Saturday, November 26, 2011

Book Review: Anne of Ingleside by L.M. Montgomery

I liked this book quite a bit for the first quarter or so. Gilbert's Aunt Mary Maria has come to stay with the Blythes, apparently indefinitely, and she makes everyone's lives miserable. And everyone comes together to work against her, although subtly, as you can't just be rude to an elderly aunt (or apparently ask her nicely to go home.) Even Susan and Anne are rubbed wrong by her and find her irritating. In the past I have found Anne too perfect but here she was much more real in being thoroughly fed up with Mary Maria. But once Mary Maria was out of the way, the book became a series of stories each centered around a different one of the children. They would last 1-3 chapters and the child would get in some little scrape and get back out, with the loving care of their mother always behind them. Sigh.

As I've mentioned before I like the books that are a series of strung together short stories much less. And we're reading these books because we like Anne (and Gilbert) so much, but huge chunks of the book are just the kids and we don't see Anne at all except in the neat wrap-ups of the child's trials. Some of the stories also felt quite contrived. And some favorite characters from books past, like Leslie and Marilla, never show up at all! And Miss Cornelia only once or twice, briefly. The plot promised on the back of the book (Anne thinks Gilbert is taking her for granted and doesn't even notice her anymore) isn't until the last 20 pages of the book (although I did like it). I would have preferred if that plot was woven throughout and had held the book together more as an overarching plot.

I do like Anne, and I still like her as she's become an adult and actually is my age, but I wish the books were less short story collections and more novels.

This review is a part of Kid Konnection, hosted by Booking Mama, a collection of children's book-related posts over the weekend.

I borrowed this book from a friend.


Rebecca Chapman said...

I have to admit that I also became more disappointed in the series the more they went on. Montgomery really nailed it with ANne of Green Gables and sometimes I think you don't even really need to read the rest

Julie P. said...

I can understand your disappointment. It's hard when the characters that you've come to know and love don't make appearances.

bermudaonion said...

I loved Anne of Green Gables but haven't read any more of the series. It's disappointing to see she's not in this book much.

RAnn said...

I loved the Anne of GG books when I was a teen; I think I read them all, but it's been a long time.