For as long as she can remember, Jane Stuart and her mother have lived with her controlling grandmother in a dreary mansion in Toronto. Jane always believed her father was dead, so she was shocked to receive an invitation to stay with him for the summer on Prince Edward Island. But from their very first meeting, Jane fell in love with her charming father and his whimsical cottage. During her stay with him, she even found herself daring to dream that there could be such a house back in Toronto - a house where she, Mother, and Father could live together without Grandmother directing their lives - a house that she could come to call home.
|Product dimensions:||6.04(w) x 5.04(h) x 1.13(d)|
|Age Range:||13 - 18 Years|
About the Author
Lucy Maud Montgomery (1874-1942) was a Canadian novelist and the famed author of the Anne Shirley series. She found instant literary fame upon the publication of her first book, Anne of Green Gables. She published 20 novels and 500 short stories during her lifetime and was the first woman to be named a fellow of the Royal Society of Arts.
Lauren Saunders holds an MA in Professional Acting from the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School and a B.Ed from Queen's University. She works onstage, onscreen, and in the recording studio. Her shows have taken her to theaters all across the North and Southwest of England. She also has toured internationally as a singer and has recorded Mahler's Symphony No. 8 with Sir Simon Rattle. During the summers, she teaches at Centauri Summer Arts Camp.
Read an Excerpt
Gay Street, so Jane always thought, did not live up to its name. It was, she felt certain, the most melancholy street in Toronto...though, to be sure, she had not seen a great many of the Toronto streets in her circumscribed comings and goings of eleven years.
Gay Street should be a gay street, thought Jane, with gay, friendly houses, set amid flowers, that cried out, "How do you do?" to you as you passed them, with trees that waved hands at you and windows that winked at you in the twilights. Instead of that, Gay Street was dark and dingy, lined with forbidding, old-fashioned brick houses, grimy with age, whose tall, shuttered, blinded windows could never have thought of winking at anybody. The trees that lined Gay Street were so old and huge and stately that it was difficult to think of them as trees at all, any more than those forlorn little things in the green pails by the doors of the filling station on the opposite corner. Grandmother had been furious when the old Adams house on that corner had been torn down and the new white-and-red filling station built in its place. She would never let Frank get gas there. But at that, Jane thought, it was the only gay place on the street.
Jane lived at 60 Gay. It was a huge, castellated structure of brick, with a pillared entrance porch, high, arched Georgian windows, and towers and turrets wherever a tower or turret could be wedged in. It was surrounded by a high iron fence with wrought-iron gates...those gates had been famous in the Toronto of an earlier day...that were always closed and locked by Frank at night, thus giving Jane a very nasty feeling that she was a prisoner being locked in.
There was more space around 60 Gay than around most of the houses on the street. It had quite a bit of lawn in front, though the grass never grew well because of the row of old trees just inside the fence...and quite a respectable space between the side of the house and Bloor Street; but it was not nearly wide enough to dim the unceasing clatter and clang of Bloor, which was especially noisy and busy where Gay Street joined it. People wondered why old Mrs. Robert Kennedy continued to live there when she had oodles of money and could buy one of those lovely new houses in Forest Hill or in the Kingsway. The taxes on a lot as big as 60 Gay must be ruinous, and the house was hopelessly out of date. Mrs. Kennedy merely smiled contemptuously when things like this were said to her, even by her son, William Anderson, the only one of her first family whom she respected, because he had been successful in business and was rich in his own right. She had never loved him, but he had compelled her to respect him.
Mrs. Kennedy was perfectly satisfied with 60 Gay. She had come there as the bride of Robert Kennedy when Gay Street was the last word in streets and 60 Gay, built by Robert's father, one of the finest "mansions" in Toronto. It had never ceased to be so in her eyes. She had lived there for forty-five years and she would live there the rest of her life. Those who did not like it need not stay there. This, with a satirically amused glance at Jane, who had never said she didn't like Gay Street. But grandmother, as Jane had long ago discovered, had an uncanny knack of reading your mind.
Once, when Jane had been sitting in the Cadillac, one dark, dingy morning in a snowy world, waiting for Frank to take her to St. Agatha's, as he did every day, she had heard two women, who were standing on the street-corner, talking about it.
