On to my review...Like so many other girls (young and old), I have always loved and been enamored by Anne of Green Gables! It's hilarious because I've actually used "Anne" as an icebreaker before! You mention the books or the CBC tv miniseries and you become instantly bonded in kinship with other women lol. There's just something about Anne, her spunk, her overactive imagination and her ability to always turn lemons into lemonade...not to mention her endearing love story with Gilbert Blythe! I know that characters such as Rhett Butler and James Bond have made women swoon over the years, but for me, Gilbert is the one I fell in love with! :)
Anyways, I recently re-read the entire Anne series, which is 6-8 books depending on whom you ask. The 7th and 8th books technically just focus on her children and their doings, rather than about Anne's life...therefore, I decided to only read the 6 books about Anne. Below, is a brief synopsis and analysis of these charming and enduring novels. I hope after reading this review, you too will be inspired to revisit this old friend. Enjoy!
All books written by Lucy Maud Montgomery.
Anne of Green Gables:
In this book, quirky, daydreaming Anne Shirley comes from an orphanage to live with Marilla and Matthew Cuthbert on Prince Edward Island, Canada. Her antics are laugh out loud cute and funny, and while she drives Marilla fairly crazy, she ends up winning the hearts of everyone she meets.
I love all of Anne's girlhood dreams in this book. LM Montgomery so accurately portrays the adventures and daydreams that most little girls have and it's so cozy and charming to revisit those golden days of youth! Anne's friendship with Diana Berry remains one of the sweetest and most compelling stories of female friendship that I've ever encountered in literature. It makes us all want to have that "bosom friend."
Anne of Avonlea:
In this book, Anne grows up a little bit, but still has plenty of her endearing misadventures! Gilbert is falling in love with Anne, but while Anne learns to accept his friendship, does not yet care to have romance in her life. During the course of this 2nd novel, several new "kindred spirits" are introduced and Anne teaches for several years at the Avonlea school.
This book was a little bit slower paced than Green Gables, with several random side stories, but overall, an excellent and heartwarming 2nd addition to the series.
Anne of the Island:
This happens to be my favorite book of the series! In this novel, spirited Anne attends Redmond College in Kingsport and begins to discover her love of writing. Several new characters are introduced including Anne's new friends Stella and Phillipa. Anne gains a suitor in this novel, much to the chagrin of Gilbert Blythe who is also attending college at Redmond! At the very end of the book, Anne realizes that it is, and always has been, Gilbert who she loves...*sigh*! :)
Anne of Windy Poplars:
This book is mainly comprised of letters written by Anne to Gilbert as they are engaged, but sadly, parted while Anne moves away to teach at an all girls school, and Gilbert begins attending medical school. The letters are sweet, touching and funny as she chronicles her newest misadventures in a new place. You can't help but feel (along with Anne) a little homesick for Green Gables and Avonlea, but it is fun to read about her experiences with teaching and growing into a graceful and happy woman.
Anne's House of Dreams:
In this book, Anne once again wins the hearts of all she encounters, including a sad young woman with a mystery behind her sadness. Here, Anne and Gilbert are reunited after several years of being engaged, are married and beginning their new life together in a small, cozy house at Four Winds Harbour.
I loved reading about Anne's newlywed bliss with Gilbert...you've rooted for them to end up together for so long that it's a huge "Yay" moment when they finally get to settle down!
Anne of Ingleside:
This was perhaps my least favorite Anne book, but I didn't dislike it by any means...it just focuses a lot on Anne's kids and has her giving up her writing. Anne (Mrs. Doctor Dear) and Dr. Blythe move into a huge, impressive mansion closer to town, which Anne names Ingleside. In this book, Anne is getting ready to have her 6th child and the rest of her children are all a fun mixture of Anne and Gilbert! By this novel, Anne has obviously changed a lot and is now a mother, but she remains a dear friend to all who read about her.