Welcome to the Emily of New Moon Read Along! Today the LMMI begins with a reflection by Marjorie Hembroff.
Chapter 1: The House in the Hallow
By, Marjorie Hembroff
The chapter opens at the house in the hallow, which is located in an isolated spot. Emily lives there with her father and housekeeper, Ellen Greene. Emily is an imaginative child and doesn’t realize at the beginning of the chapter how serious the situation is. Her father is very ill, spending his time laying on a lounge in the living room. When her father feels poorly and coughs for hours, Emily retreats into her book world. She amuses herself with one of her favourite books on miserable rainy days when she isn’t allowed outside. Emily doesn’t have many friends, at least not human ones. Emily adores her two cats, Saucy Sal and Mike, that she has raised since they were tiny kittens. The Wind Woman and little Emily-in-the-glass are two of her favourite friends.
Even though the situation is serious in her home, Emily doesn’t let it get her down. She likes to take walks with the Wind Woman who whispers to her through the big boughs of two trees she calls, Adam and Eve.
Spring arrives and Emily feels restless. She hasn’t been allowed outside during the winter for fear she would catch a cold. She slips out while her father sleeps and Ellen Greene tidies up the kitchen. She decides to walk over the fields to the spruce barrens, one of her favorite spots. Emily believes magic happens in those spruce trees. Emily often gets what she calls, “the flash,” which gives her the ability to have brief glimpses into the past. She experiences one on her walk. Emily sees a glorious scene that she wants to write down in her notebook before it vanishes from her mind. She dashes home to write her thoughts down only to discover Ellen waiting for her on the steps. Emily is shocked by the news she hears. She doesn’t want to believe that her father doesn’t have much time to live. She escapes up to her room in tears.
I grew up reading L.M. Montgomery’s books, mainly the Anneseries. I didn’t discover her other books until the Emilyseries came on TV many years later. Shortly afterwards, I purchased the Emilyseries and other books. I read the Annebooks multiple times. These were my mother’s books and had been read by her younger sisters, as well as my older sister. Some of them were second editions. I could always envision the places and people the author described.
There is some resemblance between Emily and Anne (Anne of Green Gables). Both girls are imaginative and this helps. Both girls have imaginary mirror friends. As a child, I felt a certain kinship to Anne and that girlish kinship would have been with Emil, as well; if I could have read those books in my youthful days. I was a lot like Anne and Emily. My imagination helped me fill a void of lonely hours.
As a writer and author myself, I can appreciate the work that would have gone into Montgomery’s books. She wrote them by hand and hired someone to type manuscripts for her. She makes the scenery and the people in her stories real. Her vivid descriptions make the locations jump off the page. Through her books, she brought various places in PEI into the limelight. Her stories have survived through the generations continually being read by young people all over the world. They are indeed classical stories. A lot of LMontgomery is portrayed in Emily and Anne. After reading her biographies, I was able to identify her in her characters in all her books.
I have always admired Montgomery and her determination to get her work published. She struggled between her duties to her grandparents and, later in life, her duties as a minister’s wife. She devoted a certain amount of time to her writing. Montgomery has always been my inspiration to follow my dreams.
Marjorie Hembroff grew up on a farm, in southwestern Manitoba, Canada, during the 1950’s the fourth child in a family of five. She was an imaginative child, which often got her into trouble. She now lives in a small town in Alberta and has self-published three books, which are available on Amazon. Her author name is M.E. Hembroff. You can follow her on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Goodreads. Or, follow up on the latest news at, http://mhembroff.wordpress.