Montgomery, L.M.: Pat of Silver Bush; Mistress Pat

After re-reading The Curse of Chalion, I only really felt like reading the new Bujold, but not having a copy, well, I settled for something undemanding like L.M. Montgomery’s Pat of Silver Bush and Mistress Pat. I was reminded of these by a flurry of discussion of Montgomery’s Emily books on various LiveJournals. These are about a girl who’s in love with a house. Mostly they’re just people living their lives and telling stories, in the way that Montgomery does well, but there are two things that drove me nuts. First, a major character speaks in a brogue that’s phonetically rendered, and I hate phonetic dialogue. Second, the ending is absolutely horrible. Montgomery clearly wrote herself into a corner, but that’s no excuse for smashing her way out in the way that most insults the characters and the reader. I was warned that Montgomery’s inability to plot was on fine display in these, but I still found the ending highly dreadful.

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  1. Oops. _Three_ things that drove me nuts. The title character is one of the most conservative viewpoint characters I’ve ever experienced; every other chapter she was sighing over how terrible it was when things changed, or wishing things wouldn’t change, etc. etc. (This ties into the way Montgomery wrote herself into a corner, also.)

  2. I can’t quite tell if you were disappointed with the ending of the Emily books, or the Pat books (which I’ve never read), but if it’s the Emily books, I’m in vehement agreement with you. *Gnrrrgh*. *Gnaarrrgh*. If it’s the Pat books, well, I *still* hate the end of the Emily books. 🙂

    -Catie

  3. I hated both, actually. They’re screwed up in the same sort of way, though the mechanics differ.

  4. Obviously I shouldn’t read the end of the Pat books. Thanks for the warning. 🙂 I re-read the end of the Emily books once to see if it was actually as horrible as I remembered, and since it was, I stopped re-reading the third book at all. Sad, because I might like Emily even more than I like Anne.

  5. I don’t think the end of Emily books was *that* bad… Well, I’ve never really liked Teddy and I feel he’s such a goody-two-shoes kind of character, whereas Emily seems to hold a lot more depth and dark to her… So the Emily/Teddy pairing is a little off IMO, but then again, it seems Emily couldn’t be happy without him –and since I wanted her to be happy once and for all–I found the ending satisfactory.
    Changing the topic, I want to read the Pat books but I’ve heard pretty bad reviews… Is the series worth-reading?

  6. Caroline: hard to say, since I disliked it in the same way as I disliked the Emily books, and we have different opinions about those.

  7. I agree about the Emily ending…I never liked it either. Teddy was such a boring character. On the other hand, I thought that the Pat ending was good. Somewhat predictable, but I think it had to be that way. You don’t learn to accept change b/c you see other people change, you only accept it when lots of bad things happen to you that force you to see what’s still good about the way things are.

  8. Leigh: that’s an interesting perspective on the ending of the Pat books, thanks. I was annoyed because it seemed to me like there must have been another way to get to the same result, but maybe there wasn’t. I don’t really know.

  9. i liked the pat ending too, for the same reasons as leigh. in fact, i thought in mistress pat, the ending was probably the only good part of the book. the rest sucked.
    the emily ending was not wow, but ir wasnt that bad either..it was just okay for me… teddy was always the least developed out of emily’s quartet,.. i don’t think he feels as real as perry, ilse or emily herself..

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