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.
“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
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?