"Did you ever see such a dead house?" said the younger. "It looks as if it had been dead for years."
"That house died thirty years ago, when Robert Kennedy died," said the older woman. "Before that it was a lively place. Nobody in Toronto entertained more. Robert Kennedy liked social life. He was a very handsome, friendly man. People could never understand how he came to marry Mrs. James Anderson...a widow with three children. She was Victoria Moore to begin with, you know, old Colonel Moore's daughter...a very aristocratic family. But she was pretty as a picture then and was she crazy about him! My dear, she worshipped him. People said she was never willing to let him out of her sight for a moment. And they said she hadn't cared for her first husband at all. Robert Kennedy died when they had been married about fifteen years...died just after his first baby was born, I've heard."
"Does she live all alone in that castle?"
"Oh, no. Her two daughters live with her. One of them is a widow or something...and there's a granddaughter, I believe. They say old Mrs. Kennedy is a terrible tyrant, but the younger daughter...the widow...is gay enough and goes to everything you see reported in Saturday Evening. Very pretty...and can she dress! She was the Kennedy one and took after her father. She must hate having all her fine friends coming to Gay Street. It's worse than dead...it's decayed. But I can remember when Gay Street was one of the most fashionable residential streets in town. Look at it now."
"Hardly even that. Why, 58 Gay is a boarding-house. But old Mrs. Kennedy keeps 60 up very well, though the paint is beginning to peel off the balconies, you notice."
"Well, I'm glad I don't live on Gay Street," giggled the other, as they ran to catch the car.
"You may well be," thought Jane. Though, if she had been put to it, she could hardly have told you where she would have liked to live if not at 60 Gay. Most of the streets through which she drove to St. Agatha's were mean and uninviting, for St. Agatha's, that very expensive and exclusive private school to which grandmother sent Jane, now found itself in an unfashionable and outgrown locality also. But St. Agatha's didn't mind that...St. Agatha's would have been St. Agatha's, you must understand, in the desert of Sahara.
Uncle William Anderson's house in Forest Hill was very handsome, with landscaped lawns and rock gardens, but she wouldn't like to live there. One was almost terrified to walk over the lawn lest one do something to Uncle William's cherished velvet. You had to keep to the flat stepping-stones path. And Jane wanted to run. You couldn't run at St. Agatha's either, except when you were playing games. And Jane was not very good at games. She always felt awkward in them. At eleven she was as tall as most girls of thirteen. She towered above the girls of her class. They did not like it and it made Jane feel that she fitted in nowhere.
As for running at 60 Gay...had anybody ever run at 60 Gay? Jane felt as if mother must have...mother stepped so lightly and gaily yet that you thought her feet had wings. But once, when Jane had dared to run from the front door to the back door, straight through the long house that was almost half the length of the city block, singing at the top of her voice, grandmother, who she had thought was out, had emerged from the breakfast-room and looked at her with the smile on her dead-white face that Jane hated.
"What," she said in the silky voice that Jane hated still more, "is responsible for this outburst, Victoria?"
"I was running just for the fun of it," explained Jane. It seemed so very simple. But grandmother had just smiled and said, as only grandmother could say things,
"I wouldn't do it again if I were you, Victoria."
Jane never did it again. That was the effect grandmother had on you, though she was so tiny and wrinkled...so tiny that lanky, long-legged Jane was almost as tall as she was.
Jane hated to be called Victoria. Yet everybody called her that, except mother, who called her Jane Victoria. Jane knew somehow that grandmother resented that...knew that for some reason unknown to her, grandmother hated the name of Jane. Jane liked it...always had liked it...always thought of herself as Jane. She understood that she had been named Victoria after grandmother, but she did not know where the Jane had come from. There were no Janes in the Kennedys or Andersons. In her eleventh year she had begun to suspect that it might have come from the Stuart side. And Jane was sorry for that, because she did not want to think she owed her favorite name to her father. Jane hated her father in so far as hatred could find place in a little heart that was not made for hating anybody, even grandmother. There were times Jane was afraid she did hate grandmother, which was dreadful, because grandmother was feeding and clothing and educating her. Jane knew she ought to love grandmother, but it seemed a very hard thing to do. Apparently mother found it easy; but, then, grandmother loved mother, which made a difference. Loved her as she loved nobody else in the world. And grandmother did not love Jane. Jane had always known that. And Jane felt, if she did not yet know, that grandmother did not like mother loving her so much.
