January 21, 2013

Pat of Silver Bush, by L.M. Montgomery

I have been enjoying Lucy Maud Montgomery's work since Mrs. Schoonover introduced Anne to our fourth grade class.  (Shortly after she shared it with the class, I bought my own copy through the book club at school.  That copy still has my nine year old signature within it.  Call me sentimental, but I don't want to let go of it, despite having a full matching set of the Anne books...and an illustrated unabridged hardback, too.)

A few years ago, I read my first non-Anne book, called The Golden Road.  I enjoyed it, but not nearly as much as Anne.   I was excited to read Pat of Silver Bush for this year's LMM reading challenge, even though I have not completed the Anne series yet.

Pat of Silver Bush follows the life of Pat Gardiner from the age of seven until she is a young lady (maybe about 18).  Pat's passion for life focuses upon her home and family.  Pat adores her home-Silver Bush-some would say to a fault.  Each room is special to her, as is the furniture and every thing within it.  Much like Anne Shirley, Pat loves to be outside.  She finds beauty all around her and personifies it.  Much like her home, she thinks of the fields, streams, trees, and everything as being alive...with feelings.  She names them and cares for them.

Judy Plum is the Silver Bush cook, but treated like family, especially by Pat.  With Pat's own mother sickly, Judy, with her strong Irish brogue, is the motherly figure that Pat relates to.  Judy understands Pat when no one else does.  She is close to her brother, Sid and Judy, but no one else until her new friend Jingle.  Jingle is a neighbor boy who has been taken in by his uncle, but not loved by anyone until the Gardiners become his friend.  Jingle and Pat understand one another...no words are necessary, but they have similar hearts for all things of nature-and the place they name Happiness.  Don't we all need a place called Happiness?

Pat's passions run deep.  Not only does she adore her home, but she dislikes change.  Through the years, we see how Pat adjusts to change.  It begins when a new sister, Cuddles is introduced to the family.  (Judy finds her in the parsley patch, by the way.)  She must begin school-and spend all day away from Silver Bush.  A dear tree must be cut down.  The hardest change comes when Pat must accept the death of a loved one, as you might imagine.

Pat of Silver Bush was an amusing and delightful book!  Those who enjoy Anne of Green Gables will certainly enjoy Pat!  I can't say that I definitely favor Pat, but I am certainly charmed by her.

I can relate to Pat's love of her home.  I enjoy being home.  I don't like running errands, to the bus stop, or preschool.  I like to be home.  Personally, it is not so much about loving my home as it is about loving being at home.  We built our home four years ago, but even when we were in our townhouse...or long ago when I was living with my dad or my smelly basement apartment...I have always enjoyed having a place to call home.  Yet, I know my real home is not here; it's awaiting me in heaven.  And until then, this book is a good reminder to not love things too much...we are not to trade our heavenly treasures for these earthly ones.  (Carrie actually wrote a great post about this and Pat here.)


 (And now I am eager to say that one of my libraries-I use two different county libraries...in two different states, paying a fee for the one that is out of state that I favor-has Mistress Pat!  I am so excited, as you would be if you examined Amazon's prices for these books!  I will certainly be keeping my eyes open for my own fifty cent copy though.)


So thank you, Carrie, for sending me this great work by LMM!  This is part of the L.M. Montgomery Reading Challenge and the Reading to Know Book Club.  I also listened to Anne of Green Gables on audio (every year!!) and are watching the Megan Follows movie again this year with my kids.    I made a realization.  I think the book Marilla is much more loving and kind toward Anne than the movie Marilla-at least initially.  Any thoughts?

Next month we'll be reading A Scarlet Letter for book club and I also intend to participate in the Laura Ingalls Wilder Reading Challenge hosted by Barbara at Stray Thoughts.  With our Little House themed birthday party, you know that excites me!

~ Annette {This Simple Mom}

4 comments:

  1. I wasn't familiar with LMM's Pat books before Carrie's LMM challenges, but I am looking forward to exploring them some time.

    I agree with what you said about loving to be at home. no matter where home is. I'm not fond of change, either, but God's gives grace when we do have to experience it.

    So glad you'll be part of the Laura Ingalls Wilder challenge!

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  2. First, I'm SO GLAD your library has Mistress Pat! :D

    I like that you spent more time discussing the plot than I did. That'll be helpful for some, I know.

    And I liked hearing your thoughts about loving being at home too.

    Thanks for sharing. For participating. For ENJOYING! :D

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  3. Great reflections on Pat! I love Judy, and that she found Cuddles in the parsley bed. :)

    I had no idea that Mistress Pat was expensive! I must have bought my paperback cheap ten years ago...looks like it was a good idea. I'm glad your library has the next book for you to read!

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  4. I wanted to read this this year but my copy has disappeared. Now I'll have to find a copy to read next year!

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