Thursday, April 02, 2009

Anne's House Of Dreams

I'll be honest. Anne Of Windy Poplars is my first DNF for 2009. I couldn't see the point. Anne and Gilbert are apart and in a holding pattern while Gilbert's in medical school. Anne is teaching geometry and writing long epistles to her beloved about the interesting country folk she encounters. Looking at the copyright date (1936), it seems that L.M. Montgomery went back and wrote this one to plug the chronological gap. For me, that particular novel interferes with the lovely flow of the series. Besides, I was ready to cut to the chase.

My impatience was rewarded by Anne's House Of Dreams. Anne and Gilbert get married in the orchard at Green Gables. After that, they move to Glen St. Mary, about 60 miles away from Green Gables. Gilbert is taking over his great-uncle's medical practice. He finds a small house by the sea, which Anne says is her "house of dreams".

This book seems more tightly plotted and written, and has a very romantic subplot. Leslie Moore is a beautiful but mysterious woman who craves Anne's friendship but also seems to loathe her on some level. She's trapped in a loveless marriage to a brain-damaged man. Leslie takes in a boarder -- a writer named Owen Ford, whose grandparents used to live in the house of dreams. Love springs up between Leslie and Owen, but they're both too honorable to admit it to each other, although they confide in Anne. Since this *is* Anne-land, things work out fine. As an added bonus, I was mightily impressed with L.M. Montgomery for a plot twist that I never saw coming.

Less conflicted about Anne are nearby neighbors Captain Jim and Miss Cornelia. Funny, wise and tender, Captain Jim tugged at my heart and reminded me in many ways of Matthew from the first novel. Miss Cornelia bursts into the series in this book with great tartness and vigor. I laughed out loud at how her story was resolved in this volume.

Meanwhile, Anne experiences heartbreak when her first baby, a girl, lives only one day. The depiction of her grief and anguish felt so real. Later, I read that L.M. Montgomery's second son was stillborn, not too many years before this novel was written. A year later, the stork (Montgomery's delicacy in discussing such matters -- not mine) visits again, and Anne and Gilbert have a healthy son.

I haven't yet finished Rilla Of Ingleside, but as of now, Anne's House Of Dreams is my favorite in the series.


raidergirl3 said...

I loved Captain Jim.

Natasha @ Maw Books said...

I remember reading this one! I didn't have the next one of the series so I haven't gone any further. I'd love to finish it up.

Eva said...

Windy Poplars was definitely my least favourite of the Anne-centric books when I was's one of the only ones I haven't reread. Anne's House of Dreams was great, but it makes me cry every time.