Literature / Kilmeny of the Orchard

A novel by Lucy Maud Montgomery, the author of Anne of Green Gables. A young man named Eric Marshall goes to teach a school on Prince Edward Island and meets Kilmeny, a mute girl who has perfect hearing. He sees her when he is walking in the woods and hears her playing the violin. He visits her a number of times and gradually falls in love with her.

This novel provides examples of:

  • Beauty Equals Goodness: Kilmeny is very beautiful. And so painfully, perfectly good.
  • Cute Mute: Kilmeny, of course.
  • Fourth Date Marriage: Eric and Kilmeny.
  • Happily Ever After: Implied.
  • Innocent Prodigy: Kilmeny is completely unaware of how musically gifted she is, and has lived an extremely sheltered life.
  • In the Blood: Characters in the book are distrustful of Neil. His jealous and violent behaviour is attributed to his being the child of Italian parents, a view the author appears to endorse by making him the villain of the story. Could also be considered an example of Values Dissonance.
  • Love at First Sight: Eric falls in love with Kilmeny the moment he sees her, which he discovers later during his...
  • Love Epiphany
  • Maybe Magic, Maybe Mundane: Everyone in town, including Kilmeny herself, believes her muteness to be the result of a curse her mother accidentally began when she refused to speak with her estranged father, Kilmeny's grandfather, while she was pregnant with Kilmeny out of wedlock. To find the cause of Kilmeny's mute state, the practical Eric enlists the help of his physician friend David, who finds nothing physically wrong with Kilmeny and concludes that her condition is psychosomatic.
  • Missing Mom: Eric's mother died when he was young. Kilmeny's mother passed away a few years before the story opens.
  • Parental Abandonment: Neil's mother died when he was born, and his father abandoned him right after.
  • Raven Hair, Ivory Skin: Kilmeny has dark hair and a porcelain complexion.
  • Scenery Porn: Like all Montgomery's novels.
  • So Beautiful, It's a Curse: Kilmeny's mother felt this way.
  • The Speechless: Kilmeny.