Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels
- Age: 14 to 16
- Grade: 9 to 11
"Maud and Me" is a novel set in the early 1980's in Marathon, a small mining town in Northwestern Ontario. Nicole LeClair, a middle-aged minister's wife has a secret: she receives visits from Lucy Maud Montgomery, also a minister's wife and famed author of Anne of Green Gables. Since Maud has been dead for four decades, Nicole is unsure if this apparition is a vision, a ghost, or a hallucination brought on by her own growing malaise. But one thing that she is sure of is that neither her husband Adam, nor the people in their church would approve.
In the early 1980's, the women's movement hasn't yet reached conservative Northwestern Ontario. Nicole deals with her frustrations through her painting and subversive sense of humour, even as she tries outwardly to please everyone: her well-meaning husband Adam, her angry, distant mother, and the congregation of Marathon Community Fellowship. When she becomes desperate for someone who understands, Maud shows up in her garden.
Over cups of tea and long drives along the north shore of Lake Superior, they compare notes and hilarious observations about congregational life. But then news of her father's death and the discovery of her mother's betrayal drive Nicole to question everything about her family, her life, and even Maud.
About the author
Marianne Jones was born and raised in Thunder Bay, Ontario, where she lives with her husband Reg. Her work has appeared in Room, Wascana Review, Canadian Living and Reader's Digest, and won awards from the Canadian Authors Association, Writer's Digest, and others. Her as-told-to memoir, The Girl Who Wouldn't Die, won the 2015 Word Alive Press publishing contest. Much of her writing celebrates the unique beauty of Northwestern Ontario. She and her husband love music, live theatre and ballroom dancing. Together they have two daughters and two granddaughters. Marianne is currently at work on a mystery set in Thunder Bay.
"Some of my favourite novels make me forget that what I’m reading is fiction. Marianne Jones’s most recent book, Maud and Me, is such a book. She conveys the mysterious magnetism of the North Shore environment, including the dynamics of small communities. In addition she captures the complexity of the social and spiritual life in a small church. The characters emerge in this setting as multidimensional and authentic people plunged into sometimes troubled relational waters – waters every bit as unpredictable and confusing as Lake Superior can be. The ghostly appearance of Maud (Lucy Maud Montgomery) seems to flow quite naturally as Nicole navigates the channels and shoals of perceptions of her life as ‘the minister’s wife’, while also painting and figuring out her personal identity."