Emily of New Moon by L. M. Montgomery

Emily of New MoonInformation

Goodreads: Emily of New Moon
Series: Emily #1
Source: Purchased
Published: 1923


When Emily Starr’s father dies, she is sent to live with her mother’s people on New Moon farm on Prince Edward Island. The Murrays are a proud lot and expect Emily to uphold their traditions, when all Emily wants is to have her father back. However, with the help of a new group of friends and kindness from some unexpected places, Emily may just learn to love life at New Moon.


At first glance Emily of New Moon appears to have a lot of similarities to Anne of Green Gables; after all, it’s a novel about a young orphan girl sent to live on Prince Edward Island, where one of her new guardians is strict and the other balances that with kindness.   This superficial comparison, however, overlooks the different takes on the premise and tones of the novels, as well as the differences between Emily and Anne themselves.  Emily of New Moon is an equally beautiful story, and one told in true L. M. Montgomery fashion, but  one that tilts a little more towards the mysterious and Gothic.

Emily, having been raised primarily by her father with little interaction with other children, is an often serious child who seems to know too much for age.  While Anne is all spunk and imagination run amok, Emily is a river that runs deep.  That doesn’t stop Emily from having her own outbursts and scrapes; they’re simply not as outrageous.  This possibly makes Emily relatable, however.  Though Emily was written nearly 100 years ago, surely many readers today will relate to the unfairness of adults who believe other adults over children and the embarrassment of being forced to wear clothing the other children at school mock.

Emily of New Moon is also where Montgomery dips into her superstitious side. Emily has nearly as big an imagination as Anne, playing with the Wind Woman outdoors and Emily-in-the-glass inside.  However, she also experiences “the flash,” which seems to be something like an unexpected glimpse of the spiritual, and it’s quite possible she might have inherited her family’s rumored talent of the second sight.  It’s moments like these it’s clear Montgomery wasn’t so far removed from the beginnings of Gothic literature and clearly finds a sprinkling of the supernatural the perfect seasoning for her own works.

Though Anne has whole-heartedly won me over, I also love Emily.  She’s steady with an impulsive streak and loves cats and writing.  Her group of friends is also more likable, I think, than Diana Barry, whom I like for Anne’s sake but find incredibly boring.  Emily has a whole cohort of acquaintances to amp up the fun, and I can’t wait to rearead the next two books in the series and see them all again.

What Montgomery books have you read so far?

5 Stars Briana

10 thoughts on “Emily of New Moon by L. M. Montgomery

  1. Geraldine @ Corralling Books says:

    I’ve always wanted to read Emily of New Moon, but yeah I always thought it sounded really similar to Anne of Green Gables. Will definitely read soon hopefully, after your review, because I had no idea that Anne and Emily were so different! And I know I definitely didn’t love Diana for Diana – just for Anne as well – so I’m excited to see Emily’s friends too! 🙂


    • Krysta says:

      It’s funny because I know that people think Emily and Anne are the same because the summaries make it sound that way. But I read the Emily and Anne books before I’d really read anything about them, so it never occurs to me to think of them as similar.


  2. Paula Vince says:

    I think I’ve probably read everything she ever wrote, except for some of the short story collections. I love this review. I agree that Emily’s friends are more interesting. I used to get tired of Diana, Ruby and Jane, especially since LMM seemed to find them a bit boring herself. Teddy, Perry and Ilse are fascinating characters with personalities and talents all of their own.


    • Krysta says:

      Diana, Ruby, and Jane are almost far more interesting when they get older. Or, at least their fates are pretty interesting (excepting maybe Diana’s, I suppose). I’d totally forgotten Jane Andrews had married a millionaire. It’s so funny to read Anne of Green Gables and know that one day poor Jane, whom everyone doesn’t think much of, is going to go off and do that. Even though Montgomery sort of implies Jane was just desperate for a man.


  3. Krysta says:

    Emily’s interesting because at times she’s almost bitter. She’s young, but she’s had a lot of pain in her life, and that seems to affect her more than it affects Anne. Or maybe Anne decides to channel her old loneliness into a desire to help others feel loved, whereas sometimes Emily is just sitting there feeling the injustice and emptiness of the world. And she really gets to experience that, whereas Anne’s bad moments are sort of glossed over, like when Gilbert is supposed to be going out with that other girl. Anne is upset, but the months pass in a few sentences. And yet, Emily’s not really a bitter person. She still recognizes beauty and tries to share that with other people and use her writing to uplift. I think she’s inspirational in her own way.


    • Briana says:

      Anne is my favorite, and then maybe Pat, so I think sometimes I forget how I like Emily. She has a particularly interesting story line as she grows up, too. I should probably reread the next two books sometime!


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