Thursday, August 05, 2010

52 Books in 52 Weeks: Book 28

I just finished A Tangled Web by L.M. Montgomery, author of one of my favorite childhood stories, Anne of Green Gables.

Initially the book was a bit confusing to follow. It begins with Aunt Becky calling her family together to discuss her will and impending death. The family is actually composed of two families, the Darks and the Penhallows. On the small island of Prince Edward Island, the two clans have intermarried to create one massive clan with plenty of drama. 

At the reading of her will, Aunt Becky makes it clear that a valued family jug will be in the care of Dandy for an entire year. During that time, the Darks and Penhallows must be on their best behavior if they want a chance to get the jug. The ensuing story is a tangled web of romance, feuds and long-standing secrets, with a twist at the end {regarding the jug}. 

Some of my favorite passages from the book: 
It must be admitted frankly that Aunt Becky was not particularly loved by her clan. She was too fond of telling them what she called the plain truth... while the truth was all right, in its place, there was no sense in pouring great gobs of it around where it wasn't wanted. To Aunt Becky, however, tact and diplomacy and discretion, never to mention any consideration for anyone's feelings, were things unknown.

"Giving God information isn't praying, David. It's just as well to leave something to his imagination, you know." - Aunt Becky

"As for the sense of it, there's no sense in heaps of things that we do. Life would be tedious without a vendetta or two."

"Let Gay marry him if she wants to and learn the ups and downs of life for herself, the same as the rest of us did. None of us have had perfect men."

Joseph Dark had a beautiful voice and there was something in the faint, unworded rhythm of his prayer that soothed Joscelyn... One could fit one's own words, one's own needs, one's own desires to it.

All in all, they did not talk or think about her nearly as much as sensitive little Gay thought they were doing. They had their own lives to live and their own loves and ambitions to suffer and scheme and plan for.

He told her thing about the clan she had never known before... noble things and kindly thing and simple, wholesome things that made her feel like she came of a pretty decent stock after all, and must live up to the traditions of it. It was amazing how good people really were.

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