Shelf Control #317: House of Dreams: The Life of L. M. Montgomery by Liz Rosenberg

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Shelf Control is a weekly celebration of the unread books on our shelves. Pick a book you own but haven’t read, write a post about it (suggestions: include what it’s about, why you want to read it, and when you got it), and link up! For more info on what Shelf Control is all about, check out my introductory post, here.

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Title: House of Dreams: The Life of L. M. Montgomery
Author: Liz Rosenberg
Published: 2018
Length: 339 pages

What it’s about (synopsis via Goodreads):

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and depression, her “year of mad passion,” and her difficult married life remained locked away, buried deep within her unpublished personal journals.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.

How and when I got it:

I bought a hardcover edition just over a year ago.

Why I want to read it:

I’ve been a voracious reader from childhood onward, but it’s only been in the last few years, as a (ahem) mature adult, that I’ve filled in a major gap in my childhood reading — the works of L. M. Montgomery!

How I managed to get through my younger days without someone pushing a copy of Anne of Green Gables into my hands, I just can’t quite understand. But that’s how things stood until about three years ago, when I finally read AoGG and then proceeded to read the seven following books in the Anne series. By now, I’ve also read the three Emily Starr books (loved them!) and one of the author’s rare books for adults, The Blue Castle. (Loved that one too!)

But what do I actually know about the author? Not very much, other than that she was a beloved Canadian children’s author who grew up on Prince Edward Island — so I was eager to get my hands on this biography of L. M. Montgomery, which has some truly stellar reviews on Goodreads and elsewhere.

House of Dreams is marketed as a middle grade book, although from some comments on Goodreads, it sounds like it deals more directly with the author’s depression than might be expected in MG.

I know I’ve commented at least a thousand times (grain of salt applied here…) that I tend not to read non-fiction, but this book is one I think I’ll make an exception for. I’ve gotten so much joy from reading L. M. Montgomery’s books over the last few years. I think it’s about time for me to get to know the author herself.

What do you think? Would you read this book?

Please share your thoughts!


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  • Write a blog post about a book that you own that you haven’t read yet.
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21 thoughts on “Shelf Control #317: House of Dreams: The Life of L. M. Montgomery by Liz Rosenberg

  1. Hi Lisa – I would definitely read this, and I just borrowed the ebook from our library! I’m a little surprised it’s considered a middle-grade book. I wonder if it’s done that way because of all the anxiety and depression young people are going through these days. Thanks for sharing this!

  2. I’d love to read this as well; during my childhood (teens actually), I only knew the Anne books, but discovered her others a lot later. But I love nearly everything I’ve read by her, including the small autobiographical volume she wrote, The Alpine Path.

  3. I didn’t read Anne of Green Gables until a few months ago (which you would have thought it would have been required reading as a Canadian, but it was not!). I completely loved Anne and I can’t wait to dive into the other books, but this book reminds me of something I read last month; Maud by: Melanie Fishbane. Although, that is a fictionalized version of LM Montgomery’s life, I enjoyed it.
    I hope you enjoy this one!

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

  5. I grew up on Anne of Green Gables, the Emily books, her short stories, everything. I think every Canadian girl who read her as a child thinks of herself having two homes: wherever she lives in Canada, and Prince Edward Island. Montgomery’s books made me want to live in her worlds and to know her characters as neighbours and friends. And, many decades later, I find that that this is exactly what I did.

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