The Journal of L.M. Montgomery Studies is delighted to announce two new student assistants, Sarah Freeburn and Abbey McRoberts. Sarah is a third-year Anthropology/Sociology and Diversity and Social Justice double major at UPEI. Abbey is a third-year student majoring in Applied Communication, Leadership, and Culture at UPEI.
Welcome Sarah and Abbey!
1. What excites you most about working with the Journal?
Sarah - I am really excited to broaden my knowledge of Montgomery and work with people who continue to celebrate her works. I am also looking forward to learning how the Journal operates behind the scenes and how the publishing process works.
Abbey - I’m excited to learn more about L.M. Montgomery and her work while also gaining new skills through working with Journal submissions. I’m also excited to make new connections with all the hardworking people involved with the Journal.
2. What sparked your interest in L.M. Montgomery?
Sarah - I was not exposed to much of L.M. Montgomery's work as a child, so when I moved to PEI, the presence of Montgomery and Anne of Green Gables was overwhelming. It was actually Dr. Jean Mitchell who encouraged me to read the Emily series which I very quickly fell in love with. My admiration of Emily Starr led me to read many more works by Montogmery.
Abbey - Growing up on PEI, I’ve always felt like L.M. Montgomery’s story was a part of my childhood. Every summer, when I had family come home from the States, we would always go see the Anne of Green Gables play at the Confederation Centre. It became a tradition that I looked forward to each year. Since then, she has always reminded me of those fond memories as a child.
3. What is your favourite Montgomery book, and why?
Sarah - I would have to say that my favourite book by L.M. Montgomery is Anne of Avonlea. I am drawn to Anne’s adventures in the liminal state between childhood and adulthood. I find comfort in reading about Anne's lingering youthful imagination coupled with her increased responsibilities as she matures throughout the novel.
Abbey - It’s hard to choose, but I would probably have to say Anne of Green Gables because of the sentimental value it holds. I still have the copy of the book that my grandparents gave me when I was little. It never fails to remind me of them when I see anything related to Anne.
4. What most appeals to you about L.M. Montgomery and her work?
Sarah - There are two distinct things that I admire about L.M. Montgomery and her work. The first lies in her depictions of female protagonists. I have an ever growing appreciation for, not only, the inclusion of women in her works, but the strength and independence that they exhibit. The second lies in the descriptions of rural life. The depictions of nature that surface in her works are intoxicating and make me feel as though I am experiencing them alongside the characters.
Abbey - What appeals to me the most about L.M. Montgomery is the community she has created through her stories. Since starting work for the Journal, it has really reminded me how powerful her story is to a lot of people. She comforts many individuals through hard times, which I think is very special.
5. Who is your favourite L.M. Montgomery character, and why?
Sarah - One of my favourite characters would have to be Great-Aunt Nancy Priest. While she has her faults, it was refreshing to be introduced to a character who is not only an older woman, but one who does not succumb to the opinions of others. Her assertiveness and love for life are admirable while her distaste for things that do not involve her, or her family, is thoroughly entertaining.
Abbey - My favourite character would have to be Diana. Growing up, my best friend and I would call ourselves each other’s kindred spirits. I always related to Diana more as she was a loyal and supportive friend to Anne throughout all of their endeavours. She reminds me of myself when I was younger in a lot of ways.
Acknowledgement: Banner image derived from Book cover of Pat of Silver Bush. 1989. Kindred Spaces. 097 PSB-MS 1989 version. Web. March 4 2021.