Title: No Spot on Earth More Lovely: The Landscapes that Inspired Anne of Green Gables
Author: Catherine Reid, Kerry Michaels
Publication: April 18, 2018
Publisher: Timber Press
Genre: History, Travel
SYNOPSIS: (From Goodreads)
Anne of Green Gables is a worldwide phenomenon that has sold over fifty million copies and inspired numerous films, plays, musicals, and television series. It has turned Prince Edward Island into a multimillion-dollar tourist destination visited by hundreds of thousands of people each year. In No Spot on Earth More Lovely, Catherine Reid reveals how Lucy Maud Montgomery’s deep connection to the landscape inspired her to write Anne of Green Gables. From the Lake of Shining Waters and the Haunted Wood to Lover’s Lane, readers will be immersed in the real places immortalized in the novel. Using Montgomery’s journals, archives, and scrapbooks, Reid explores the many similarities between Montgomery and her unforgettable heroine, Anne Shirley. The lush package includes Montgomery’s hand-colorized photographs, the illustrations originally used in Anne of Green Gables, and contemporary and historical photography.
**A copy of this book was provided by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.**
When I saw that there was a book about the area surrounding where Anne of Green Gables takes place I just knew I had to request it. I was raised on the Anne of Green Gables movies. The ones starring Megan Fellows as Anne and Colleen Dewhurst as Marilla Cuthburt. I loved the movie and subsequent sequel. I don’t remember if I have ever read the book but I do know that my mom had it on the bookshelf at home, a gorgeous hardcover illustrated copy.
The story revolves around the island of Prince Edward in Canada. This is where the author of Anne of Green Gables, Lucy Maud Montgomery, grew up and where the story of Anne of Green Gables takes place. The author takes the reader on a tour of the island with both gorgeous pictures and vibrant descriptions of the island. As the book continues, the author delves deeper into the similarities of Lucy Maud and Anne. They were both raised by an elderly couple. Anne was adopted and raised by an older brother-sister duo while Lucy Maud was raised by her grandparents after her mother died when she was two and her dad left for inner Canada for work. Lucy Maud loved nature. It recharged and rejuvenated her. Anne loved to talk to nature as well, naming various places around the island as she saw fit. Lucy Maud continued to deny that she wrote Anne in her image but the similarities are too numerous.
I really, really liked this book. My only reason for 4 stars is because the book is about 50/50 photos. Some pictures are full page spreads. I wanted more substance in the book than a ton of pictures. Don’t get me wrong, the photos are beautiful and some are ones that Lucy Maud took and then later colourized herself later in life. The book is fascinating. It gives the reader a small look into the life of Lucy Maud. The author scatters diary entries from her daily journals throughout the book. I learned that Lucy wrote quite a few books, 12 to be exact. I was surprised and saddened to learn that she committed suicide because she was despondent over her husband’s frail mental health and her son Chester’s poor life choices. The author wonders, and so do I after reading this book, if she would have recovered from her depression had she returned to her beloved Prince Edward Island.
STAR RATING: 4/5
Get your copy of The Landscapes of Anne of Green Gables on April 18th from Amazon or Barnes and Noble. Also add it to your Goodreads To Reads list and leave feedback for the author when you are finished.