Rilla of Ingleside, until now the final book in the series, was always one of my favorites* despite its darkness. I have a distinct memory of sitting in the back of my parents' car on the way to Maine reading it for the second or third time (yes, I used to read in the car all the time, I was a freak) and bawling. It was one of the first really sad books I ever read, along with Little Women, and even though it's jingoistic it really is a wonderfully vivid description of what the "home front" of a foreign war is like, the agonizing waiting and wondering and the patriotic one-upsmanship that sweeps communities. It's hard to see Anne as a sad grownup having lost a child, but just as my other favorite YA author Madeleine L'Engle does when she writes about Meg Murray's kids, Montgomery unflinchingly shows us the march of time in both its happiness and pain.
The Blythes Are Quoted was intended to be the ninth volume in Montgomery's series about her heroine Anne Shirley, she of the freckled face, green-grey eyes and the "two braids of very thick, decidedly red hair". Featuring 15 short stories about Anne as an adult and her family, it also includes a series of vignettes between the stories – poems "by" Anne and her son Walter, who dies during the first world war – and sketches of Anne and Gilbert Blythe discussing the poems.
The book is divided into two sections, set before and after the first world war, and according to Penguin sees Montgomery "experimenting with storytelling methods in ways she had never attempted before" as she moves between prose, dialogue and poetry.
.....The book looks set to reveal a darker side to the author, with its publisher promising themes of "adultery, illegitimacy, misogyny, revenge, murder, despair, bitterness, hatred, and death – usually not the first terms associated with LM Montgomery".
I cannot wait for this book!
*I also love Anne of the Island cause of the romantic stuff.