In the Bookcase


Book Review: Maud

Maud (3 star review)


written by Melanie J. Fishbane

400 pages // published in 2017 // YA historical fiction


Fourteen-year-old Lucy Maud Montgomery—Maud to her friends—has a dream: to go to college and, just like her idol, Louisa May Alcott, become a writer. But living with her grandparents on Prince Edward Island, she worries that this dream will never come true. Her grandfather has strong opinions about a woman’s place in the world, and they do not include spending good money on college. Luckily, she has a teacher to believe in her, and good friends to support her, including Nate, the Baptist minister’s stepson and the smartest boy in the class. If only he weren’t a Baptist; her Presbyterian grandparents would never approve. Then again, Maud isn’t sure she wants to settle down with a boy—her dreams of being a writer are much more important.

Life changes for Maud when she goes out West to live with her father and his new wife and daughter. Her new home offers her another chance at love, as well as attending school, but tensions increase as Maud discovers her stepmother’s plans for her, which threaten Maud’s future—and her happiness—forever.

My Review

3 Star Rating

I so wanted to love this title, based on the early life of one of my favorite authors. But me and this book just didn't quite see eye to eye.

There's just too much mushy stuff for my taste. It seems that the entire plot moves along based on who Maud is “in love” with. She's a young teenager, for goodness' sake (who isn't even allowed to wear her hair up, you know), and I just wanted to learn more about her development as a writer than I cared for who she was crushing on.

Some notes on various characters...

Her parents (or her mother in particular) is hinted at having a shameful past, all throughout the story.

Maud's relationship with her stepmother, on the other hand, is clearly depicted as strained. There's always tension between the two characters. I, right along with Maud, intensely disliked the woman.

Oh! And Mr. Mustard! Did such a man really exist in Maud's real life? I can hardly imagine that her parents allowed this detestable man to visit her for so long and not put a stop to it.

“To Maud, books were essential; without them she would have crumbled into despair.”

There is some character development though, and I saw some changes in Maud closer to the end of the novel, like she was going somewhere new. She does sometimes have a bit of a naughty or rebellious streak showing – but maybe that's the Anne in her.

I wouldn't recommend lightly handing this novel over to young girls who have fallen in love with quirky Anne Shirley, without a parent's perusal. I'd consider it only mildly mature, but I (personally) would only recommend it to readers 16 or older.

“But creating a world of characters who spoke to her, sharing the stories she knew and loved, this was her calling. Most of the time, she didn't feel she had control over anything but her words.”

Available on Amazon in hardcover, and ebook format.

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  1. Oh yes! I agree that when young teens in books have the plot driven along by romance it drives me nuts. Like, no. Just please no. ;)

  2. Thanks for the review. I had not heard of this one.

  3. nice, honest review