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Kilmeny of the Orchard by L. M. Montgomery

Kilmeny of the Orchard (original 1910; edition 1989)

by L. M. Montgomery

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Title:Kilmeny of the Orchard
Authors:L. M. Montgomery (Author)
Info:Bantam Books (1989), Mass Market Paperback, 134 pages
Collections:Your library, Illinois library

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Kilmeny of the Orchard by L. M. Montgomery (1910)



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A short novel for young adults by the author of the 'Anne' books. A bit melodramatic at the end, but not bad for a light read. ( )
  SueinCyprus | Jan 26, 2016 |
This novella has at the heart of its conflict an emotional trauma and while there are hints at other obstacles, unlike more modern romantic stories, the path of this love story is not tainted by distrust or misunderstandings. This isn't my favorite story - there's no humor and some unpleasant attitudes towards "foreigners". But there are some moments of sweetness too. ( )
  tjsjohanna | Dec 10, 2013 |
another deliteful LM Montgomery read - this one definitely quick at 134 pages! started it at the dr's waiting for my appointment and completed by afternoon.
the typical heartwarming human interest story set in the Prince Edward Island community of Lindsay. it begins with Eric Marshall graduation with future planned for family business, circumvented by a friend's request to fill in for just one final month of schoolteaching... a greater plan at work for Eric's future and that of other island residents that include mystery and romance with some serious resistance that needs to be over ruled. ( )
  FHC | Jun 13, 2013 |
Published in 1910, Kilmeny of the Orchard was L.M. Montgomery's third novel, following upon her beloved children's classic Anne of Green Gables (1908), and its first sequel, Anne of Avonlea (1909). A thoroughly romantic tale, it owes more - in both style and narrative content - to the sentimental novels of the late nineteenth-century, than any of her other works. The tale of Eric Marshall - a wealthy young college graduate who takes a teaching position on Prince Edward Island to oblige a friend, and who falls deeply in love with a beautiful mute girl named Kilmeny Gordon - it follows a fairly standard formula, in which the obstacles to marital bliss are overcome in dramatic and unlikely ways, and the unworthy disappear conveniently from the scene.

Beautifully written as it is - and I find it quite an enjoyable book on many levels - Kilmeny of the Orchard is a somewhat problematic text for me, owing to Montgomery's apparent eugenist leanings, manifest in frequent references to the importance of bloodline, and of racial and/or ethnic heritage. Surfacing early on in the story, when Eric discusses issues of heredity with his cousin David Baker, it is a theme most fully explored in the character of Neil Gordon - the Gordon's adopted Italian son. Confronting Neil at one point, Eric thinks: "He was working himself up into a fury again - the untamed fury of the Italian peasant thwarted in his heart's desire. It overrode all the restraint of his training and environment."

As much as this unfortunate belief in innate ethnic and national qualities was the product of its time and place, so too was the insistence on the heroine's spotless virtue and complete unworldly innocence. Kilmeny - whose unsurpassed beauty seems to be one of her chief virtues - is described as a child, until Eric's kiss makes her a woman. She is trusting and naive, obedient and utterly passive. Her one moment of self-assertion, which the narrative paints as an act of "selfless love," owes much to a belief in her own unworthiness - that her disability is a "defect."

Although Montgomery's casual and oblique references to a eugenist world-view, and chauvinist insistence on passive beauty in a romantic heroine, did prevent me from taking Kilmeny of the Orchard entirely to heart, they did not ruin the book completely. There is still much here to enjoy, from the author's lyrical passages concerning the beauties of Prince Edward Island, to her well-drawn cast of eccentric secondary characters. It is an engaging story, and reads quickly. Unfortunately, it is also somewhat dated, and has none of the transcendence of her greater works. ( )
  AbigailAdams26 | May 27, 2013 |
To help out a friend who has fallen ill, 24 year old Eric takes a job teaching in the sleepy little town of Lindsay. One day he encounters the most beautiful girl he has every seen playing the violin in an old orchard. Her name is Kilmeny Gordon, and she has been unable to speak since birth. As Eric and Kilmeny fall in love, Eric sets out to learn the secrets of her past and make Kilmeny his wife...

This short novella (It's less than 200 pages) was written by L.M Montgomery in 1910. I read it for the first time in 5th grade, when I was devouring everything the author of Anne of Green Gables had ever written. Re-reading it as an adult, I can say that unlike most of Mongomery's works, Kilmeny is definitely a book that shows it's age, not just in the flowery language and various archetypal characters, but also, and unfortunately by the blatant racism shown in the depiction of the novel's villain, an Italian boy born who was raised by Kilmeny's aunt and uncle.
If you can overlook that, it's a short, sweet and quick read, if nothing amazingly profound or memorable. (Except for the climatic scene at the end)
( )
  shojo_a | Apr 4, 2013 |
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To my cousin Beatrice A. McIntyre this book is affectionately dedicated
First words
The sunshine of a day in early spring, honey pale and honey
sweet, was showering over the red brick buildings of Queenslea
College and the grounds about them, throwing through the bare,
budding maples and elms, delicate, evasive etchings of gold and
brown on the paths, and coaxing into life the daffodils that were
peering greenly and perkily up under the windows of the co-eds'
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0553213776, Paperback)

When twenty-four-year-old Eric Marshall arrives on Prince Edward Island to become a substitute schoolmaster, he has a bright future in his wealthy family's business.  Eric has taken the two-month teaching post only as a favor to a friend -- but fate throws in his path a beautiful, mysterious girl named Kilmeny Gordon.  With jet black hair and sea blue eyes, Kilmeny immediately captures Eric's heart.  But Kilmeny cannot speak, and Eric is concerned for and bewitched by this shy, sensitive mute girl.  For the first time in his life Eric must work hard for something he wants badly.  And there is nothing he wants more than for Kilmeny to retum his love.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:11:29 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

Eric Marshall arrives on Prince Edward Island to become a substitute schoolmaster as a favor to a friend, but fate throws in his path a beautiful, mysterious girl named Kilmeny Gordon, who is mute. For the first time in his life Eric must work hard for something he wants badly. And there is nothing he wants more than for Kilmeny to return his love.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

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