Sunday, 17 April 2011

Kilmeny of the Orchard - L. M. Montgomery

When twenty-four-year-old Eric Marshall arrives on Prince Edward Island to become a substitute schoolmaster, he has a bright future in his wealthy family's business. Eric has taken the two-month teaching post only as a favor to a friend -- but fate throws in his path a beautiful, mysterious girl named Kilmeny Gordon. With jet black hair and sea blue eyes, Kilmeny immediately captures Eric's heart. But Kilmeny cannot speak, and Eric is concerned for and bewitched by this shy, sensitive mute girl. For the first time in his life Eric must work hard for something he wants badly. And there is nothing he wants more than for Kilmeny to retum his love.

This was such a sweet, quaint little novella. Definitely not Montgomery's best work, but it put a smile on my face and was a quick read. A typical romance, in which the career-driven hero who isn't searching for love falls for the mute girl purely because of her beauty and innocence. Yes, it's shallow, but remember that this was published in 1910! Sadly, because of the predictability of the story and the obvious racism expressed towards the adopted Italian son, I don't think that this story will fare very well in the 21st century. While it was a nice escape from the real world, the only truly outstanding parts of this novella were the descriptions of the scenery. Even when using a tired and overused plot, Montgomery is able to make it her own with her signature descriptions of Prince Edward Island. I'd recommend this book to serious fans of Montgomery, but warn that it isn't a patch on the Anne books, or even her short-stories. Don't come to this book expecting too much and you'll find yourself pleasantly surprised, and you'll hopefully close the book with fond feelings towards old-fashioned romances and even more of a desire to visit PEI! 7/10

This book can be downloaded for free from Project Gutenberg and various other sources to be read on Kindles and other digital reading devices. Personally, I recommend because it's user-friendly and easy to navigate.

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