A Paperback Original
A stunning and unexpected portrait of Lucy Maud Montgomery, creator of one of literature’s most prized heroines, whose personal demons were at odds with her most enduring legacy—the irrepressible Anne of Green Gables.
“Dear old world,” she murmured, “you are very lovely, and I am glad to be alive in you.” —L. M. Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables, 1908
As a young woman, Maud had dreams bigger than the whole of Prince Edward Island. Her exuberant spirit had always drawn frowns from her grandmother and their neighbors, but she knew she was meant to create, to capture and share the way she saw the world. And the young girl in Maud’s mind became more and more persistent: Here is my story, she said. Here is how my name should be spelled—Anne with an “e.”
But the day Maud writes the first lines of Anne of Green Gables, she gets a visit from the handsome new minister in town, and soon faces a decision: forge her own path as a spinster authoress, or live as a rural minister’s wife, an existence she once likened to “a respectable form of slavery.” The choice she makes alters the course of her life.
With a husband whose religious mania threatens their health and happiness at every turn, the secret darkness that Maud herself holds inside threatens to break through the persona she shows to the world, driving an ever-widening wedge between her public face and private self, and putting her on a path towards a heartbreaking end.
Beautiful and moving, After Anne reveals Maud’s hidden personal challenges while celebrating what was timeless about her life and art—the importance of tenacity and the peaceful refuge found in imagination.