I’m interrupting my usual Friday programming to instead do a book review, because today is an interesting anniversary–at least, if you’re somewhat intensely interested in L. M. Montgomery! Her dearest friend and cousin, Frederica Campbell, died on January 25th, 1919, a victim of the post-WWI flu epidemic. That makes today the 100th anniversary.
Montgomery mourned Frederica, nicknamed Frede, for the rest of her life, and her presence looms very large in Montgomery’s journals and life. So much so that it seems very strange to me that she died a hundred years ago–but I can never quite feel that Montgomery has been dead for over 75 years either. I’ve been rereading the second volume of Montgomery’s selected journals, which includes Frede’s death (which is why I noticed the anniversary date) and it’s quite moving.
So in a kind of acknowledgement, today I’m reviewing The Story Girl, which I read this month for the L. M. Montgomery January Reading Challenge, and which I didn’t remember was dedicated to Frede until I started it. Kismet!
The Story Girl stands a little apart from Montgomery’s other novels, which almost all have one girl or young woman at their center (Rainbow Valley is the other exception). Despite what the title would suggest, The Story Girl has an entire circle of children at its center: brothers Bev and Felix King, Toronto visitors to Prince Edward Island, their cousins Felicity, Dan, and Cecily King, neighbor and faux-relative Sara Ray, hired boy Peter Craig, and cousin Sara Stanley, the titular Story Girl. The group romps through a PEI summer and autumn, brush up against tragedy real or imagined, laugh a lot, and listen to many, many stories from the Story Girl. Continue reading “Book Review: The Story Girl”