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Lucy Maud and Me

by Mary Frances Coady

When a spring flood closes her school, Laura, 12, is sent to live for a week with her grandfather in 1940s Toronto. Her grandfather’s new neighbourhood holds little promise for Laura until she meets a neighbour, the depressed wife of an ailing former Presbyterian minister. They garden together, and Mrs. Macdonald tells Laura about the many beaus who courted her as a young girl. She also hints at the troubles in her life: her husband’s illness, her older son’s failed marriage, her own disappointments, depression, and failing health. Laura confides the death of her best friend. As the friendship progresses, they also talk about writing, because Mrs. Macdonald is, of course, Lucy Maud Montgomery. At the end of the week, when Laura’s mother writes to say she can come home, L.M. Montgomery dies, and Laura’s grandfather helps her deal with her grief before she leaves.

Lucy Maud and Me is an earnest book. The embittered, depressed Maud Macdonald is an accurate portrayal of the author at the end of her life. Coady is a talented writer with a clear, straightforward style, and her characters are sympathetic. But the desire to convey information dominates the book at the expense of all other elements, especially plot. Laura’s own concerns and a subplot about her grandfather’s young housekeeper seem pasted on. It’s difficult to know whether enthusiasm for L.M. Montgomery will sustain young readers through the static conversations and melancholy tone of this book.


Reviewer: Janet McNaughton

Publisher: Sandcastle Books/Beach Holme Publishing


Price: $8.95

Page Count: 130 pp

Format: Paper

ISBN: 0-88878-398-1

Released: Apr.

Issue Date: 1999-6

Categories: Children and YA Fiction

Age Range: ages 10–14