"You fuss entirely too much about her," grandmother had once said contemptuously, when mother was worried about Jane's sore throat.
"She's all I have," said mother.
And then grandmother's old white face had flushed.
"I am nothing, I suppose," she said.
"Oh, mother, you know I didn't mean that," mother had said piteously, fluttering her hands in a way she had which always made Jane think of two little white butterflies. "I meant...I meant...she's my only child..."
"And you love that child...his child...better than you love me!"
"Not better...only differently," said mother pleadingly.
"Ingrate!" said grandmother. It was only one word, but what venom she could put into a word. Then she had gone out of the room, still with that flush on her face and her pale blue eyes smoldering under her frosty hair.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
I loved this book growing up that my mother had as a child. When my family was getting ready to move to California in the 1974, My grandpa unbeknownst to my mom, sold a box of my books, one of which was, Jane Of Lantern Hill. I have searched for years for a copy & am elated to say that I love this book at age 60, that I did as a young girl. A wonderful book for all ages!
This is definitely one of my favorite books of all time. I first received it in the 4th grade from a teacher, and have re-read it every year. I am now starting college and have decided to find a hardback version.
Jane of Lantern Hill is one of my old favourites. It¿s fairly typical Montgomery, with similarities to the Anne and Emily books in themes and style, but with its own story and a different cast of characters. Jane lives rather unhappily with her mother and grandmother in mainland Canada until one day out of the blue her father asks for her to visit him on Prince Edward Island. At first she doesn¿t want to leave her mother, but she finds a lot to love about the Island, the people she meets there, and the freedom she finds.
Even after twenty years, I still love to read this book. Jane is such a wonderful heroine, so determined to be herself and to be kind and resourceful in spite of the pressures from the adults in her life. Even as an adult I wish I had her ability to sense and understand what's really going on under the surface with the people around her.
I like Montgomery's books more for her writing style and settings, generally. This book was really sad for me, probably because I was expecting something sugary. Jane pretty much has an emotionally abusive childhood. I didn't really feel like much was resolved in the end. The villains' comeuppance wasn't satisfying enough, and there are still some unresolved issues between characters. Perhaps my expectations were too high.
Jane of Lantern Hill is a charming story, full of the delight and mirth that I have come to expect from Montgomery heroines. She is young and the story doesn't follow her into adulthood, but I was not left with the feeling of anticipation as I have been with some of Montgomery's other books with childhood heroines. Jane's gumption and determination make her an admirable character, one fit to be a role model for any young girl who might find herself in an environment perhaps not wholly encouraging. I count Jane of Lantern Hill among my favorite L. M. Montgomery novels.
Jane lives a cheerless life, reminding me a bit of The Child from "Anne of Windy Poplars" mixed with Valancy Stirling of "The Blue Castle." She's being raised by her mother, grandmother, and maiden aunt in a gloomy, hostile old house. Her mother loves her, so at least she has that, but she's constantly squelched and belittled by her grandmother and aunt. Then her life changes forever -- and decidedly for the better -- when her estranged father sends for her, and she spends her summer with him on Prince Edward Island (enchanted realm that we all know it to be), where she becomes a real person instead of a scared little shadow. It's also got an interesting bit of meditation on how parents shouldn't get so wrapped up in their children that they neglect their spouses. And also that spouses shouldn't get jealous of the way their spouse loves their child. I would have liked to see that developed even more, but what was there was very nice as it is. There's something so comfortingly optimistic about most of Montgomery's novels, isn't there? I mean, many of them begin absolutely horribly, with some wonderful girl stuck in a grim life, surrounded by people who don't love her or understand her or take care of her. Or all three. But there's the promise of hope and better things on the horizon.
My daughter has read this so many times that the paperback is ruined. She enjoyed reading out loud to me and I liked it too. We're getting a hardback this time. The book has wonderful, healthy values, portrays some very vivid and realistic emotional content. It's the kind of book you wish could just go on and on.