#AnneReadAlong2017 : Anne of Ingleside

November 10, 2017
Anne of Ingleside Book Cover Anne of Ingleside
Anne of Green Gables, #6
L.M. Montgomery
Classic
Starfire
June 1st, 1984
Hardcover
274
Library
1939

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!

(via Goodreads)

 

Somehow, in all my excitement in October (aka: Overwhelming Busyness), I never managed to post my review for Anne of Ingleside! Well, better late than never right? It’s hard to believe there are only two books left after this…

The 6th book in the Anne of Green Gables series, Anne of Ingleside finally introduces us to the Blythe children. It feels like a long time coming, but finally, Anne and Gilbert have their own little mini-mes running around causing antics. While I adore our characters, this collection of stories wasn’t quite as magic-filled as some previous Anne tales. That said, I enjoyed this none-the-less. And possibly more than you could imagine.

“Oh, Susan,” said Anne when Susan brought in her supper, “what a world it is! What a beautiful, interesting, wonderful world! Isn’t it Susan?”
“I will go so far,” admitted Susan, recalling the beautiful row of pies she had just left in her pantry, “as to say that it is very tolerable.”

Quite a few years have passed since Anne’s House of Dreams, tiny Jem who was barely a newborn is now the oldest of six brilliant Blythe siblings. While our book begins strongly from Anne’s perspective, it’s obvious early on that Montgomery is shifting the perspective of our adventures from those of Anne Shirley Blythe and her fantasies to those of her children. This is logical; motherhood naturally decreases the focus on the self and increases the focus on your wards. I didn’t mind this transition of focus as Anne, Gilbert, and even Susan Baker, all had their times to shine. Indeed, Anne even had a few stories of her own which focused on her own flights of fancy and resulting folly (this is what you get for playing matchmaker)!

At first, I really loved getting to know the Blythe children. I appreciate how Montgomery has given each child their own distinct voice. Even little Rilla!  As the Blythe children grow and develop they encounter all sorts of trials, tribulations, adventures, and misunderstandings. It’s obvious from the get-go that these are the children of Anne Shirley. But I quickly tired of these stories. While I adore Anne’s children, they are presented as little angels who can do no wrong. Even when they do make mistakes, the reader is aware of the entire process; how each child made the mistake and the silly reasons they are in trouble. This makes all the stories feel not only sickeningly sweet but also repetitive. I almost was hoping that Anne and Gilbert would have a proper troublemaker. Instead, the Blythe children each fall into different misunderstandings with strangely happy endings.

“Well, that was life. Gladness and pain… hope and fear.. and change. Always change! You could not help it. You had to let the old go and take the new into your heart… learn to love it and then let it go in turn.”

You might say to yourself, “Wait. Jackie. Why did you give this book 4 stars then? This sounds like your 3-star reviews.” Because sometimes, that’s what you need. No matter how predictable, silly, or far-fetched the stories of the Blythe children were, I loved them. With all the sad and angry news stories we are constantly hearing, the tales of the Blythe children were a breath of fresh air to me. I am sure if I re-read Anne of Ingleside again in the future, I won’t enjoy it as much. But right now? It was perfect. Give me sickeningly sweet nad nearly perfect parenting over Trump’s America any day. Besides– Rilla’s adorable. I cannot wait to watch her grow up!

I also extremely enjoyed watching Anne and Gilbert grow as parents. It’s obvious that becoming parents have changed the Blythes. And they are still learning, too! It was reassuring to see that even the perfect Blythes can have problems. The last two chapters focus entirely on Anne and Gilbert. I appreciate how Montgomery shows the fragility of their relationship through their lack of communication. To me, it was obvious that becoming parents both Anne and Gilbert had started to take advantage of one another. They didn’t mean to, but both of them finally started to make assumptions about each other’s needs. This is an important lesson for all relationships – romantic or not. I am thankful this tale showed that even in Ingleside, no one’s life is perfect.

“You do love me, Gilbert? You haven’t said you loved me in so long.”
“My dear, I didn’t think you needed words to know that. I can’t live without you.”

As with all of the Anne of Green Gables books, Anne of Ingleside is a beautiful collection of stories featuring some of my favorite literary characters. I got bored a few times, but I always appreciated the winsome and wistful tone Montgomery manages to capture in her writing. I’ve been told by many that the series only gets better from here. I cannot wait to see what else is in store for the Blythe family. After all– World War I is about to begin. And I’m sure that will completely change their world forever.


Other Anne of Ingleside Reviews

Jane @ Greenish Bookshelf

Naomi @ Consumed by Ink

Laila @ Big Reading Life


What do you think?

  • Have you read Anne of Ingleside? What do you think?
  • When was the last time you read a book which uplifted you right when you needed it?
  • How do you feel about the focus of these books shifting away from Anne Shirley Blythe and towards her children?
  • Which of the Anne of Green Gables books has been your favorite thus far?

30 Comments

  • Sarah Emsley November 11, 2017 at 4:34 am

    Yes, sometimes sweet stories are just the right thing, though I agree with you that the formula for the children’s adventures starts to get rather tiresome. Susan Baker is very tolerable herself. That beautiful row of pies! I love it.

