Thank you, Partner @bibliolifestyle @williammorrowbooks for a review copy of After Anne by Logan Steiner. This book was published on May 30th.
Have you read or watched Anne of Green Gables? What are your thoughts?
After Anne starts with L.M. Montgomery, Maud, as a spinster in her 30’s living with her Grandmother and just starting on her writing of Anne of Green Gables. She loves spending time with her beloved cousin and best friend, Frede. When a new minister comes to town, Ewan Macdonald, Maud wonders whether she has finally found her soul mate. After a glorious birthday weekend with Frede and Ewan, Maud marries Ewan and together they build a life. Sadly, their lives slip into despair over time. How can a woman who wrote such beautiful novels have such a sad life?
I liked how this novel was put together. It opens on the day that L.M. Montgomery is discovered to have committed suicide. Was it an accident or intentional? The book then flashes back to show her life. The birthday weekend of 1907 is prominent, and the narrative keeps slipping back to that time frame when everything looked bright and wonderful for Maud. Anne of Green Gables was about to be published, she was about to be married, and she had her best friend and cousin, Frede. Maud had a lot of trials and tribulations as her husband slipped into madness, she lost those that she loved, and she had a troubled relationship with one of her sons. She started to self-medicate to make it through her days which led to her ultimate demise.
I didn’t know much about her life, and I found this was an interesting biographical fictional novel. It made me sad to learn that L.M. Montgomery had such a sad life, but I was happy that she was able to use the best parts of it for inspiration in her works. This book has led me to want to read her journals and biographies of her life. I may have read all of the fiction that she wrote, but I have not delved into her personal life at all until now. I was particularly fascinated by how the war and the flu epidemic of 1918 affected her life and her writing of one of my favorite novels, Rilla of Ingleside.
I found the character of Maud to be likeable and sympathetic. I enjoyed learning more of her story and looked forward to the bright points such as her 1907 birthday party. The pacing of the story was a bit slow, but I overall enjoyed the novel.