Great-grandson of L.M. Montgomery writes modern sequel to beloved Canadian series
Illustration by Tina Wallace
Lucy Maud Montgomery would probably roll in her grave now that one of her heirs has written a long-awaited modern sequel to the Anne of Green Gables series.
Less than a decade ago, Canadians celebrated the 100-year anniversary of the beloved novel.
“Little did they know it was that precise event that planted the seed for a sequel in my mind,” Cheeta Macdonald, author of the new book and great-grandson of L.M. Montgomery, said in an interview with the Tomato. “I could see how much Anne was still alive in Canada and knew that I had to do my best to keep part of that character alive.”
The new novel, titled Dan of the Dumps, looks into the life of Daniel Chester, one of Anne’s great-grandchildren who survived the recession of the late 1980s and started selling nickel stocks in magazine and book clubs.
Jordan Belfort, famous from the book and film The Wolf of Wall Street was a major source of inspiration for the lead character, who later goes on to serve a 20-year prison sentence for stock fraud, repeated parole violations, and random drug offences.
Protestors have already begun gathering at Montgomery’s Cavendish National Historic Site. Every week they are growing in numbers as the book’s March 21 release date approaches.
“At first everyone thought it was a joke,” said Prince Edward Island resident Tully Pricket. “But when the mayor announced the news we were in complete shock. I mean, really?”
Mayor Thomas Forb made the unexpected announcement in central Charlottetown on March 14, focusing more on the potential tourism boost benefits rather than the sloppy plotline.
“Eighty-five per cent of the province’s GDP depends on the original novel’s success,” said Forb. “And with fewer people reading novels, Prince Edward Island has been slowly taking financial hits.”
Despite the millions against the novel, Random Home Publishing has offered Macdonald the option to write six more novels, which would follow the lives of each of the great-grandchildren who have survived rehab and started businesses of their own.
Montgomery died in 1942, so any rights she would have had to her novels have long since expired and some say it’s better that one of her family members chose to continue the Anne legacy, rather than a complete outsider.
Nonetheless for critics like Pricket, it is hard to swallow the fact that a highly educated duo like Anne and Gilbert will be associated with a “group of money-hungry, drug-influenced individuals” from now on.
“Hopefully the public will give the book a fair chance,” said Tete Eeenbum, president of Random Home Publishing. “The public was very welcoming to grittier stories, like The Wolf of Wall Street and The Hunger Games, so we expect a great reception for Dan of the Dumps.”
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