Children’s Book Reviews
Children's Book Reviews: Maud
Publish May 9, 2017
Melanie Fishbane’s debut novel, Maud, is a lovingly crafted imagining of the teenage years of Canadian author Lucy Maud Montgomery. While Montgomery is best known for her own debut novel, Anne of Green Gables; in Maud, Fishbane has reached into Montgomery’s voluminous personal writings, including her letters and journals, for inspiration, giving readers a glimpse into a transitional period in Montgomery’s early life. As Fishbane’s novel begins, 14-year-old Maud dreams of going to college and becoming a writer, but living in a tiny Prince Edward Island village with her stern grandparents, that dream seems like it will never come true. Over the next few years, as she makes friends and learns how hard it can be to keep them; falls in love (twice); and discovers more about her parents and her own family, Maud also becomes even more determined to achieve her dreams.
Fishbane’s meticulous research shows in the many details Maud contains about Montgomery’s life, particularly her physical descriptions of the communities of Cavendish, PEI and Prince Albert, Saskatchewan, where Montgomery spent a year living with her father and his new family. While, at times, the level of detail may be overwhelming, particularly for those with no prior knowledge of Montgomery or her writing, Fishbane’s affection for her subject shines through, making the character of Maud herself come alive for readers. An engaging depiction of an ambitious young woman coming of age in rural Canada in the late nineteenth-century, Maud is highly recommended for teen and adult readers, even those who are not yet familiar with L.M. Montgomery’s own works.
Roseanne Gauthier is the Youth Services Librarian for the PEI Public Library Service. She has worked in the Faculties of Education at both the University of Prince Edward Island and Mount Saint Vincent University and spent two amazing years as the Children’s Librarian at the Confederation Centre Public Library. She holds an MLIS from Dalhousie University, and an MA from the University of Waterloo. Roseanne lives in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island with her husband, their adorable daughter, and two tuxedo cats.
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