Review:: Maud by Melanie J. Fishbane

Fourteen-year-old Lucy Maud Montgomery — Maud to her friends — has a dream: to go to college and become a writer, just like her idol, Louisa May Alcott. But living with her grandparents on Prince Edward Island, she worries that this dream will never come true. Her grandfather has strong opinions about a woman’s place in the world, and they do not include spending good money on college. Luckily, she has a teacher to believe in her, and good friends to support her, including Nate, the Baptist minister’s stepson and the smartest boy in the class. If only he weren’t a Baptist; her Presbyterian grandparents would never approve. Then again, Maud isn’t sure she wants to settle down with a boy — her dreams of being a writer are much more important.

But life changes for Maud when she goes out West to live with her father and his new wife and daughter. Her new home offers her another chance at love, as well as attending school, but tensions increase as Maud discovers her stepmother’s plans for her, which threaten Maud’s future — and her happiness forever. (via Goodreads)

I received an eARC from Netgalley and the publisher, Penguin Teen, in exchange for an honest review!

I have loved Anne of Green Gables for as long as I can remember, so when I saw this book coming out, I got really excited.

Fans of the Anne of Green Gables series will see so many familiar things from Lucy Maud Montgomery’s series’, from Gog and Magog to Lover’s Lane to being particular about how a name is spelled.

I wasn’t sure I was going to like this book. Much like The Radium Girls, Maud was written as narrative nonfiction, and it took me a little while to get into. It was very clearly based on Lucy Maud Montgomery’s life, with all the hardships therein, but with a little extra lyricism on the author’s part.

Now that I’ve finished the book, I’m still not entirely sure I liked it. It was more than 400 pages, but Maud gets into college and that’s the end of the story. It felt unfinished, despite the length of the story, and lacked the charming prose that Lucy Maud Montgomery used to worm her way into our hearts.

There was a lot that was left unexplained. Even as someone who grew up in the church, I didn’t understand why someone being Protestant wanting to be with someone who was Baptist was a big deal, even though it was talked about for probably a third of the book. It was never explored or explained, and given that this is narrative nonfiction, it needed to. We never found out why Mollie and Pensie hated each other, even though that was mentioned ten or twelve times.

I also had no idea what the future held for Maud once it ended. This book was kind of a disappointment for me. This was a three star read at best.

If this sounds like more your thing, you can pick up a copy on Amazon, Indiebound or your other favorite bookseller.

three stars

Disclaimer: All links to Indiebound and Amazon are affiliate links, which means that if you buy through those links, I will make a small amount of money off of it.

5 thoughts on “Review:: Maud by Melanie J. Fishbane

  1. I am reading Anne just now! Maybe when I’m done with the series, I should check it out.
    You’ve read The Radium Girls? It was something unforgettable for me… I wrote a very strong review and interviewed the author. Could you share the link of your review, if you wrote one? I’d love to check it out.

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