Tuesday, January 01, 2013

L.M. Montgomery Short Stories, 1896-1901

L.M. Montgomery Short Stories, 1896-1901. L.M. Montgomery. 142 pages.

This short story collection features nineteen short stories by L.M. Montgomery. Stories in this collection include: "A Case of Trespass," "A Christmas Inspiration," "A Christmas Mistake," "A Strayed Allegiance," "An Invitation Given on Impulse," "Detected by the Camera," "In Spite of Myself," "Kismet," Miriam's Lover," "Miss Calista's Peppermint Bottle," "The Jest That Failed," "The Pennington's Girl," "The Red Room," "The Setness of Theodosia," "The Story of An Invitation," "The Touch of Fate," "The Waking of Helen," "The Way of Winning Anne," and "Young Si." While I didn't absolutely love each and every story in this collection, I enjoyed almost all of the stories. A few I really did LOVE.

I really did love "The Jest That Failed" perhaps because it reminded me a little of Edith Wharton's Roman Fever. In "The Jest That Failed," a few mean students decide to play a trick on Grace Seeley, a poor classmate that they look down upon. Wouldn't it be absolutely hysterical if Grace thought the most popular senior boy, Sidney Hill, was asking her to the prom? But their trick doesn't work like they hoped!

I also enjoyed "An Invitation Given on Impulse." This is how Montgomery described the heroine, Ruth Mannering..."If they had thought about it at all, they would probably have decided that they did not like her; but for the most part they simply overlooked her" and "painfully shy and reserved." This story is how one of the more popular girls decided to go with her impulse and invite "poor Ruth" to her home for the holidays instead of her best friend. This visit transformed Ruth in oh-so-many ways, and for the first time the girl catches a glimpse of what friendship is all about.

"Kismet," is an interesting story of a failed marriage that has been given a second chance...depending on the results of a horse race! This husband and wife meet accidentally after years of living separately. Both are surprised to see each other again, neither thought the other would be at the races. Conversation is strained at first, but, eventually these two happen upon an agreement. She's bet her money on one horse, he's bet on another horse...can these two make a success of it?

There is a wide variety of stories: some Christmas stories, some happily-ever-after romances, some tragic romances, some comedies, some rags-to-riches, some coming-of-age stories. They do range in sentiment. Almost all of the stories are interesting, however. All of them display human nature at its best and give a glimpse of Montgomery's greatest gift: her way of capturing human character and spirit with very few words.

Read this short story collection:
  • If you're a fan of L.M. Montgomery
  • If you enjoy short stories
  • If you'd like to enjoy short stories but are somewhat resistant or hesitant to pick up short story collections
  • If you enjoy a wide variety of stories: rags to riches, coming-of-age, family-friendly "feel-good" pieces, love stories--happy and tragic, ghost stories, comedies, etc.
© 2013 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

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