    • Jackie B November 14, 2017 at 12:30 pm

      That’s a good way to think of it– the formula for the children’s adventures gets rather tiresome. I also struggled a bit with identifying the children as unique individuals. I think that’s what Montgomery was going for with these stories, but mostly they felt like Anne-mini-mes. I hope to see them grow into their own characters a bit more going into Rainbow Valley

  • Laila@BigReadingLife November 11, 2017 at 10:23 am

    Anne of the Island (#3) and Anne’s House of Dreams (#5) have been my favorites so far, with Anne of Windy Poplars (#4) a close second. I could see myself reading them again sometime. I totally get why you rated this one 4 stars – ever since November of last year I’ve been seeking more and more uplifting, comfort reading than my usual rate. I’ve just started Rainbow Valley and so far I like it very much. Again, thanks for co-hosting!

    • Jackie B November 14, 2017 at 12:56 pm

      I agree!Anne of the Island and Anne’s House of Dreams are also my favorites (Windy Poplars not so much, but… to each their own!).

      As we get deeper and deeper into this series I’m starting to feel like I’m reading a collection of short stories rather than a overarching story. And I’m okay with this! But I think that’s helping me appreciate these stories more, as well. If I consider them as a stand alone I am not as bothered by the repetition or sweetness. And yes: More happy literature, please!

  • Lashaan (Bookidote) November 11, 2017 at 6:14 pm

    Wonderful review, Jackie! Pretty nice to see the story shift from the parent’s to the children’s perspective. As I might have mentioned before, I always thought this series was just one book, so seeing that it’s actually a series and that the series as a whole is pretty well appreciated by reader is pretty cool. I also love that you contextualized your reading experience with the time period in which you read it… Trump’s America… This book sure does sound like it gives a nice breath of fresh air to what would be.. darker times nowadays. Again, great review! 🙂

    • Jackie B November 15, 2017 at 9:23 am

      Thanks, Lashaan! There’s is definitely an innocence and wonder these children bring which lightened my heart. I imagine that the formula used to develop the kids’ stories would be boring if I wasn’t so bogged down by Trump’s America. There is so much sadness and hate in the world, it’s wonderful to read something uplifting!

      Have you ever read any of the books in this series? Or, well, since you only thought it was one… Have you ever read Anne of Green Gables? Do you think you’ll ever try the series?

      • Lashaan (Bookidote) November 16, 2017 at 3:47 pm

        Nooo, I haven’t, but I definitely hope to at least read the first book someday! I’m a sucker for classics after all; the good and the bad! 😀

  • Resh Susan @ The Book Satchel November 13, 2017 at 9:37 am

    Glad you are still very enthusiastic about Anne. I cannot remember anything about this book and the review helped me to refresh my memory. I know I disliked one book in the Anne series and didn’t read another; but I cannot recollect which ones.

    • Jackie B November 15, 2017 at 1:30 pm

      It’s amazing how they all blur together. You’re not alone! I have to go back to my notes often to ensure I’m referring back to the right book. As Anne grows up, it’s not as easy to place in which book which adventures happen. But that doesn’t make me love it any less.

      Thanks for stopping by Resh Susan!

  • theorangutanlibrarian November 13, 2017 at 4:19 pm

    Ah yes I actually really get what you mean- sometimes you just need a bit of silly fun!! I’m looking forward to reading this one day 😀 Great review!

    • Jackie B November 13, 2017 at 5:17 pm

      I hope you enjoy these books when you get to them. They are a lovely respite from the rest of the world, for sure!

  • Grab the Lapels November 14, 2017 at 9:22 am

    You were late to publishing, and I am late to commenting! Okay, so this book did drive me a bit bonkers, too. It’s the curse of the even numbers, remember? HOWEVER, in book 7 you’re going to meet a whole new group of raggedy children, and some that are total jerks. You’ll want one little girl in particular to get her s**t together, but she won’t! And then book 8….book 8 was my total fav out of all of them. Rilla grows up (obviously; she’s in the title) and her stories are way cooler than Anne’s, in my opinion. SO excited! *SQUEE!*

    • Jackie B November 15, 2017 at 9:19 am

      The curse of the even numbers is SO real. I honestly think if the world wasn’t such a giant ball of sadness and hate this book would not have appealed to me as much as it did. Is that sad? Probably.

      I am super excited to read Rilla! Everyone has had such great things to say about it. Rainbow Valley has been going… slowly… but that’s okay. I want to try to better understand the Blythe children, despite raggedy additions to the crew. 😉

      • Grab the Lapels November 15, 2017 at 4:45 pm

        That little piece of crap orphan girl drives me nuts, but I like her, too. Can’t think of her name.

        • Jane @ Greenish Bookshelf November 15, 2017 at 9:03 pm

          Mary Vance! She is the worst!!

