Emily Climbs by L. M. Montgomery


Goodreads: Emily Climbs
Series: Emily #2
Source: Library
Published: 1925


Emily Starr dreams of becoming a famous writer.  First, however, she dreams of attending high school with her friends: Perry, a former chore boy with great ambitions; Teddy, a born artist; and Ilse, a talented elocutionist.  Then Aunt Elizabeth presents her with a terrible choice–she can attend high school, but only if she gives up writing.


Like Anne Shirley, Emily Byrd Starr dreams of becoming a writer.  Unlike Anne, Emily fully intends this for a career, and she puts her heart and soul into her work, even deciding that she will pursue a career before marriage.  There are no random scribblings of stories sometimes sent off to publishers here; Emily writes all the time, rewrites, receives feedback, and then tries to earn some money.  Her setbacks and her triumphs are often the focus of the story.  And all of it feels a bit autobiographical.

But Emily’s books have always felt darker than Anne’s, so perhaps it’s no surprise that the rejections here seem to sting more than the ones Anne receives–or at least, Montgomery seems to spend more time on them.  This feels appropriate; Emily dwells in a world beauty but also of deep hurts and sorrows.  She sees and knows too much for a young girl.  She understands people’s secret fears and heartaches.  While she sometimes finds herself in amusing scrapes, she just as often finds herself involved in something hateful or desperately sad–the case of a missing child, the subject of public censure, the victim of unfortunate circumstances.  Fortunately, her high moments seem to make up for her low ones.

Readers who enjoyed Emily of New Moon will no doubt enjoy this second installment.  Emily is between girlhood and womanhood, and learning a lot about herself and her world in the process.  Her pleasures and pains become the readers’, as well, and make reading the book feel like spending time with an old friend.

5 starsKrysta 64


4 thoughts on “Emily Climbs by L. M. Montgomery

      • TeacherofYA says:

        That’s true. But a lot of those are “canonized.” YA books don’t seem to get that honor…it seems like the newer, the better when it comes to YA. I hope that people continue to find value in older YA literature, because it is still good and still has merit.


        • Krysta says:

          Children’s classics like Anne are recognized as such, but it’s true that they’re not considered part of the Western canon. I think people do find value in older works,though–books such as Little Women, A Little Princess, The Wizard of Oz, and Anne of Green Gables, for example, still get movie remakes and other sorts of adaptations, which wouldn’t happen if people didn’t think they would be popular enough to make money.


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