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'Emily's Quest' is a novel and the last of the 'Emily' trilogy by Lucy Maud Montgomery. After finishing 'Emily Climbs', Montgomery suspended writing 'Emily's Quest' and published 'The Blue Castle'; she resumed writing and published in 1927.
Emily Starr and Teddy Kent have been friends since childhood, and as Teddy is about to leave to further his education as an artist, Emily believes that their friendship is blossoming into something more. On his last night at home, they vow to think of each other when they see the star Vega of the Lyre.
As Emily grows as a writer and learns to deal with the loneliness of having her closest friends gone, life at New Moon changes. Mr. Carpenter, Emily's most truthful critic and favorite teacher dies (warning Emily, even as he dies to "Beware --- of --- italics."). She becomes closer to Dean Priest, even as she fears he wants love when she only has friendship to give. Worst of all, Emily and Teddy become distant as he focuses on building his career and she hides her feelings behind pride.
Disappointed by her failed romance, Emily throws herself into her work and writes a novel 'A Seller of Dreams'. Several publishers reject it so she submits it to the opinion of Dean Priest, the only person she feels is capable of giving her an honest opinion. Dean lies to Emily and tells her the book is "pretty and flimsy". In her grief, Emily burns the manuscript and then, crazed by what she has done, she rushes out the door, only to trip on the stairs and have her foot pierced terribly by scissors.
The injury and subsequent blood poisoning threaten Emily's life. Dean comforts her through her long recovery, and she comes to depend on his companionship. She recovers her health but loses her desire to write. Eventually, she decides to marry Dean.
Their engagement is a mixture of happiness and, for Emily, feelings of imprisonment. Emily's happiest moments come while furnishing the Disappointed House, which Emily has always loved. One night after the house was complete, Emily feels drawn to it and has an out-of-body experience where she saves Teddy from sailing on the doomed 'Flavian'. Emily realizes she loves Teddy. She breaks off her engagement but grieves over the loss of Dean's friendship. Before he leaves, Dean tells her that he thought her book was good but he was jealous of her having something apart from him. Although devastated by this revelation, since she can never get her book back, Emily's faith in her talent is restored.
After breaking off her engagement, Emily regains her ability to write and has one golden summer where she and Teddy almost share their love. Misunderstanding and Emily's pride keep them apart, and Teddy leaves with no goodbye and nothing more than a newspaper clipping.
Emily goes through another series of comic courtships and writes a novel to keep her Aunt Elizabeth amused while she is bedridden. Her novel is eventually published, but the joy of its publication is ruined when she hears that Teddy is engaged to her best friend, Ilse Burnley. The engagement causes a strange friendship to grow between Emily and Mrs. Kent, Teddy's jealous mother, which eventually results in Mrs. Kent revealing that she had replaced a letter in which Teddy confessed his love to Emily with a newspaper clipping. Emily says that Teddy must never be told of this, but triumphs in the knowledge that he did love her once.
The day of Ilse and Teddy's wedding comes. Just before the ceremony, Ilse hears of the near death of their old friend Perry Miller. Ilse rushes off, declares her love for Perry, and leaves Teddy angry and ashamed. Ilse, true to form, laughs the matter off and eventually marries Perry.
Years pass without Emily hearing of Teddy until she unexpectedly hears his old call. She goes to him, and years of misunderstanding and pride are swept away with a look. Dean, hearing of their engagement, gives the Disappointed House to Emily and Teddy and promises his future friendship.
Film, TV or theatrical adaptations
Television seriesThe novels were adapted into a TV series by Salter Street Films and CBC Television in 1998.
AnimationIn 2007, Japanese educational TV broadcasted "Kaze no Shoujo Emily" which was inspired by the novels.
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