A Tangled Web – LM Montgomery (1931)

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A Tangled Web is a PEI family saga by Canadian literary paragon Lucy Maud Montgomery. The novel follows two families that have intermarried for three generations, and have feuded for nearly that long – The Darks and the Penhallows. The story centres on a family gathering that the dying matriarch Aunt Becky calls, to read her own obituary and make nasty comments and backhanded compliments to each of her relations, and to announce whom should inherit the old, unattractive brown jug – the family’s most prized heirloom. Each chapter centres on a different Dark or Penhallow, with others making appearances and well known names of Avonlea are peppered throughout. As an avid fan of Montgomery, I place this book just below the Anne of Green Gables series as my favourite of her works. Humorous, lovely, colourful and sad, featuring churches and widows and young love, A Tangled Web is exactly what one expects from Montgomery. I recommend it, and also feel that readers who have finished Anne, but aren’t ready to leave The Island, should try this one. 306 pages

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