I’m a keen L M Montgomery fan – so keen I’ve travelled from Australia to Prince Edward Island. When this book was released I wasn’t entirely convinced I wanted to read it – I had already read The Road to Yesterday which I believed contained all of the stories, but I read a review on the Kindred Spirits email list which convinced me I should read it. As it’s not available in Australia yet, I bought my copy from the Canadian Amazon and it arrived within a week!
It’s a book of short stories with poetry bits in between (attributed to Anne and Walter) and conversations with the Blythes. It is spilt into two parts; the first contains stories set before World War 1 and the second stories set after. There is a forward by Elizabeth Epperly and an afterward by Benjamin Lefebvre.
Here’s the description from Amazon …
Adultery, illegitimacy, misogyny, revenge, murder, despair, bitterness, hatred, and death—usually not the first terms associated with L.M. Montgomery. But in The Blythes Are Quoted, completed shortly before her death and never before published in its entirety, Montgomery brought these topics to the forefront in what she intended to be the ninth volume in her bestselling series featuring her beloved heroine Anne. Divided into two sections, one set before and one after the Great War of 1914—1918, The Blythes Are Quoted contains fifteen episodes that include an adult Anne and her family. Binding these short stories, Montgomery inserted sketches featuring Anne and Gilbert Blythe discussing poems by Anne and their middle son, Walter, who dies as a soldier in the war. By blending poetry, prose, and dialogue, Montgomery was experimenting with storytelling methods in ways she had never before attempted. The Blythes Are Quoted marks the final word of a writer whose work continues to fascinate readers all over the world.
I must confess that I don’t really like Montgomery’s poetry so I tended to skip those bits. I did like the conversations with the family members it gave you a feel for how their lives continued after Rilla of Ingleside.
I haven’t compared each story with how it appeared in the Road to Yesterday, but it seems to me that there are more Blythe references in this version (and not all positive). To me it contained the essence of all Montgomery novels and I want to go back and read them all again. If you’re hesitating about reading this novel because you’ve read all of the stories before, I would encourage you to give it a go.