Before Aunt Becky dies, she tells her clan that she’s going to leave a cherished heirloom jug to one of them–but they won’t know the beneficiary until one year after her passing. Even worse: she’s not going to tell them how she’s deciding who gets it, so they’ll have to be on their best behavior just in case she’s instructed someone still living to decide who gets it in a year. Shenanigans ensue as everyone competes for chance at the jug. It’s a ridiculous-sounding premise when you say it’s a novel about people fighting over a jug, but the book is magic and one of Montgomery’s strongest works. It’ also the only one written with multiple points of view.
The problem – nothing other than I had never heard of this book! Embarrassing but true. So I got a copy and read it. The blurb does sound ridiculous but this is a fantastic book which really does highlight the talent of L.M. Montgomery. I absolutely loved all the quirky characters and story. It was endearing and fabulous. I am so glad to have gotten to read this one. Literally the only downside (a big one) was the very last paragraph which used an awful racial slur that was so unnecessary. So the last thought of the book was distaste. But the rest of the book is a gem. Makes me want to reread the Jane and Emily books. Arrrr!
Side note: Also check out me review of a biography about the author.
Goodreads has this to say about the novel:
No amount of drama between the Dark and Penhallow families can prepare them for what follows when Aunt Becky bequeaths her prized heirloom jug – the owner to be revealed in one year’s time. The intermarriages, and resulting fighting and feuding, that have occurred over the years grow more intense as Gay Penhallow’s fiancé leaves her for the devious Nan Penhallow; Peter Penhallow and Donna Dark find love after a lifelong hatred of each other; and Joscelyn and Hugh Dark, inexplicably separated on their wedding night, are reunited.
Hopes and shortcomings are revealed as we follow the fates of the clan for an entire year. The legendary jug sits amid this love, heartbreak, and hilarity as each family member works to acquire the heirloom. But on the night that the eccentric matriarch’s wishes are to be revealed, both families find the biggest surprise of all.
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