Saturday, September 1, 2018

After Many Years + Lighthouse Beach - Short Reviews

After Many Years by L.M. Montgomery Edited by Carolyn Strom Collins and Christy Woster

Blurb: Although best known for creating the spirited Anne Shirley (Anne of Green Gables), L. M. Montgomery had a thriving writing career that included several novels and more than five hundred poems and short stories.

This collection brings together rare pieces originally published between 1900 and 1939 that haven't been in print since their initial periodicals. Collins and Woster have carefully curated a mixture of newly discovered stories that showcase all the charm you expect from Mongomery. With scholarly prefaces and notes for each piece, the book offers readers a rare glimpse into how Montgomery's writing developed over the years.

My Thoughts:  This was a sweet story of L.M. Montgomery short stories.  I love her short stories though they can be a bit sentimental.  However, in small doses I always find them to be such a delight.  To be honest, this wasn't my favorite short story collection.  For the earlier ones especially there may be a reason why the stories were lost to time for so long.  What makes this collection special for Montgomery fans is the editor's note at the end of each story.  It's normally a couple of paragraph and just provides a little bit of information about what was going on in Montgomery's life, where the story falls chronologically in comparison to her other books, and if there is any connection between the story and any of her other works.  I think I looked forward to the editor's note as much as the story itself!  This is a nice treat for fans but otherwise is just okay.

Goodreads:  Lighthouse Beach by Shelley Noble

Blurb:  When Lillo Gray pulls up to Kennebunkport’s most exclusive hotel wearing a borrowed dress and driving a borrowed VW van, she knows she’s made a big mistake. She’s not even sure why Jessica Parker invited her to her posh wedding. They haven’t seen each other since they were unhappy fourteen-year-old girls at fat camp. And now they’re from two completely different worlds. There’s no way Lillo fits in the rarefied circles Jessica travels in.

Jess isn’t sure she’s ready to go through with this wedding, but she’s been too busy making everyone else happy to think about what she wants. But when she and her two closest friends, Allie and Diana, along with Lillo, discover her fiancé with his pants down in the hotel parking lot, she’s humiliated…and slightly relieved. In a rush to escape her crumbling life, Jess, Allie, and Diana pile into Lillo’s beat-up old van and head up the coast to Lighthouse Island. Once there, she hopes to figure out the next chapter in her life.

Nursing broken hearts and broken dreams, four lost women embark on a journey to find their way back into happiness with new love, friendship, and the healing power of Lighthouse Beach.

My Thoughts:  Shelley Noble really needs to be an auto-buy for me.  This is the 2nd book of hers that I've read and this is the 2nd book I've really enjoyed.  I like that while her books are light and beachy they also have characters who have real issues and aren't always 100% likable.  The end isn't overly contrived and tied out which works with this book.  I really liked the friendships between the women and seeing them all kind of stretch a little.  I also like that while there is a lot of healing going on not everything is unicorns and rainbows.  There are some real struggles mentioned around the town of Lighthouse Beach with people moving away and a struggling economy.  I did wish the backstories were explored a little earlier.  There was so much hinted about Lillo's struggles yet we didn't really get any mention of what had actually happened until the 2nd half of the book.  I also wanted to see more of Allie's character.  She has a quieter personality and at times her presence feels forgotten.  Despite my few minor issues I really enjoyed getting to know these characters and watching their relationships develop.  I thoroughly enjoyed this and found it a perfect read for summer when I'm wanting something light but still with some substance.  Rating:  Very Good


  1. These sound worthy of checking out Katherine! By the way, I know as a British Baking fan, you can relate. Where is Mary????!!!(lol) The new British Baking Show started on Netflix yesterday and the only original peerson around is Paul Hollywood. Definitely not the same! Happy Weekend and Hugs...

  2. I don't think that I have read Shelley Noble but it sounds like I should give her a try at some point. I tend to really enjoy books with great characters.

  3. I haven't read anything by Shelley Noble, but I would like to. Lighthouse Beach sounds so good, and I love a lighthouse setting. After Many Years sound good too!

  4. I have been meaning to read After Many Years. I am really interested in reading the editor's notes. Thanks for the heads up about them. 👍✨

  5. I think if I was reading the Montgomery book it would be the editors notes that I would really relish. Reading your review of Shelley Noble's book brings back to me the story, I enjoyed it too.

  6. I also enjoy Noble's books. Lighthouse Beach was a good one.

  7. I'm glad the beachhouse book was good. I may try to borrow that after I finish up my two Kindle books. I'm happy my library has audio copies of Anne of Green Gables. I've put a hold on a different edition, the newest one.

  8. Oooo Noble is one I was just browsing on our library page and thinking I needed to try. Sounds like yep!