Sometimes I don’t want to know the stories behind my favorite authors. Sometimes it ruins the experience of losing myself in the read when I know too much background information. But for some reason I didn’t have any of these qualms when I discovered the book Looking for Anne of Green Gables: The Story of L.M. Montgomery and Her Literary Classic by Irene Gammel on the shelf at Barnes and Noble. I not only love all the Anne books, but most everything else by L.M. Montgomery. I’ve read most of them so many times that it wouldn’t matter what I now learned about the author and her writing process, the stories are forever ingrained in my mind.
So I asked for the book for Christmas. And my sweet husband ordered it for me. It was a fascinating read, a somewhat scholarly look at the influences that went into the writing of Anne—both in Montgomery’s life and in the things to which she was exposed from the world outside Price Edward’s Island. It was both a biography of Montgomery, the wirter, and Anne, the character. As a writer, I was spellbound by the way people—both real and fictional—shaped the conglomeration of physical and emotional traits that become Anne. And while Montgomery’s life story left me sad, I think I will read her books again with a new appreciation for her creativity and tenacity.