          • Grab the Lapels November 16, 2017 at 2:25 pm

            LOL! Yes!!! She’s crummy in book 7, but she’s even less tolerable in book 8! Oh, man! I’m dying over here!! 😀

            • Jackie B November 17, 2017 at 3:51 pm

              This interaction alone makes me super excited to finish the book this weekend. I am super excited for all the time I have for reading– you know, getting ready for the readathon by reading all my books this weekend. XD #SorryNotSorry

              I hope I find Mary just as delighfully annoying. 😉

            • Jane @ Greenish Bookshelf November 18, 2017 at 9:36 pm

              Oh no!! Didn’t she would make an appearance in book 8! Still super excited for that one though 🙂

              • Grab the Lapels November 19, 2017 at 10:43 am

                Yes, she’s totally in book 8. I think. Now you’ve got me doubting, lol.

              • Jackie B November 19, 2017 at 11:25 am

                Haha. Don’t let us make you doubt yourself! We haven’t quite reached there ourselves yet…

  • Jane @ Greenish Bookshelf November 15, 2017 at 9:02 pm

    Ok I didn’t realize I hadn’t commented on your post yet! I apologize! Lovely review with some points I didn’t think of (but agree with too!). Yes, all the Blythe kids seem so genuinely good. While that is lovely (and makes me a bit envious, haha), it would be interesting to see at least one trouble maker!

    Also I appreciate your thoughts on Anne and Gilbert changing and losing their good communication when they become parents. I see that in my own life with my husband and children. Sometimes, we don’t talk things out or we assume the other person must know how we are feeling. Communication is key!

    Can you believe we are just about done with our read along? So crazy!

    • Jackie B November 19, 2017 at 9:10 am

      I think it’s quite interesting that as our lives change and grow we don’t always notice how our relationships mimic that. I know that even though David and I have only been together for 4 years we have started to assume the other’s needs in certain situations. I feel like what Anne and Gilbert went through might have been a bit overly dramatic (but that makes a good story, doesn’t it?), but it was completely realistic. I’m glad that you agree!

      I can’t believe we’re almost done either! It’s a bit astounding to me that we’re already almost in 2018. We’ve done some amazing things this year. 😀

  • Naomi November 16, 2017 at 11:51 am

    I guess it’s easy enough for Anne to think the world is beautiful when she has someone else to make her pies. 😉
    This book is one that I think I liked better when I was younger. I loved finding out about Anne’s children and what she named them all. As an adult, though, it’s probably the one I feel is the most uneven… most of the stories are good, but some felt a little tedious.
    Enjoy the next two!

    • Jackie B November 19, 2017 at 10:25 am

      Haha. I would also think the world was beautiful all the time if someone did my laundry, cleaned the floors, etc. etc. XD

      Yes, I can see how as a child this book might be more enjoyable. Plus, it’s hard when you’re young to relate to being a parent the same way you can relate to the adventures of a fellow child. This makes me wonder if I had read this as a child, would it have made me realize my parents are real people at a younger age? Perhaps.

  • Shouni November 18, 2017 at 11:28 am

    Oh I missed reading your Anne reviews! Finally catching up! Yes, I loved reading about Anne’s children and their little adventures. I love happy uplifting books where nothing bad happens to characters. Especially now (as you’ve so perfectly mentioned) in Trump’s America. When I first read the book, towards the beginning I was a little hostile towards the children for stealing Anne’s spotlight but I grew to love them. Oh, Rilla is so great and my favorite Anne child! WWI does play a significant role in the next two books and I’m excited to see what you think of them. My favorite Anne book will always be the first one (Anne of the Island is a close second).

    • Jackie B November 19, 2017 at 11:20 am

      Agreed– we need to immerse ourselves in unceasing happiness whenever and however we can. 🙂

      I can understand why you might dislike Anne’s children knowing they are stealing her spotlight— Anne has been so wonderful and lovely! But, as she grows older, I imagine she’s like Wendy Darling letting her own children travel to Neverland, Anne just passes on the mantle of imagination and wonder into her own kids. I’ve just started Rainbow Valley and I am quite excited to see what happens and how the Blythe children develop.

  • Theresa @ TheCalicoBooks November 20, 2017 at 11:17 am

    I really enjoyed reading your review of Anne of Ingleside! I love Anne of Green Gables, and I’ve read all the books up to Anne’s House of Dreams. I really need to finish the series. Hopefully I will in 2018. 🙂 Because I love Anne so much, it will be interesting to see how I feel about the children taking over the series more.

    • Jackie B November 21, 2017 at 7:42 pm

      It’s been a lot of fun reading this series from start to finish. But Anne’s House of Dreams is probably my favorite of them all (thus far). We only have two left for our #AnneReadAlong2017 ! I’m super excited to see how this wraps up.

      I like the idea of the children taking over. I think the reason I love Anne’s House of Dreams is because I can relate more to Anne as a young woman than Anne as a child. But this series is intended for children, so this feels like the right mood. I just have to keep my mind in the same perspective– a childish one. 😉

      • Theresa @ TheCalicoBooks November 21, 2017 at 8:45 pm

        I really loved Anne’s House of Dreams, too, but Anne of the Island might be my favorite. Although, like you said, when I first read that one I could really relate to her. I was a college freshman when I first read Anne of the Island, so I felt what Anne was going through.

        I am curious to see how Anne’s children are, though. ☺️

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