Across the Miles

Tales of Correspondence

by L.M. Montgomery

Brief Summary: In this set of 20 short stories by Montgomery, we explore the long-forgotten art of the letter and how that form of communication impacted and changed many people’s lives.

Kell’s Chatty Review: I think I enjoyed this set of short stories much more than The Doctor’s Sweetheart. It was fascinating to see how Montgomery would weave correspondences in – and how mistakes and late-delivered letters often led to crazy situations for the characters. I also didn’t find these stories as “rushed” as I found some of the ones in other collections, so that was nice.

Fave of the Collection: Miss Madeline’s Proposal – which is actually short, but charming and funny. In stories that are semi-laden with romantic ideals (to steal a phrase from Anne 🙂 ) and flowery descriptions, this quick story was brilliant in both the set up and the awkwardness delivered by the title’s proposal. Loved it.

Second Place: A Fortunate Mistake – this one dealt with friendship and how one’s appearance doesn’t always speak of the person beneath the looks. It was really a great look at how catty girls can get and how silly their judgments can be. What also made this one a gem was the fact it wasn’t from the POV of the neglected, but rather the neglectors.

In the Afterword: The editor mentions how many times Montgomery, as a professional writer, resused plots and themes and stories during her career. This helped explain why I felt like I was having deja vu during many of the stories. I can’t tell you how positively giddy I was to read Anna’s Love Letters, starring Anna, Alma and Gilbert. What?!?! Seriously, the familiar names made me feel like I was reading about the relatives of the folks at Avonlea and it positively delighted me!

Orphan Update: Of the two novels and the two short story collections I have read recently, 4 short stories and one novel (Jane) have main characters with at least one blood parent alive and kicking. Both Jane and 1 short story, The Growing Up of Cornelia, have two parents. Now, this obviously doesn’t cover stories where there is absolutely no mention of parents, but it’s kind of a crazy stat if you ask me!

What I most wanted to do after reading this book: Write a letter! Seriously. And I probably would have no problem doing that, but actually MAILING it would take two and a half weeks. (Much like Alissa’s that I have ready! Sorry Alissa!)

Where this book came from: My collection! (This is actually one of the first non-Anne books I bought – true story!)


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