In Looking for Anne of Green Gables, Irene Gammel focuses on the writing of L.M. Montgomery’s most famous book. She uncovers sources, traces parallels between Maud and Anne, and considers the ways in which Anne served as an alter-ego who was universally loved (unlike Maud), and was able to be freer than Maud ever could be. She also discusses Montgomery’s personal life: her unsatisfactory family relations, her passions for other girls and then women, her desire to make a home with another woman, the men in her life, and her anxiety about male-female relationships and sexuality. Montgomery probably falls into that category of emotionally lesbian women, who probably never acted on their feelings.
Looking for Anne of Green Gables ends with the publication of Anne of Green Gables and its sequels, trouble that Montgomery had with her publisher, her marriage (and disappointments in it), and her two sons. It then skips to her death many years later, which hinders it from serving as a complete biography. Still, Gammel’s book is a fascinating portrait of a troubled woman who gifted young readers with a story that is still treasured today.
Reviewed by,Â Nancy Silverrod
San Francisco Public Library