Hello dear Anne fans!
Welcome to my October post as part of the #AnneReadAlong2017! I am having so much fun co-hosting this event with Jackie @ Death by Tsundoku. We’d love to have you join us for any part of the read along. We are writing reviews, posting Top 5 Lists, hosting giveaways, and more! Check out my info page here.
This month’s book is Anne of Ingleside.
I had not read any part of this novel before. And I found it fit quite well with the other novels in the story. Anne is a mother now, but she is still herself. Her imagination and kindness continue to win the hearts of those around her, especially her children.
For some reason, I could not read this book very quickly. Again, I definitely enjoyed it. But it was also a slow read for me.
Anne of Ingleside by L. M. Mongomery is the 6th book in the Anne Series and chronicles several years of Anne’s life as a mother of 6 children. Goodreads summarizes, “Anne is the mother of five, with never a dull moment in her lively home. And now with a new baby on the way and insufferable Aunt Mary visiting – and wearing out her welcome – Anne’s life is full to bursting. Still, Mrs Doctor can’t think of any place she’d rather be than her own beloved Ingleside. Until the day she begins to worry that her adored Gilbert doesn’t love her anymore. How could that be? She may be a little older, but she’s still the same irrepressible, irreplaceable redhead – the wonderful Anne of Green Gables, all grown up… She’s ready to make her cherished husband fall in love with her all over again!”
One of my favorite parts about reading the complete Anne series this year is seeing Anne through all the stages and experiences of life. Anne as a mother is a beautiful mix of her classic, imaginative self and a kind, invested matron. She loves her children and teaches them everyday. I continue to look up to and admire Anne as I did when we first meet her in Anne of Green Gables. I admire her patience and love for her children. Her goodness and kindness towards her friends and neighbors. And the way she is able to maintain her unique way of seeing the world. I want my home to be like Anne’s.
I am in awe of all the lessons she seamlessly teaches her children. Anne becomes a fountain of knowledge, if you will. They all respect her–even idolize her. And I am super impressed by it. No matter the situation, Anne seems to know just what to say to sooth a worried child or correct a wayward child. At times, it seemed like she was almost too good at mothering her children. She seemed to always get it right. I imagine Anne felt that she made plenty of mistakes. But I would have appreciated a bit more balance in her successes as a mother and her mistakes.
A few favorite lines from the novel, including several of Anne’s lessons to her children:
“There is no such thing as a common day. Every day has something about it no other day has. Haven’t you noticed?”
“We never need to be economical in our imaginations, thank heaven.”
“Time is kinder than we think, . . . It’s a dreadful mistake to cherish bitterness for years . . . Hugging it to our hearts like a treasure.”
“An imagination is a wonderful thing to have . . . Like every gift we must possess it and not let it possess us.”
Anne of Ingleside, pages 17, 87, 222, & 244
I really appreciated Anne’s thoughts on the motherhood. Some favorites here:
“Help all mothers everywhere. We need so much help, with the little sensitive, loving hearts and minds that look to us for guidance and love and understanding.”
“Motherhood was very sweet…but very terrible.”
Anne of Ingleside, pages 34 & 196
Getting to know the Blythe children was potentially my favorite part of this novel. Although, I connected with Anne’s children on different levels. They all remind me of Anne on some level. The stories about the Blythe kids are fun, whimsical, and remind me so much of younger Anne. I loved Walter for all his “Anneish” qualities from his fabulous imagination to his beautiful descriptions of the world. I loved Rilla for her ridiculous fears and that great lisp. I laughed at Nan and Di for being a bit overly naive and desperate to fit in. And I loved Jem’s youthful defiance and quiet love for his mother. It warms my heart to see Anne in a happy home, bringing her children up with love and kindness, especially considering her lack of such feelings in her own childhood before Green Gables.
Montgomery is at her best with the tone and description in this novel. Both are vibrant and engaging. I felt like we were back in the first book with the great narrations of simple stories through many years. It felt comfortable, like coming home. There were so many paragraphs I wanted to read over and over again because they were so “Anne.” Perhaps that’s part of the reason I couldn’t speed read this novel.
The one story that I didn’t like was the over hyped account of Gilbert not being in love with Anne. I was kind of waiting for it the entire novel because it was mentioned on the back of my copy of the novel and in the Goodreads summary. But it doesn’t come until the very end of the novel. I almost expected not to read about it. And then it was over dramatic for me. I was mad at the potential of Gilbert preferring someone else over Anne. And I was annoyed at the way they spent their anniversary. Then it all wrapped up so neatly as quickly as it began. I think the novel would have been better either with more development of that subplot or to leave it out entirely. I did enjoy the way the novel ends with Gilbert and Anne’s reconciliation and their love shining bright.
Overall, I enjoyed Anne of Ingleside. I love seeing Anne as a mother and a wife finding happiness through the passing years. Montgomery published this novel later like Anne of Windy Poplars, but this one fits well into the Anne Canon and connects well to the other novels in the series. It was a bit slow at points and the does-Gilbert-still-love-Anne story was petty and unnecessary for me. Overall, another worthwhile Anne novel!
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See you in November for Rainbow Valley!