Anne of Windy Willows – by L M Montgomery

28 10 2017

Book four chronologically in Anne’s life, though this one was actually written 20 years after most of the others. A newly engaged Anne moves to Summerside to become principal of a high school and lodges with two widows in a house called “Windy Willows”. A lot of the book is written as her letters to Gilbert, maybe a half and half split with that and general narrative. She spends three years there while Gilbert is at medical school, and doesn’t get off to the easiest start.

The majority of Summerside either seem to be the Pringle family or have some Pringle blood of them of some sort, and they seem to gang up against Anne initially. But Anne being Anne, she finds her way! From there we meet lots of different people over the three years, very few characters get featured the whole way through other than the little girl, little Elizabeth, who lives next door with her Grandmother and “the woman”, who feed and clothe her well enough, but don’t show anything by way of affection, so in time Anne befriends her and that relationship blossoms beautifully! Elizabeth goes by many different names, depending on how she is feeling: Betty, Beth, Elsie, Bess, Elisa and Lisbeth. “But not Lizzie; I can never feel like Lizzie.”

Anne seems to be not a matchmaker as such, but definitely gets involved in pushing a couple of couples forward in their relationship who have for various reasons not got engaged or married yet. Somehow it’s written so that you feel it’s entirely justified and gives each couple a happy ending!

My only real frustration with this book was a couple of times when we meet someone who is meant to be annoying and talking non stop without Anne or anyone getting a word in edge-ways. But the way it’s written you end up reading pages and pages of this irrelevant annoying waffle and actually don’t care! It makes the point well, but did make me want to skip pages at times.

This book was publish 3 years before World War 2, so it was sad to read the following: “It’s impossible to think of Canada ever being at war again. I am so thankful that phase of history is over.”

Of course, these books always provide some wonderful one liners, maybe not as many as in the other books, but still!

  • “I’ve always liked washing dishes. It’s fun to make dirty things clean and shining again.”
  • “[Babies] are what I heard somebody at Redmond call ‘terrific bundles of potentialities’. […] But I think I’m glad Judas’s mother didn’t know he was to be Judas, I hope she never did know.”
  • “If we were all beauties, who would do the work?”
  • “But there’s one consolation: you’ll be spared an awful lot of trouble if you die young.”

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Anne of the Island – by L M Montgomery

13 04 2017

After a year’s break it was about time to read number three in this series. Anne is now 18 and heading off to Redmond University on the mainland. The book covers her four years there. She arrives with three from Avonlea – Gilbert, Charlie and Priscilla, and quickly makes friends with a girl called Phil – Stella from Queen’s (I think) also joins them from second year.

We still spend time in Green Gables in the holidays, and as far as the book goes, maybe half of the narrative! So there are still wonderful quotes from Davy, to keep the childish delights from Anne in the first book alive and well.

Through the book Anne gets a few marriage proposals, and one serious boyfriend – but no spoilers here! You’ll have to read it! Phil is a little boy crazy, and this is the first time the books really cover that side of things to this level, she’s quite a lot of fun! We also cover a death too soon in this book, which I guess you’d pick up from the quotes below… again, no spoilers.

Picking up the book after such a long gap was tricky in places because it doesn’t really recap, (I’m still not sure who Mr Harrison is who they keep referring to), it would have been nice to have a couple of reminders occasionally!

As before, here are some of my favourite quotes from the book:

  • “We are all servants of some sort, and if the fact that we are faithful can be truthfully inscribed on our tombstones nothing more need be added.”
  • “Oh, I’m not afraid but that I’ll go to heaven, Anne. I’m a church member.”
  • “Heaven must be very beautiful, of course, the Bible says so – but, Anne, it won’t be what I’ve been used to.
  • “Do you think we’ll never laugh in heaven?” – Anne
    “Oh – I – I don’t know, it doesn’t seem just right, somehow. You know it’s rather dreadful to laugh in church.” – Diana
    “But heaven won’t be like church – all the time.” – Anne
    “I hope it ain’t, if it is I don’t want to go.” – Davy
  • “All life lessons are not learned at college.”
  • “I love her best when she is asleep and better still when she is awake.”
  • “I could be sorry for it afterwards, couldn’t I?”
  • “Can’t a man laugh and laugh and be a Christian still?”
    “Oh, men – yes. But I was speaking of Ministers, my dear.”
  • “When I was a girl it wasn’t considered ladylike to know anything about mathematics, but times have changed. I don’t know that it’s all for the better.”
  • “Oh, I dare say we all pray for some things that we really don’t want, if we were only honest enough to look into our hearts, I’ve a notion that such prayers don’t rise very far. I used to pray that I might be enabled to forgive a certain person, but I know now I really didn’t want to forgive her. When I finally got that I did want to I forgave her without having to pray about it.”
  • “I love [cats]. They are so nice and selfish. Dogs are too good and unselfish. They make me feel uncomfortable. But cats are gloriously human.”





Anne of Green Gables – by L M Montgomery

10 02 2016

If you haven’t read this book, read this book!

I had the pop up versions of this when I was little, and the VHS, because Anne of Green Gables is where my middle name came from, but I never read the actual book, or, as it turns out – books! The second book in the series is ordered and due to arrive tomorrow 🙂

Marilla and Matthew Cuthbert are an older brother and sister who decide to adopt a boy to help on the farm, when he arrives, it turns out it’s actually a girl, it’s Anne. Anne lives in a world of her own imagination, doesn’t stop talking, and is very keen you know that it’s Anne with an E.

Anne gets into all sorts of trouble, never intentionally, but living under strict Marilla’s eye, it takes a while to tame her. She also hates her red hair, and Gilbert Blythe.

I folded down a tonne of page corners in this book, some of my favourite lines are below, all bar one are from Anne herself:

  • “Am I talking too much? People are always telling me I do. Would you rather I didn’t talk? If you say so I’ll stop. I can stop when I make up my mind to it, although it’s difficult.”
  • “Now you see why I can’t be perfectly happy. Nobody could who has red hair.”
  • “It’s been my experience that you can nearly always enjoy things if you make up your mind firmly that you will.”
  • “Looking forward to things is half the pleasure of them”
  • “I know very well when we grow up that Diana will get married and go away and leave me. And oh, what shall I do? I hate her husband – I just hate him furiously.”
  • “It wouldn’t do, I suppose, for a minister to have a regally lovely wife, because it might set a bad example. Mrs Lynde says the minister’s wife over at Newbridge sets a very bad example because she dresses so fashionably.”
  • “Isn’t it nice to think that tomorrow is a new day with no mistakes in it yet?”
  • “I really think I’d like to be a minister’s wife when I grow up, Marilla. A minister mightn’t mind my red hair because he wouldn’t be thinking of such worldly things. But then of course one would have to be naturally good, and Ill never be that, so I suppose there’s no use in thinking about it.”
  • “It is ever so much easier to be good if your clothes are fashionable.”
  • “It’s always wrong to do anything you can’t tell the minister’s wife.”
  • “I don’t want to cheer up. It’s nicer to be miserable!”
  • And then just one from Mrs Lynde:

  • “It’s a great blessing not to be fat, Marilla. I hope you appreciate it.”

anne of green gables