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A Tangled Web

By Lucy Maud Montgomery
Introduction by Benjamin Lefebvre
Voyageur Classics: Books that Explore Canada
Toronto: Dundurn Press, 2009


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.

Lucy Maud Montgomery (1874–1942) was the celebrated author of Anne of Green Gables and numerous other classics for young people. She was born in Clifton, Prince Edward Island, and attended Prince of Wales College in Charlottetown where she obtained her teaching certificate.

Benjamin Lefebvre received his Ph.D. in English from McMaster University and is director of the L.M. Montgomery Research Group. He lives in Waterloo, Ontario.


Introduction by Benjamin Lefebvre (9–18)

Chapter I: Aunt Becky’s Levee (19–117)

Chapter II: Wheels within Wheels (118–56)

Chapter III: Midsummer Madness (157–202)

Chapter IV: The Moving Finger (203–43)

Chapter V: Blindly Wise (244–79)

Chapter VI: Finally, Brethren (280–94)


Lefebvre, Benjamin. “Pigsties and Sunsets: L.M. Montgomery, A Tangled Web, and a Modernism of Her Own.” English Studies in Canada 31, no. 4 (December 2005): 123–46.


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