Literature / Jane of Lantern Hill

Jane of Lantern Hill is L. M. Montgomery's last novel. Jane lives with her mother and wealthy grandmother in the city of Toronto. She is miserable under her grandmother's tyrannical rule, all of her talents smothered and any friendships snuffed out. Nonetheless, Jane dreams of happiness for herself and her beautiful but spineless mother. It comes as a surprise, to say the least, to learn that Jane's father is alive and well and living in Prince Edward Island — and he wants to meet her. Reluctant, sure she's going to hate the Island and hate her father and hate everything about it, she sets out — but once in on the Island, it turns out that she and her father are true kindred spirits, and Jane's summers on PEI turn into a magical opportunity for growth, wonder, and joy.

This is a little odd among Montgomery's books for striking a tone somewhere between the whimsical coming of age of Anne of Green Gables, et alia, and the sometimes desperate need for love and beauty in the lonely, adult The Blue Castle.

Tropes found in this work

  • Alice Allusion: She once dreamed of going into a mirror until she was ridiculed for vanity for sitting in front of them.
  • Arcadia: Prince Edward Island
  • Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: The grandmother
    • Aunt Irene, Andrew's simpering hypocritical sister. She is rightly described as "sweet poison" by one of the neighbours.
  • Cinderella Circumstances: Her friend Jody
  • City Mouse: Jane
  • Close-Knit Community: PEI
  • Evil Matriarch: The grandmother
  • Extreme Door Mat: Jane's mother who cannot stand up to her mother and earlier couldn't stand up to her meddling sister-in-law Irene. She finally grows a backbone when she defies her mother and goes to Prince Edward Island when Jane nearly dies of pnemonia.
  • Face Your Fears: Cows, in Jane's case.
  • Feminine Women Can Cook: Jane picks up cooking easily.
  • Gilded Cage: Jane's mother's life in the mansion on Gay Street. Jane senses she is unhappy despite all her expensive clothes and the parties she goes to.
  • Green-Eyed Monster: The grandmother.
  • Honorary Uncle: Little Aunt Em — to everyone. Also Uncle Tombstone, whose real last name is Tunstone.
  • Hopeless Suitor: The Jimmy John's hired man, Step-a-yard, is in love with Miss Justina Titus, but knows that it's hopeless since she's faithful to the memory of Alec Jacks, who was killed in World War I.
  • In Harmony with Nature: Jane is a great gardener, and has a particular affinity for the moon.
  • I Never Got Any Letters: The grandmother saw to that.
  • The Mourning After: Miss Justina Titus is still faithful to the memory of Alec Jacks, who died in World War I, and still wears her hair in a pompadour as that was how she wore it when she said good-bye to him.
  • My Beloved Smother: The grandmother, again.
  • Orphan's Ordeal: Her friend Jody — not, unusually a central place in the plot.
  • Parental Favoritism: Jane's grandmother, toward her mother.
  • Proper Lady: Jane.
  • Turn Out Like Her Father: Her grandmother objects to this in Jane. Jane even doesn't like the notion she gets her chin from her father, at first.