cover image House of Dreams: The Life of L.M. Montgomery

House of Dreams: The Life of L.M. Montgomery

Liz Rosenberg, illus. by Julie Morstad. Candlewick, $17.99 (352p) ISBN 978-0-7636-6057-4

Rosenberg’s comprehensive biography of the author of the beloved Anne of Green Gables series presents a multidimensional portrait of a complicated and conflicted writer. Opening with 30-year-old Montgomery starting to write the book that brought her international fame and wealth, the story circles back to her early abandonment by her parents, her childhood with stern grandparents, to the publication of a poem when she was 15, marking the beginning of a career that encompassed more than 20 novels and countless stories and poems. Rosenberg explores Montgomery’s fierce attachment to Prince Edward Island, as well as her family loyalty, passions, and relentless ambition. While tracing Montgomery’s growth and success as a writer, Rosenberg doesn’t shy away from presenting her failings—the lies of omission in her journal, her entanglements with unavailable men—and her struggles with chronic depression, a mentally unstable husband, and a less-than-trustworthy publisher. Though initially slow going, this illuminating and satisfying biography takes on life and depth as Montgomery’s own voice grows more prominent. Ages 10–14. (June)