret initially, because he doesn't want to break the magic of that. The other elements I was less fond of. The romance didn't feel as squicky to me here as it has in other books, but it's also not one I'm going to rhapsodize over! 3mo
TheAromaofBooks I do think the simplicity of the story lends itself to that fairy tale feel. And even though Kilmeny being “healed“ in the end grates on me, in a way that also fits the fairy tale vibe, sort of being “rescued“ from an enchantment. This is never going to be my favorite Montgomery, but it's one of her first stories and I think she was still finding her romantic footing. 3mo
LeahBergen I definitely felt this had a pronounced fairy tale element. From the very start it felt like one of the overly dramatic and romantic tales which Anne Shirley wrote as a child. Reading it this way made me enjoy it for what it was! 😆 3mo
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BarbaraJean
Kilmeny of the Orchard | L. M. Montgomery
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#KindredSpiritsBuddyRead - Kilmeny of the Orchard Discussion Part 1

Unlike L. M. Montgomery‘s other novels, Kilmeny is told from the perspective of the male lead. How did this impact your experience of the story?
How would the story be different if it were narrated from Kilmeny‘s perspective?

BarbaraJean The POV was initially jarring; I didn't expect a male voice. But it made sense narratively, to hear Kilmeny's backstory as it's revealed to Eric, and understand his thoughts & intentions. However, I'm fascinated by LMM's decision to write a story about a girl who is mute, and literally mute that character's voice by telling the story through the male lead. I'd love to read Kilmeny's perspective, esp. as she becomes aware of her feelings for Eric. 3mo
Bkwrm7 Kilmeny feels like little more than a cipher so it's hard to say what the story would have been like from her perspective. And honestly, I'm not sure Montgomery had the chops to write a main character so far outside her personal experience. I didn't love Eric as a narrator, but this was the least favorite of the buddy reads we've done by a lot so it's hard for me to separate his character from the plot and other problems with the book. 3mo
Daisey I completely understand the narrative reasons for telling the story from Eric‘s perspective, but I‘m still very curious about Montgomery‘s choice to do so. I think the emotional power of the story might have been better from Kilmeny‘s perspective, and I think it would have been fascinating as a story from both perspectives. 3mo
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BarbaraJean @Bkwrm7 Agreed, I don't think LMM could have made it work from Kilmeny's perspective. But as @Daisey said, it would have been fascinating from both perspectives. I would have liked to see more of Kilmeny's internal life. I don't think it would have mitigated the ableism, especially in the story's too-convenient conclusion, but it certainly would have provided more depth and nuance to the story. 3mo
sblbooks I too would have liked to see kilmeny's perspective. This is definitely a product of its time, with the ableism. @BarbaraJean you made a great point about the all too convenient conclusion. I was not a fan of that. 3mo
quietjenn It was definitely unexpected, having the male narrative voice for this one. That, plus much of the story itself, really makes Kilmeny the object and not a protagonist - not exactly what I expect (or want, honestly) from Montgomery. Like others, I would definitely be curious about the story from Kilmeny's perspective. 3mo
TheAromaofBooks @quietjenn I think you are spot-on about Eric's narration making Kilmeny an object more than a protagonist. She definitely feels like someone where things happen TO her instead of her making things happen in her life, and that's emphasized by Eric's narrow perspective. I don't necessarily think my issue is that Eric is a *male* narrator, but just that he isn't as interesting as the main character. 3mo
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AnneCecilie
Kilmeny of the Orchard | L. M. Montgomery
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#BookReport

Finished both of the buddy reads; tagged #KinderedSporitsBuddyRead and North and South #PemberLittens

I finished Moon Witch, Spider King and I read Mofongo.

I‘m currently reading Summer

Cinfhen How was the James? I know you were enjoying it 4mo
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review
BarbaraJean
Kilmeny of the Orchard | L. M. Montgomery
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Pickpick

This is an L.M. Montgomery I‘d never read before, and while I enjoyed it, it‘s clear why it‘s not one of the ones everyone raves about. It‘s a sweet old-fashioned love story, but a bit overly simplistic and the ending wraps things up a little too neatly. Still, it was a nice, light, escapist read!

Our #KindredSpiritsBuddyRead discussion for this one will be next weekend. 😊🌳🎻 I‘ll post questions late on Saturday, April 30.

Jerdencon I need to catch up on this one! 4mo
TheAromaofBooks Great review!! I just always think of this one as “tidy“ - it lacks some of the depth and thoughtfulness of many of her other books, but it's still a relaxing little read. 4mo
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BarbaraJean
Kilmeny of the Orchard | L. M. Montgomery
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“…old George Wright is having the time of his life. His wife has gone to Charlottetown to visit her sister and he is his own boss for the first time since he was married, forty years ago. He‘s on a regular orgy, Aleck says. He smokes in the parlor and sits up till eleven o‘clock reading dime novels.”

