I decided to read The Story Girl for a few reasons. First of all, it was free on Kindle. Secondly, I wanted something that was completely new to me, and lastly, I read that it was Montgomery's favorite of her works. After reading Carrie's post(from 2009) on this book, I realize that I probably shouldn't have based my reading on that little fact.
It wasn't until Annette mentioned that Montgomery is slow reading for her that I remembered the same for me last year as I read through Anne of Green Gables. I have to say, The Story Girl was even slower reading for me. I enjoyed the story well enough, but it's definitely not "edge of my seat, can't turn the pages fast enough" kind of reading. It's very "gentle" reading. Considering the fact that the Lucy Maud Montgomery Challenge has been over for a week already, and I'm just finishing up, gives you a clue of just how slow it was for me. :S
I was surprised to discover that the narrator of The Story Girl is a boy. I found this a little confusing at first, since his name is Beverley. I know several females named Beverley, but not a single male. Was that a common male name back then? I'm sure you see why I was confused at first, though. The strange thing about Bev's narration is that he doesn't refer to himself very often, or make himself the center of attention. He keeps the story's focus on his friends and relatives. I would be reading quite awhile when he finally refers to himself, and I'd think, "Oh, you're still here." It did make my reading experience a little strange, but still enjoyable.
The Story Girl is about a group of children that are friends or relatives. For the most part, it consists of several unrelated stories. There's some connection with many of them, but it was mostly just the varied days and adventures(and mischief) of a group of kids. A great deal of these adventures revolved around religion. These children had a great bit of bad theology in their minds, but it did make for some humorous reading. There were also quite a few stories from Sara(the Story Girl) sprinkled throughout the chapters. I thought these added a punch of fun to the story .
Sadly, I think my favorite part of the book was Paddy! He reminded me of McTavish, the barncat in Down the Mysterly River. I not only adored that book, but that cat, too.
"Paddy distinguished himself by catching a rat, and being intolerable conceited about it-until Sara Ray cured him by calling him a "dear, sweet cat," and kissing him between the ears. Then Pat sneaked off abjectly off, his tail dropping. He resented being called a sweet cat. He has a sense of humor, had Pat. Very few cats have; and most of them have such an inordinate appetite for flattery that they will swallow any amount of it and thrive thereon. Paddy had a finer taste. The Story Girl and I were the only ones who could pay him compliments to his liking. The Story Girl would box his ears with her fist and say, "Bless your gray heart, Paddy, you're a good sort of old rascal," and Pat would purr his satisfaction; I used to take a handful of the skin on his back, shake him gently and say, "Pat, you've forgotten more than any human being ever knew," and I vow Paddy would lick his chops with delight. But to be called "a sweet cat!" Oh, Sara, Sara!" (page 219-220)
This was only my second book of Montgomery's to read, but I don't think it will come close to making it on my favorites list. It was an enjoyable read, though!