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Against the Odds: Tales of Achievement

Editor: Rea Wilmshurst
Country: Canada
Publisher: McClelland and Stewart
Date: 1993
Pagination: 246 pp.
ISBN: 978-0771061721

Against the Odds: Tales of Achievement is the fifth of eight collections of L.M. Montgomery’s rediscovered short stories edited and introduced by Rea Wilmshurst. It contains eighteen short stories that were originally published in periodicals between 1896 and 1935. The book was preceded by Akin to Anne: Tales of Other Orphans (1988), Along the Shore: Tales by the Sea (1989), Among the Shadows: Tales from the Darker Side (1990), and After Many Days: Tales of Time Passed (1991), and followed by At the Altar: Matrimonial Tales (1994), Across the Miles: Tales of Correspondence (1995), and Christmas with Anne and Other Holiday Stories (1995). It was published as a jacketed hardcover by McClelland and Stewart in May 1993, with a mass-market paperback appearing in May 1994.

From the Back Cover

In Against the Odds: Tales of Achievement, Montgomery has once again created for us believable characters who live in a world she knew well and depicted lovingly and accurately, the small villages and towns of eastern and western Canada. Though her characters are distant from us in time, their problems are very similar to those we have today, and their methods of solving them not very different. Just as Montgomery’s characters have to explore all feasible methods of reaching their goals, so young people today have to be inventive and intelligent, quick to notice a need they can fill. Just as her “disadvantaged” characters have to do battle to prove their worth in the face of prejudice and distrust, so do we all today have to learn to deal with set opinions and unswerving, even if erroneous, beliefs. Old-fashioned Montgomery may be, but out of fashion, never.

Against the Odds: Tales of Achievement is the fifth volume of L.M. Montgomery’s rediscovered stories to be published by McClelland & Stewart. Akin to Anne: Tales of Other Orphans, Along the Shore: Tales by the Sea, Among the Shadows: Tales of the Darker Side, and After Many Days: Tales of Time Passed preceded this collection.


Introduction / Rea Wilmshurst (7–13)

A Patent Medicine Testimonial (15–25)

The Fillmore Elderberries (27–36)

Dorinda’s Desperate Deed (37–46)

The Genesis of the Doughnut Club (47–56)

Bessie’s Doll (57–68)

At the Bay Shore Farm (69–80)

In Spite of Myself (81–94)

Why Mr. Cropper Changed His Mind (95–103)

How We Went to the Wedding (105–36)

Ned’s Stroke of Business (137–43)

Their Girl Josie (145–57)

The Blue North Room (159–68)

Where There Is a Will There Is a Way (169–76)

Lilian’s Business Venture (177–84)

A Question of Acquaintance (185–201)

A Case of Trespass (203–15)

A Substitute Journalist (217–27)

The Strike at Putney (229–40)

Editorial Note (241–42)

Acknowledgements (243)

Other Books by L.M. Montgomery (245–46)


Reviews by Nora Abercrombie, Marie Campbell, Lorraine Douglas, Susan Hughes, Caroline Thomson, and Kate Zimmerman.

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