Smoking in the parlor and reading dime novels = orgy😂
#KindredSpiritsBuddyRead

LeahBergen I thought this was funny, too. 😆 4mo
BarbaraJean @LeahBergen I read “orgy” and my eyebrows went way up… I‘m not sure what exactly I was expecting to find in the following sentence, but it definitely wasn‘t dime novels and smoking in the parlor! 4mo
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AnneCecilie
Kilmeny of the Orchard | L. M. Montgomery
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#WeeklyForecast

Continue with the buddy reads; the tagged #KindredSpiritsBuddyRead and with the #PemberLittens both The Other Bennett Sister and North and South.

Finish Troubled Blood and hopefully get a good start on Moon Witch, Spider King.

I have the next week off work, Easter vacation, and hope to get in a lot of reading.

BkClubCare Ha! That jacket design makes North and South look like it isn‘t a chunkster. 😂 4mo
Cinfhen You have a BUNCH of #chunksters 😅 4mo
AnneCecilie @Cinfhen But I have ALL the time since I don‘t have any other plans besides reading the next week. So it‘s the perfect time for them. 4mo
AnneCecilie @BkClubCare I know, but compared to the others it‘s not their big. 4mo
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review
TheAromaofBooks
Kilmeny of the Orchard | Lucy Maud Montgomery
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Pickpick

My intention was to read this #KindredSpiritsBuddyRead a chapter a day, but it's so short that I read it in just a couple of days after all. This was a reread for me. It's not my favorite Montgomery as it's a little too... tidy, I guess? This is one of her earliest books and it rather shows in its simplicity. And I'm always a little uncomfortable with stories where a girl ends up marrying literally the first man she's ever met. Still, this is a ⬇

TheAromaofBooks (cont'd) perfectly pleasant little story that I enjoy revisiting every few years.

@BarbaraJean
#Pantone2022 - Cardamom Seed (it matches better in real life lol) @Clwojick
#WickedWords - Spring (March) @AsYouWish
#RoaringWolf - Weather @Roary47 @Littlewolf1
#AwesomeApril - 74/1200pgs @Andrew65
#BookSpinBingo
4mo
Roary47 Yay! I‘m glad you were able to read it faster than expected. That always feels so good. 😊 4mo
Andrew65 Well done 👏👏👏 4mo
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Clwojick Way to go! 👏🏻 4mo
BarbaraJean Woohoo! I haven‘t started it yet…anticipating a lot of too-sweet predictability, but honestly I think that may be what I need right now. 😆 4mo
TheAromaofBooks @BarbaraJean - I've always enjoyed this one, and it's so short that it's an easy, low-stress read that is sometimes just what I'm looking for!! 4mo
60 likes6 comments
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AnneCecilie
Kilmeny of the Orchard | L. M. Montgomery
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#BookReport

I continued with the buddy reads; the tagged #KinderedSpiritsBuddyRead and both The Other Bennett Sister and North and South #PemberLittens

I finished Bibliophile: Diverse Spines

I read Elena Knows, Love in the Big City and Kvar dag skal vi vere så modige.

I DNF‘ed Heaven, at least for now.

And I‘ve just started Troubled Blood (not pictured).

Cinfhen You‘re reading the International Booker!! Any favorites?? 4mo
AnneCecilie @Cinfhen Just the ones mentioned in this post. One didn‘t make it to the shortlist and one DNF, so favorite so far Elena Knows. I‘ll see if I read anyone else. Not sure about The Books of Jacob - I have mixed experiences with previous reads. Tomb of Sand sounds interesting, so maybe that one at some point. 4mo
Cinfhen I bought Books of Jacob but it‘s MASSIVE- and I also bailed on Heaven. 4mo
AnneCecilie @Cinfhen I know, so I need to see more raving reviews for Jacob, or the library need to get get. Everyone seems to love Heaven, so I‘m glad I‘m not the only one that gave it up. 4mo
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LeahBergen
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Friday night reads. And yes, those ARE dog toes on my desk. #JohnnyBergen

#KindredSpiritsBuddyRead
#PersephoneClub

RaeLovesToRead Aww.. the toes! 🐾❤ 4mo
sarahbellum Toes 😍 4mo
ValerieAndBooks Hello, Johnny 🐾 and Leah 💖 !! 4mo
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Chrissyreadit So cute! ❤️ 4mo
Leftcoastzen 😀🐶 4mo
rubyslippersreads Johnny‘s little tippy-toes are so cute! 🐶❤️ 4mo
quietjenn Excellent! And I love the pup peek. 4mo
Tamra 😆 Why not? 4mo
batsy Awww 🥰 Johnny's toes just about distracted me from the pretty cover 😆 4mo
BarbaraBB That Johnny 🤣🥰 4mo
Cathythoughts That‘s so dotey 🥰 Johnny toes 4mo
Cathythoughts He‘s really getting into the whole book scene .. copying the book hand 😍 4mo
CarolynM 💖 4mo
LeahBergen @RaeLovesToRead @sarahbellum @ValerieAndBooks @Chrissyreadit @Leftcoastzen @rubyslippersreads @quietjenn @Tamra @batsy @BarbaraBB @CarolynM Johnny thanks you all for being on his side in the desk matter. 😆😆 He‘s not supposed to be up there but the desk is in front of a window that looks down into my neighbour‘s yard … and right at the neighbour‘s dog. 😆 4mo
LeahBergen @Cathythoughts That‘s true! It IS like the little peeping brass hand. 🤣 4mo
Smrloomis 😂 Love the doggie toes 💕 4mo
LeahBergen @Smrloomis He‘s horrible. 😆 4mo
britt_brooke Too funny! 🐾 4mo
BiblioLitten Maybe he‘s trying to hi-5 the girl on the cover 🙌🏼 4mo
LeahBergen @britt_brooke You understand my pain. 😉 4mo
LeahBergen @BiblioLitten I think you‘re onto something there. 😆 4mo
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AnneCecilie
Kilmeny of the Orchard | L. M. Montgomery
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#WeeklyForecast

