The Emily series

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Wild Roses
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The Emily series

Post by Wild Roses » Wed Mar 18, 2009 7:12 pm

If I remember the scholars correctly, these books are considered the most autobiographical of all LMM's fiction.

I should note the tv series is very, very loosely based on the books. It got the atmosphere right, but the storylines developed far differently from the books, so it should be thought of an independent from the books.

Anybody read? Want to discuss?

The biggest shocker for me when I first read these books was how dark they are compared to the Anne books. Only "Anne's House of Dreams" and "Rilla of Ingleside" compare. They are moody and somber and quite mystical.

The best way to explain it is like this: the Anne series is like reading Jane Austen novels. They are light, witty, about courtship mostly and have strong funny likable heroes and heroines.

Reading the Emily books is like reading books by the Brontes (not just Charlotte, but Emily and Anne as well). Emily is more Gothic in nature, darker, more feminist, and the courtship is secondary to the heroine's growth. Also, the characters can be harder to like.
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Wild Roses
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Post by Wild Roses » Tue Mar 31, 2009 4:19 pm

Has anyone read Further Chronicles of Avonlea?

Two stories in it reminded me hugely of the Emily series:

"The Son of His Mother" and "The Education of Betty."

"Son" reminded me so much of Teddy and his mother in this series. It was almost like LMM was using the short story to test how twisted she could make motherly obsession while still keeping the mother character sympathetic.

"Education" reminded me of Dean/Emily. Except more creepy because it isn't written as disturbing but totally romantic. With Dean/Emily, there is always an undertone of 'Dean's romantic thoughts of Emily are vastly inappropriate' but with this story...it was not so.

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Post by ldshomeschool94 » Wed Apr 01, 2009 6:54 am

I agree that the Emily series is darker than most of the Anne books. I have read Further Chronicles of Avonlea as well. I think L.M. Montgomery would draw on some familiar threads in different books. I find the relationship with Teddy and his mother to be very interesting, as well as the "second sight" that Emily had.
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Re: The Emily series

Post by hannikan » Wed Apr 01, 2009 7:44 pm

Wild Roses wrote:
The best way to explain it is like this: the Anne series is like reading Jane Austen novels. They are light, witty, about courtship mostly and have strong funny likable heroes and heroines.

Reading the Emily books is like reading books by the Brontes (not just Charlotte, but Emily and Anne as well). Emily is more Gothic in nature, darker, more feminist, and the courtship is secondary to the heroine's growth. Also, the characters can be harder to like.
That's interesting because while I like the Brontes I don't love their stuff the way I do Jane Austen and I love the Anne books but I never got into Emily. However, that was many, many years ago. I tried reading EoNM when I was 11 or 12 and just couldn't get into it. But I actually felt like it was a dull imitation of Anne. I am determined to give it another try as an adult when I have the time. They're much longer than the Anne books which I can get through so quickly so I will have to devote more time to Emily. Did anyone else feel like the beginning of the first book dragged or was like a less interesting version of Anne? Or was I just too impatient?
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Post by Wild Roses » Tue Apr 14, 2009 7:40 pm

Did anyone else feel like the beginning of the first book dragged or was like a less interesting version of Anne? Or was I just too impatient?
I just read through the first 30 pages last night and I have to agree the pace is slower. One thing that bothered me is that I feel I didn't connect to the characters right away.

Douglas Starr derogatory comments towards Ellen Greene bother me. I know he was dying--but still. If he didn't want her there, he should have fired her long ago instead of complaining to Emily about her all the time behind Ellen's back. Based on his negative remarks towards Ellen, I'm quite inclined to take the Murrays side about his marrying Juliet and I don't even know the backstory there. That is how much I dislike his character. The man is a snob! The Murrays are snobs, but they are so. much. classier.

The descriptions are lovely, but knowing Emily is going to leave her home makes me feel less attached to it.

I do feel the book picks up when the Murrays arrive. Emily's introduction to the Murrays never fails to delight me. But the book doesn't really pick up until Emily is at New Moon.

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Post by 5AvonleaGirls » Wed Apr 15, 2009 6:22 pm

I agree that some of the ways that Emily's father talk are very disrespectful and I didn't really like that but I'm enjoying them so far. I started the first book yesterday and I thought that they were just as good as Anne. I really enjoyed the descriptions. When Emily had to decide between her two cats I wanted to hit her Aunt Elizabeth! I think that the book has pretty good characters and descriptions. I haven't gotten into any of the dark stuff yet and I am not sure if I will still like it after that. But so far I'm very much enjoying it!

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Post by Wild Roses » Thu Apr 16, 2009 10:58 am

I haven't gotten into any of the dark stuff yet
The dark stuff I refer to happens in 'Emily's Quest.' 'Dark' probably isn't the correct word. Maybe heartwrenching and painful are better words. There are hints of it coming in the first two books, but LMM really unpacks in EQ.

Imagine 'Anne's House of Dreams' being told from Leslie's POV rather than Anne's. There's still hope, there's still happiness, but it takes awhile for the character to recognize it due to some critical, and unexpected, happenings in her life.

Although the whole Emily series is much more somber than the Anne is. So, it isn't everybody's cup of tea. But I will say--while Emily is her most somber series, unlike the Pat series, it doesn't fall prey to bitterness. The Emily characters have their bitter moments, but they don't let it sink them into a sort of continual hopelessness. (The bitterness in Pat is partially redeemed by the humor in the series and by Pat's optimism.)

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Re: The Emily series

Post by Juliegoose » Sun Feb 20, 2011 7:41 pm

I think the Emily books are excellent on their own and that Emily isn't anything like Anne, and she isn't meant to be. Emily is a more serious child. She had an excellent relationship with her father, they were very close and his death she felt very strongly, something that but a shadow over the rest of her life. Anne is very different, she never knew her parents and she has always been about making the best about everything, she is a true optimist. Of course Aunt Elizabeth and Marilla fulfill the elder female matriarch which Maud was so fond of but their relationships have some differences as well. Elizabeth's past with Douglas and Emily obvious affects her more than Marilla because she has no past with Anne's family. Emily also has abilities that aren't at all like Anne, her second sight and her elflike tendencies that make her more mythical than the very realistic Anne. I would never consider Emily a pale version of Anne, instead I think Emily tends to have more depth in many ways. I would suggest picking up the Emily books, even if they are a little more agonizing to read, it's a sweet agony. :)

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Re: The Emily series

Post by guspikefan4ever » Thu Jan 09, 2014 3:49 pm

I have a couple of books but I haven't gotten around to reading them yet. I went High School with the actress that play Emily in the TV series and she's a very nice person. She was always cheerful when I said hi to in the hallway.

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