Emily of New Moon
Margaret Bunel Edwards is the author of The Ocean Between and The ABCs
of Writing for Children.
When Emily Starr’s father dies in Emily of New Moon, her proud Murray
relatives feel obliged to give her a home. Her Aunt Elizabeth
reluctantly takes her to New Moon, the family residence. Aunt Laura and
Cousin Jimmy befriend her, but her lonely life is made worse by the
school teacher and pupils who make fun of her. She has friends in Ilse,
the doctor’s neglected daughter, and Teddy and Perry, two school
chums. During a visit with her Great Aunt Nancy, she is rescued from the
cliffside by her aunt’s nephew, Dean Priest. She also learns that
Ilse’s mother ran away with her cousin and was drowned at sea. When a
high fever causes her to become delirious, Emily sees Ilse’s mother
fall into an old well. It is searched and her skeleton is found.
In Emily Climbs, Emily is sent to live with Aunt Ruth in Shrewsbury for
further education. She and Ilse set out one weekend to sell magazine
subscriptions and spend a night in a home where the little son is lost.
The next morning, Emily is astonished to see in her diary a drawing of a
deserted house, and in her own handwriting, the words “He is here.”
The child is found. Emily is offered a position with a publishing house
in New York. She turns the offer down and returns to New Moon instead.
As Emily’s Quest opens, Ilse and Teddy are studying abroad, and Perry
is employed at a law firm. Emily is writing her stories and enjoying
growing success. Dean Priest visits often, and when Emily feels that
Teddy and Ilse are in love, she agrees to marry Dean. They buy a home,
but before the wedding Emily admits to herself that she is in love with
Teddy. The wedding is called off, and Emily resigns herself to a lonely
life. Later, in a reverie, she sees Teddy in danger and warns him by
mysteriously appearing before him. When Perry is hurt in an accident (in
real life), Ilse leaves Teddy at the altar and rushes to be with him. A
misunderstanding keeps Emily and Teddy apart, but they are united at the
The characters in this trilogy are interesting and wonderfully real.
Emily makes her mistakes and learns from them; her hard work and
perseverance finally bring her happiness and success. The plotting
throughout is quick moving and the writing at its most lyrical when
describing the beauties of nature. From childhood to womanhood,
Emily’s story is thought-provoking and inspirational for young
readers. Highly recommended.