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L.M. Montgomery
Edited by Rea Wilmshurst
Toronto, McClelland & Stewart, 1993. 248pp, cloth, $24.99
ISBN 0-7710-6172-2. CIP.

Grades 6 to 8/Ages 11 to 13

Reviewed by Caroline Thomson.

Volume 21 Number 5
1993 October

Lucy Maud Montgomery is one of Canada's best known authors. Her stories appeal to all ages. While she is best known as the creator of Anne of Green Gables, she was also a prolific writer of short stories, novels and poetry. Against the Odds is a collection of Montgomery's short stories previously published in magazines and newspapers, but never published in book form. Against the Odds is the fifth volume of these "rediscov­ered tales," a companion to Akin to Anne (McClelland & Stewart, 1988), Along the Shore, Among the Shadows and After Many Days (McClelland & Stewart, 1991).

As the subtitle indicates, these are tales of achievement. There are various obstacles to be overcome in these stories: some must overcome financial difficulties that prevent them from living the life they want, while others must overcome the prejudice of another. The outcomes vary, as do the settings — from P.E.I, to Saskatchewan. All of the characters are believable and drawn up in Montgomery's inimitable style. Although most of the eighteen stories are quite short (five to six pages), Montgomery manages to create a whole world of characters and settings that are appealing and lovingly depicted.

Although these stories were originally published many years ago, the problems faced are not so different from ones faced today. The stories are enjoyable and easy to read. Included with the stories are a few pictures, which appear to be copies of the ones that accompanied the stories originally.

This is a book for anyone who has read Montgomery's work before or who has enjoyed such television shows as "Road to Avonlea." As the editor points out, "old fashioned Montgomery may be, but out of fashion, never."

Caroline Thomson is a librarian in Burlington, Ontario.
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