Continue the buddy reads. The tagged with #KindredSpiritsBuddyRead and both North and South and The Other Bennett Sister with #PemberLittens

Continue Bibliophile: Diverse Spines

And also want to read as many as these as possible: Elena Knows, Love in the Big City, Kvar dag skal vi verre så modige and Heaven.

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BarbaraJean
Kilmeny of the Orchard | L. M. Montgomery
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Hello #KindredSpiritsBuddyRead friends! I thought I‘d post the schedule for the rest of the year, along with a reminder that we‘re reading Kilmeny of the Orchard in April. It‘s a short one (144 pages / 19 chapters), so you‘ve got plenty of time to savor it before the discussion on April 30.

All are welcome—if you‘re not tagged and you‘d like to be, for this book or other months ahead, please let me know!

LeahBergen Thanks! I took a screenshot to remind me which months I‘ll be joining in. 😊 4mo
BarbaraJean @LeahBergen Yay! I look forward to you joining in! 4mo
AvidReader25 I screenshot it too! Thank you! 4mo
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TheAromaofBooks Woohoo!! I actually printed this out for my reading bujo to keep track of where we are going!! I'm really excited about these!! 4mo
julieclair Please add me to the tag list. I‘d love to join in! 4mo
BarbaraJean @julieclair Will do! Great to have you! 4mo
julieclair Thank you! I‘m excited to join! 4mo
38 likes7 comments
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AnneCecilie
Kilmeny of the Orchard | L. M. Montgomery
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#BookReport

Finished Rage Becomes Her #SheSaid. Continued The Other Bennett Sister and North and South, both with #PemberLittens. Started the tagged #KindredSpiritsBuddyRead

Read Cards on the Table and Sorrow and Bliss

Currently reading Bibliophile: Diverse Spines and The Unheard.

Cinfhen So what‘s new in the world of sports?? 4mo
AnneCecilie @Cinfhen Not much is happening at the moment. The winter season is coming to its end, and our cross country queen is retiring, Therese Johaug. In the indoor world championship, Jacob Ingebrigtsen came in 2nd on 1500m. 4mo
Cinfhen 🙌🏻😁 4mo
57 likes3 comments
blurb
AnneCecilie
Kilmeny of the Orchard | L. M. Montgomery
post image

#WeeklyForecast

Finish Rage Becomes Her #SheSaid. Continue with the #PemerLittens both The Other Bennett Sister and North and South. Start the tagged #KindredSpiritsBuddyRead

Continue Bibliophile: Diverse Spines

Read Cards on the Table and Sorrow and Bliss. Start The Unheard.

review
Come-read-with-me
Kilmeny of the Orchard | L. M. Montgomery
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Pickpick

An old favorite that I have wanted to reread for a long time, it‘s has been on my TBR for ages. It‘s a fairly predictable love story, but it is written with Montgomery‘s gentle style. Kilmeny is not Anne or Emily, But a rather traditional figure who waits to be rescued by the man she loves. I read this when I 12 and thought it was magical. Now, not so much but still a lovely trip down memory lane. #AxeTheStacks

TheAromaofBooks I always thought this one would be so much more dramatic as a movie! 1y
Come-read-with-me @TheAromaofBooks It would be! I‘d never thought if that before! 1y
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catandmouse10
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But the most idyllic hours of Eric's wooing were spent in the old orchard; the garden end of it was now a wilderness of roses-roses red as the heart of a sunset, roses pink as the early flush of dawn, roses white as the snows on mountain peaks, roses full blown, and roses in buds that were sweeter than anything on earth except Kilmeny's face.

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Krisjericho
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Panpan

Ummm...no. I count Anne of Green Gables as among my all-time favorites. I really like the Emily series, too. This is trite, vapid crap that Anne would have written when she was 11 and fantasizing about being Cordelia. Eric and Kilmeny are bland stereotypes. It would have been a two-star blah read from an author I thought fondly of, but then it has to turn all racist and such. Yeah, no thanks.

CouronneDhiver I‘ll skip this one too. Yikes 5y
LondElle89 Try L.M. Montgomery's The Blue Castle, if you haven't read it already. It's a great read and will hopefully be ride of this book you read out of your mind. 5y
tournevis Montgomery was trying to, you know, eat three square meals a day, so she did produce a few of those. In French, we call those kinds of books romans alimentaires. 5y
tournevis All this said, I like using Jane of Lantern Hill in class, because the descriptions of places and buildings are quite vivid and help students understand how words are just as important in understanding material culture as illustrations are. 5y
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