Wednesday, July 7, 2010

BOOK: A Tangled Web by LM Montgomery

A Tangled Web by LM Montgomery, 257 pages (marginally challenged*)

1930s Mini-Challenge (published in 1931); 4th Canadian Book Challenge

A great find - an LM book I hadn't read before. All the characters you love to see are here - the confirmed bachelors, the old maids, the stubborn star-crossed lovers who haven't spoken in ten years, a mistreated orphan, and the crotchety aunt who speaks the truth with a sharp tongue. The main story here is that Aunt Becky has decided to leave the family heirloom to someone when she dies, but it won't be announced until a year after her death. She sets out a few guidelines (no swearing, must be married, no drinking) which cause the two clans, the Darks and the Penhallows, to, in some cases, radically change their behaviour.

LM keeps a large cast of characters unique, interacting, and easy to follow. I enjoyed most of the storylines although some were predictable. LM has a few story lines that she follows, but I enjoy her books because of the predictability. So I knew where the orphan would end up, which couples would get together but not who would get the family jug. She did a great job of the ending, tying up the story lines and surprising me as well. There is an unfortunate last paragraph that is quite jarring and offensive that could so easily be changed without changing the story. Other than that disappointing moment, A Tangled Web is a delightful Montgomery book.

* marginally challenged: a book with very little space between lines (likely, it's a public domain book/classic) giving deceivingly few pages to read