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. 🙂
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 Semicolon‘s Saturday Review of Books.)