Pat of Silver Bush - L.M. Montgomery
Pat Gardiner lives a simple, but charmed life at Silver Bush and because of this she has an inordinate dread of change. My fear before reading this was that this aspect of her personality would be exaggerated and that Pat would be an unrealistic and unsympathetic character. And truthfully Pat is a bit extreme and there were moments when I became quite exasperated with her, but for those of us who really strive to live in the moment I think Pat is the ultimate kindred spirit. Sometimes when life is good it literally hurts to think about it being any other way.

Certainly flaws abound in this book - the most notable of which is the lack of an apparent story arc. Instead this is basically a series of episodes which serve to illustrate the character of Pat and her life at her beloved Silver Bush. And some of the plot elements felt painfully contrived. Then there was the vague and sometimes confusing way in which much of Pat's family and the other peripheral characters are portrayed. But somehow it all came together and I just simply fell in love with Pat and Silver Bush.

And no review of this book would be complete with out mention of Judy Plum - Silver Bush's most loyal servant. While most of Pat's family and friends remain in the shadows, Judy is so full of life that she almost steals the show. Judy has been with the Gardiners for so long that she is more family member than servant and plays a very important role in Pat's life as her almost constant companion and confidant. She also provides much needed comic relief for the reader at times - I enjoyed reading her dialogue most of all.

Ultimately, this isn't Montgomery's strongest work, but even so I still found it beautiful and poignant and completely worth reading.