Goodreads review: The Story Girl

Another review by Noe:

The Story GirlThe Story Girl by L.M. Montgomery

My rating: 1 of 5 stars 

This book is a story of a simpler, innocent time for youngsters. Published in 1911, it is about several cousins and friends in their pre- and early teens who are spending a year together on the family farm on Prince Edward Island. Being written by Lucy Maud Montgomery, I anticipated reading a beautiful heartwarming tale, but instead I was sadly disappointed.

I don’t know why the book was titled “The Story Girl” since the cousin who is referred to in this way, Sara Stanley, is no more prominent in the story than any of the other children. One would think with such a title the pages would be filled with interesting yarns told by the story girl, but that is not the case. She does relate some stories, but neither she nor any of her stories are the driving force of the book.

Despite Montgomery's tremendous ability to make simple things sound wonderful and to create memorable people, she falls flat here. There were glimpses of her talent—for instance, the way she describes a rainy day: “The rain was weeping on the roof as if it were shedding the tears of old sorrows.” Who else besides Montgomery could put down such amazing lines? But the problem is, she only rarely does so in this book.

Religion makes up a great deal of what the children do and talk about, such as prayer, reading the Bible, going to Church, choosing a religion, and Judgement Day. In one part of the book, the kids were facing the possible death of one of their friends, and this expression I found particularly moving: “... his skepticism falling away from him like a discarded garment in this valley of the shadow, which sifts out hearts and tries souls, until we all, grown-up or children, realize our weakness, and, finding that our own puny strength is as a reed shaken in the wind, creep back humbly to the God we have vainly dreamed we could do without.”

Very much like the teachings of Christendom were, witchcraft and mythology are also among the main themes of the children’s conversations. All this religion is not presented in a preaching sort of way, but neither is it entertaining, like the old favorite TV show, Art Linkletter’s ‘Kids Say the Darndest Things’ was.

In other words, “The Story Girl” might be likened to watching family videos of someone else’s kids—there is a rare highlight of pleasure, but most often you are yawning, waiting for it to end.

Too bad, Noe really wanted to like this book.
L.M. Montgomery is the author of his favorite book, Anne of Green Gables.

Note: Goodreads rating is as follows:
 did not like it
 it was okay
 liked it
 really liked it
 it was amazing