Book Review: Anne’s House of Dreams

L. M. Montgomery Reading Challenge I am so glad Carrie set her annual Lucy Maud Montgomery Reading Challenge to occur in January. I picked up where I left off from last year’s challenge with Anne’s House of Dreams, and it’s such a cozy read. This was one of my favorites the first time I read the books, next to the first, Anne of Green Gables.

In this book Anne and Gilbert finally marry and move to Four Winds Harbour where Gilbert takes over the medical practice of his uncle. The first few chapters are given over to preparations for the wedding and then the wedding itself, and it’s a joy to see Diana (grown, married, with young children), Marilla, Rachel Lynde, and all the rest. One of the most poignant scenes to me was when Marilla stood at the gate as Anne and Gilbert drove away after their marriage.

The house they rent as newlyweds is truly a house of dreams, with all the delightful things Anne loves as well as a lighthouse and it’s keeper, Captain Jim, as near neighbors. The eccentric Miss Cornelia (whom I frankly got a little tired of in places), “Susan at the helm,” and the mysterious, beautiful, yet initially aloof Leslie Moore with her tragic lot in life round out the main cast of characters.

I like, though, that LMM didn’t make the whole book idyllic and fairy-taleish. Anne faces her first deep sorrow of her adult life, and she and Gilbert have their differences of opinion in places. But they are happy overall. It’s fun to see Anne “grown up,” still passionate and dreamy yet more mature.

It was funny to read that Anne wasn’t sure if she liked the idea of Avonlea being “spoiled” by the “modern inconvenience” of the telephone. Every new technology will have its detractors. šŸ™‚

There were a couple of things I didn’t like, namely the china dogs being referred to as the “household gods,” and references to ghosts, but overall it’s a sweet book with just the right blend of delight and pathos.

When I first read this book, I was hoping that the Anne films by Kevin Sullivan & Co.would continue until they got to this one. I was so happy to hear they were going to make a film about Anne and Gilbert’s first years as a couple — until I saw it. It’s a travesty. Instead of this sweet story that LMM wrote, Sullivan took the characters and placed them several years ahead, to the time that corresponds with Rilla of Ingleside, a later book, and incorporates some of that story.

I got to wondering if Four Winds harbour was a real place and had fun looking around “The Geography of Four Winds, Glen St. Mary, and Ingleside.”

I enjoyed rereading this book and visiting with Anne and Gilbert again.

(This review will also be linked to Semicolonā€˜s Saturday Review of Books.)

13 thoughts on “Book Review: Anne’s House of Dreams

  1. I love this book as well. And I share your opinion about the Anne films. The whole espionage theme and Diana’s marriage issues and contrived….well, everything…was a huge disappointment. *sigh*

  2. I haven’t read this one, but it sounds good — I love your description of the reunion of so many favorite characters.

    I don’t mind phones, but I dislike telephone lines stretching everywhere. Maybe I have a touch of Anne. šŸ™‚

    Never saw this film — and don’t feel inclined to, based on your comments. But I’m going to keep this title in mind.

  3. =D You make up for Stephanie (‘s Mommy Brain) who happily plays along with the LMM challenge but hates every book she reads. (I laugh. I think it’s a sign of a good friendship.) But it’s nice to see someone ELSE enjoying their LMM reads.

    I do love this particular book and I AM glad that LMM gave Anne and Gilbert a real heartfelt tragedy to change them. It happens post-marriage in a big way and it really does keep Anne real to me. (ANd thank you also for not liking that horrid third Anne movie by Sullivan. ) šŸ˜‰

  4. I enjoy this book. Not only does it focus on them, but you are introduced to a whole new set of characters. I love Captain Jim, and Leslie’s story, and of course the book wouldn’t be complete without Miss Cornelia!!

    • Yes – I thought the Leslie Moore story gave the right amount of actual reality – what could happen to a person – to the story. I love the chapter where Anne actually meets Leslie Moore and is astonished that she wasn’t the Rachel Lynde type she was expecting. The only reason that this isn’t my absolute favorite in the series is because Rilla of Ingleside with its description of WWI and how the family deals with and how Rilla grows up to be motherly is my absolute favorite in this series but Anne’s House of Dreams comes solidly in at # 2 favorite.

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