Saturday, December 10, 2011

Book Review: Rainbow Valley by L.M. Montgomery

I was starting to worry about the Green Gables series, that I just wasn't going to like any of the books anymore, but Rainbow Valley redeemed it for me! Although, oddly, the Blythes are only a minor role in the book. But, as usual, what I loved was that it read more like a novel than a collection of short stories.

The book is mostly about the Merediths, the minister Dad and his four kids. Naturally they become fast friends with the Blythes and spend a lot of time in Rainbow Valley (I'm not completely sure of the layout of the town but it seems that they just live across the valley from the Blythes so it makes sense.) Their father is loving and kind, and the best preacher Glen St. Mary has ever seen, but he is easily distracted, absorbed by his books, and disinclined to remarry simply to get a housekeeper. When the children discover Mary Vance, a runaway house girl from a neighboring town, it seems as if the housekeeping issues might be helped but Aunt Martha will not let Mary cook, and she's also a bad influence when it comes to the Merediths' language and telling them ghost stories. Mary is eventually adopted by Miss Cornelia and while she's still a frequent companion, the Merediths are back to trying to raise themselves. Although, their father has become friends with the beautiful and thoughtful spinster Rosemary West, so might there be wedding bells and a new mother on the horizon? Or will circumstances get between them and happiness?

Anne and her children make frequent appearances, as friends and confidants (although several times Anne's absence has been a plot point as it forced people to find other confidants.) But they are not the main characters, and yet that didn't bother me. And I liked that Mary and Cornelia appeared off and on throughout and that certain clues were set up early in the book that didn't pay off until the end - a marker of a novel, not short stories. And somehow, some way, you just know that everything will work out. I am really looking forward to Rilla of Ingleside, the last book in the series!

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.


Caroline Starr Rose said...

I remember one of Anne's girls loving the word "galore". That's in this book, right?

Julie P. said...

I'm so glad you enjoyed this one more!

Rebecca Chapman said...

I have to admit that this didn't redeem the series for me. The more I think about it, the more I think that I culd have just stopped at Anne of Green Gables