Akin to Anne
Tales of Other Orphans
written by L.M. Montgomery
202 pages, fiction
originally published in 1900-1933
In this delightful collection of short stories, you'll certainly find some treasures. This was my first time to read some of L.M. Montgomery's short stories, and I truly enjoyed them.
The particular selection in "Akin to Anne" is put together by Rea Wilmshurst. She located many of Montgomery's short tales that regard other orphans (just like our dear Anne Shirley), from newspaper and magazine publications. All were originally published by Lucy Maud Montgomery between 1900 and 1933.
All the tales included in "Akin to Anne" make for some charming literature to read, that both young readers and adults can cherish alike. The girls and boys featured in these stories learn important life lessons or find the meaning of a true family, whether blood-related or not. When reading these stories, one after another, the plots do seem to mimic each other a bit, but there are surprises thrown in now and then. All in all, it's a charming set of short stories!
A glimpse at my three favorites...
Charlotte's Ladies: Little Charlotte is stuck in an orphan asylum. "No one will ever want to adopt me, because I've mousy hair and freckles." (Or, at least, she thinks so.) Her only consolation is that she just discovered some loose boards in the asylum's fence -- just big enough to look out through and see what is in the outside world. With new friendships and a Very Handsome Cat to keep her company sometimes, she inevitably becomes part of a new life on the other side of the fence.
Her Own People: Constance Foster is a quiet, young schoolteacher, alone in the world, with no family, friends, and not even any special plans for the summer holidays. A fellow teacher, Miss Channing, takes pity on the situation, and makes her own suggestion. -- The reason I enjoyed this story is because of the emotional change that takes place in Miss Foster's heart. By the end of the tale, she has some beautiful words to share.
Freda's Adopted Grave: "It was one of the unwritten laws of the little community that on some selected day in May everybody would repair to the graveyard to plant, trim and clip." In the time leading up to Graveyard Day, all the girls chatter on about the types of flowers they get to use for their families' graves -- except for one girl, Freda. She is a bit sensitive on the subject, knowing that she doesn't have a grave to decorate. Her thoughtful personality shines forth, though, as she sets out to do a unique act of kindness.