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7 Books by L.M. Montgomery That Aren’t Anne of Green Gables

V.M. Braganza
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Fine Art Images/Heritage Images/Getty Images / Fine Art Images/Heritage Images/Getty Images
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More than a century after Lucy Maud Montgomery wrote Anne of Green Gables (1908), popular culture has been overrun by “kindred spirits.” In the past five years alone, Anne-mania has produced a three-part television film adaptation and a Netflix series titled Anne With an E. The latter proved to be so popular that when CBC and Netflix announced the show's cancellation in 2019, fans launched a petition to bring it back that generated more than 1.5 million signatures. Some die-hards even helped fund billboards in Toronto and Times Square featuring the red-headed orphan that read “Save Anne With An E: Ready to Fight for What’s Right?”

Luckily for her readers, Montgomery was no one-hit wonder, so devotees craving more should by no means fall into “the depths of despair.” Here are seven other books by L.M. Montgomery guaranteed to give Anne fans their next fix.

1. The Story Girl (1911)

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Together with its sequel, The Golden Road (1913), this two-novel series about a girl with a gift for bringing stories to life inspired the popular Canadian TV series Road to Avonela, written and directed by Kevin Sullivan and starring actor and future director Sarah Polley. While Sullivan’s captivating adaptation merges many of Montgomery’s other short stories together into The Story Girl’s framing narrative, the original novels put the focus on two idyllic summers which a group of cousins spends together at the family’s homestead on Prince Edward Island. There, the title character, Sara Stanley, beguiles them all with episodes of family romance and mysteries of old.

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2. The Alpine Path (1917)

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While readers often interpret Montgomery’s books as autobiographical, she also published an actual autobiography about her career called The Alpine Path that was originally serialized in Everywoman’s World magazine in 1917. Though Montgomery maintained that her rise to fame had been unglamorous, the magazine's editor was insistent that she had an important story to tell. She soon agreed, hoping that her story would “encourage some other toiler who is struggling along the weary pathway I once followed.” The road was especially rocky for female writers: The title is taken from a poem Montgomery pasted into a childhood notebook, in which a climber of the uphill path to fame hopes to “write upon its shining scroll / A woman’s humble name.” The serialized autobiography was eventually collected into a full book decades after Montgomery's death.

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3. Further Chronicles of Avonlea (1920)

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Although lovers of Anne will be delighted to discover this collection of warm and humorous tales about the village of Avonlea, these discarded stories were never meant to be made available to the public, prompting Montgomery to take publisher L.C. Page & Company to court over their release. Ultimately, she walked away with $18,000 in damages as part of a settlement that permitted the book’s publication—but the publisher later violated the terms of the agreement, which originally included reworking the stories to omit any mention of the character of Anne.

“If you happen to see it[,] do not read it,” Montgomery wrote in a letter to a fellow writer. “It would leave you with no respect for my literary powers. Except for two or three[,] the stories were very poor indeed.” Many readers today would humbly beg to differ.

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4. Emily of New Moon (1923)

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By the time Montgomery wrapped the then-10-volume Anne series, she was richly sick of writing about her most famous character, so she cleansed her palate by penning a new tale about an imaginative orphan named Emily who was adopted by spinsterly aunts. Montgomery was adamant that Emily wasn’t a second Anne; and, if readers scented a parallel, it was “an indication of my failure in depicting her as I saw her.” In the book, Emily defies narrow-minded teachers and relatives in her quest to become a poet and experiences moments of near-supernatural literary insight which she calls “the flash.” Pulitzer Prize-winning short story writer Alice Munro described Emily of New Moon as containing “a real sense of brooding and menace and even horror.”

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5. Pat of Silver Bush (1933)

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Green Gables wasn't the only house Montgomery loved. This novel is set at Silver Bush, the real-life Prince Edward Island homestead of Montgomery’s aunt and uncle, and the location of her wedding to Presbyterian minister Ewen MacDonald. Montgomery returned to Silver Bush many times over the course of an unhappy marriage and her struggles with depression. Similarly, Pat Gardiner, the heroine of this novel, takes comfort in her unchanging home at Silver Bush, which becomes a beacon of continuity amid various struggles and losses.

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6. Jane of Lantern Hill (1937)

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Montgomery wasn't even 2 years old when her mother died of tuberculosis, and a few years later, her father turned her over to the care of her strict grandparents, who lived near the real Green Gables. In this novel—Montgomery’s second to last [PDF]—a young girl named Jane reunites with her long-lost father and dreams of bringing her separated parents back together again. Its fantasy of a family’s reconciliation against the odds is set against the more modern backdrop of the 1930s, complete with automobiles, which were mostly banned on Prince Edward Island until after World War I.

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7. Among the Shadows: Tales From the Darker Side (1990)

A séance is the last place you might expect to find Montgomery, but the author actually attended many of them during her life. As it turns out, Canada’s most beloved children’s author was not only intrigued by the occult, she wrote about it extensively and was fascinated by Ouija boards. The characters in the eerie tales that make up Among the Shadows—a collection of short stories that were published together nearly 40 years after her death—range from a clairvoyant heroine who opens a ghostly door to solve the mystery of a long-lost pearl, to a dead brother who returns from the grave to warn against a ship’s tragic fate.

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