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Pat of Silver Bush: 01/21/08
When I was entering my teens I fell in love with L. M. Montgomery's heroines. I started with Emily of New Moon and then moved on to Anne of Green Gables. While those two series still hold special places in my heart, I must say that I am baffled by Pat of Silver Bush.
Most of Montgomery's stories are about young women, usually pre-teen through late twenties, tacking adverse situations with grace and brains. Pat, though, comes from a fairly well to do family. She has a comfortable life and wants to keep it that way, no matter what. She has no desire to change or grow or even to leave her family home. In fact, in the end, she chooses Silver Bush over her long time boyfriend.
There is a long narrative tradition of stories ending almost where they started with the protagonist having grown or learned from the events of the story. Pat's resolute desire to avoid change would baffle even Tzvetan Todorov. Pat grows older over the course of the book but she doesn't grow as a character. She is the most boring and depressing heroine in a Montgomery book I've read.
Pat as a character is apparently redeemed in the last chapter of a follow up novel, Mistress Pat (1935). I however have no desire to spend any more time with Pat and her beloved home.