Elizabeth Waterston photo by Ellen DiPiazza, 2010

Elizabeth Waterston

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In this wide-ranging and highly readable book, Elizabeth Waterston uses the term "magic" to suggest that peculiar, indefinable combination of attributes that unpredictably results in creative genius. Montgomery's intelligence, her drive, and her sense of humour are essential components of this success. Waterston also features what Montgomery called her "dream life," a "strange inner life of fancy which had always existed side by side with my outer life." This special ability to look beyond the veil, to access vibrant inner vistas, produced deceptively layered fictions out of a life that saw not just its share of both fame and ill fortune, but also what Waterston calls "dark passions."

Reviewers say:

"Magic Island: The Fictions of L.M. Montgomery is the culmination of years of research, reading and studying the works of Lucy Maud Montgomery.

. . . Magic Island is a careful and readable analysis of Montgomery's books and how they tended to parallel her difficult and often unhappy life. The book reminds us just how prolific Montgomery was. And how talented.

. . . Waterston deconstructs Montgomery's fiction, presenting it to us in a very real context of recent history. Montgomery often used world events as backdrops in her novels, with clarity and accuracy.

. . . Magic Island takes us through Montgomery's books in a way that enriches our understanding of the author and her works, while culling our hearts' sympathy for the circumstances of her life. . . "

Judith Meyrick, Halifax Chronical Herald, September 14, 2008

"One of the finest books to appear during 2008's centenary celebration of the publication of Lucy Maud Montgomery's Anne of Green Gables is Elizabeth Waterston's Magic Island.

Waterston centres each novel in a chapter of its own, provides historical reminders of the times in which the books were written and ties their conception and publication to happenings in the author's life. It is an original approach and one that works to the advantage of the reader. . .

The clever combination of Montgomery's novels with the turns and twists her life was taking as she wrote, is inspired. The book is wonderfully written and highly readable, one which captures, with a flourish, the talent and travails of one of our literary legends.

Nancy Schiefer, Sun Media, January 10, 2009

Elizabeth Waterston is a long-term L.M. Montgomery scholar… and has brought up some good points that either bolstered, challenged, or added a new angle to ideas that I have had over the years about Montgomery's books, specifically her ideas as to what constitutes a happy marriage, and the role of women in society. … For the more casual interested reader, I would recommend …"Magic Island," as it …gives a very well-rounded impression of the writer, her craft, and her prodigious literary output. Recommended.

L. Lloyd, Reviewer on Amazon.com, May 30, 2009




New Releases

Elizabeth Waterston: Railway Ties


Elizabeth Waterston: Readying Rilla


Elizabeth Waterston: Blitzkrieg and Jitterbugs


The Complete Journals of L.M. Montgomery: The PEI Years, 1901-1911


Fiction by Elizabeth Waterston

Plaid Around the Mountain

At the Corner of Hope

Passion Spent


Elizabeth Waterston's non-fiction

Elizabeth Waterston: Magic Island Elizabeth Waterston: Rapt in Plaid Elizabeth Waterston: Kindling Spirit Elizabeth Waterston: Children's Literature in Canada Elizabeth Waterston: The Travellers: Canada to 1900 Elizabeth Waterston: Anne of Green Gables: The Norton Critical Edition Elizabeth Waterston: Writing a Life
The Journals of L M Montgomery: Volume 1 The Journals of L M Montgomery: Volume 2 The Journals of L M Montgomery: Volume 3 The Journals of L M Montgomery: Volume 4 The Journals of L M Montgomery: Volume 5 The Complete Journals of L.M. Montgomery: The PEI Years, 1889-1900 The Complete Journals of L.M. Montgomery: The PEI Years, 1901-1911