House of Dreams: The Life of L.M. Montgomery by Liz Rosenberg | Book Review

I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

House of Dreams: The Life of L.M. Montgomery by Liz Rosenberg | Book ReviewHouse of Dreams: The Life of L.M. Montgomery by Liz Rosenberg, Julie Morstad
Published by Candlewick Press on June 12th 2018
Pages: 352
Format: eARC
Source: Publisher
Buy on Amazon
ISBN: 0763660574
Goodreads
three-stars

An affecting biography of the author of Anne of Green Gables is the first for young readers to include revelations about her last days and to encompass the complexity of a brilliant and sometimes troubled life.

Once upon a time, there was a girl named Maud who adored stories. When she was fourteen years old, Maud wrote in her journal, "I love books. I hope when I grow up to be able to have lots of them." Not only did Maud grow up to own lots of books, she wrote twenty-four of them herself as L. M. Montgomery, the world-renowned author of Anne of Green Gables. For many years, not a great deal was known about Maud’s personal life. Her childhood was spent with strict, undemonstrative grandparents, and her reflections on writing, her lifelong struggles with anxiety and depression, her "year of mad passion," and her difficult married life remained locked away, buried deep within her unpublished personal journals. Through this revealing and deeply moving biography, kindred spirits of all ages who, like Maud, never gave up "the substance of things hoped for" will be captivated anew by the words of this remarkable woman.

House Of Dreams: The Life Of L.M. Montgomery by Liz Rosenberg is appealing for obvious reasons. I goddamn love me some Anne Shirley. So, it stands to reason that I would be pumped to read a book about the life of Anne’s creator. Plus, the title is totally a play on one of the titles from the Anne Series. It’s not often that I read non-fiction aimed at juveniles, so I was ready to dive head first into this biography.

Liz Rosenberg’s House Of Dreams really does detail L.M. Montgomery’s life from beginning to end. We see Maud, which LM Montgomery prefered to be called, lose her mother to tuberculosis. Then Maud’s father goes off gallivanting and she is stuck living with her severe grandparents. From there, she enjoys her time and school and has close friendships. I am probably messing up the timeline now, but she ends up living with her father and stepmother, that doesn’t work out. So, she comes home and goes back to school, eventually going to college. Through it all, she writes like the wind. She turns down suitors, earns money for her writing, and eventually writes Anne. Meanwhile, she does get married, has kids, and battles depression for her whole life.

One thing I did enjoy about this book were the inclusion of illustrations. The illustrations looked like pen and ink illustrations on my iPad. They were created by Julie Morstad and were perfectly suited to this book.

So, overall, I think that this book could find success with that crowd who is interested in biographies. It could do well with kids who have to write research papers on authors. Rosenberg does not shy away from the darker moments of Montgomery’s life. I will say that I was actually kind of surprised at just how much adversity was a part of Maud’s life. I guess I sort of expected a happier life from the woman who created the Lake Of Shining Waters and such. The pacing of the book, however, is kind of slow. It did take me what felt like forever to get through it. Despite that, this is a decent sort of read and very informational.

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three-stars
About April (Books&Wine)

April is 30 years old and created Good Books And Good Wine. She works for a non-profit. April always has a book on hand. In her free time she can be found binge watching The Office with her husband and baby, spending way too much time on Pinterest or exploring her neighborhood.

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