Thursday, December 22, 2011

BOOK: Christmas With Anne by LM Montgomery

Christmas With Anne and Other Holiday Stories by LM Montgomery, 220 pages

Canadian Book Challenge; Christmas Spirit Reading Challenge

LM Montgomery was a very prolific author. Twenty novels, and tons of short stories; there have been eleven collections of her short stories published. Many are themed, like this collection of Christmas tales. LM wrote for the masses, selling her short stories where she could, often at the magazines request including a moral or lesson in her holiday stories. This makes some of her stories a tad predictable or sentimental, but readers do like these themes in their Christmas stories (see The Christmas Shoes), so if you are looking for Christmas stories, you can't go wrong with LM and her optimistic view and outlook, amidst the sad and downtrodden.

Christmas with Anne doesn't disappoint, including "Matthew Insists on Puffed Sleeves", and "Katherine Brooke Comes to Green Gables," chapters from the Anne series. Both bring tears when fans of the series read them, knowing all the back stories of Anne. When Katherine complains to Anne that [Anne] couldn't know what it was like to not be wanted, as Anne is ensconced in Green Gables full of love, fans know that Anne could very easily have turned out to be like Katherine. And Matthew buying Anne the puffed sleeves? Well, every mention of Matthew and his adoration of Anne does me in.

The other stories vary in success, but as a whole, they work. Collected  together, plot themes develop - feuds forgiven after accidental apologies, and awareness of the blessings in your life.Other than the Anne stories, my favorite was "The Unforgotten One", about not judging what others are thinking or feeling, or who they might be missing.

All in all, they are perfect for Christmas. Short, fluffy, full of love and pathos and Christmas spirit.As an added bonus, my edition was lovely. Nice sizing, with a sturdy cover - a cross between a mass market paperback and a trade paperback. It will become a new Christmas tradition.