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Anne of Ingleside by L. M. Montgomery
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Anne of Ingleside (original 1939; edition 1993)

by L. M. Montgomery

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3,834261,345 (3.92)40
Member:mumfie
Title:Anne of Ingleside
Authors:L. M. Montgomery
Info:Penguin Books Canada, Limited (1993), Edition: New Ed, Paperback, 264 pages
Collections:Children's library
Rating:***
Tags:dec, 2012, children, series

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Anne of Ingleside by L. M. Montgomery (1939)

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Although currently considered the sixth entry in Canadian author L.M. Montgomery's classic series of children's novels about red-headed heroine Anne Shirley - the first (and most famous) volume, Anne of Green Gables, was released in 1908, while the eighth and final one, Rilla of Ingleside, appeared in 1921 - Anne of Ingleside was actually published in 1939, long after its companions. It was, in fact, the last of Montgomery's works to appear in her lifetime, making it into print just three years before her death in 1942. I was very conscious of that fact, and of the recent revelations about Montgomery's likely suicide, during my rereading of the book, undertaken for a group discussion over in The L.M. Montgomery Book Club to which I belong, and was especially struck by some of the more melancholy passages that appear in its pages.

Meant to fill in gaps between Anne's House of Dreams (1917), which chronicles the first year of Anne's married life with Gilbert Blythe, and Rainbow Valley (1919), which focuses almost entirely upon the six Blythe children, the narrative of Anne of Ingleside is divided between Anne and her children, sometimes chronicling the former's trials and tribulations, as when she comes to doubt Gilbert's regard for her, toward the end of the book; and sometimes featuring the children's adventures and misadventures, from Jem's dog-related sorrows to Di's string of false friends. The result is a book that feels, much like the epistolary Anne of Windy Poplars, rather episodic. I found it quite charming, for all that, and while I'm not entirely sure it succeeds as a novel, enjoyed many of the individual episodes enough that it didn't make much difference to me. Anne's reunion with her childhood friend, Diana, and their day of remembrances of times past; the visit of the deliciously obnoxious Aunt Mary Maria Blythe to Ingleside, and the unexpected cause of her departure; the birth of little Rilla, and Walter's anguish, when exiled from home that day; the poignant discovery, on Jem's part, that you can buy a dog, but not his love - these episodes all appealed to me immensely, even if others - Nan's castle-in-the-air, regarding the GLOOMY HOUSE, for instance - strained my suspension of disbelief.

Anne of Ingleside is, in my estimation, the weakest of the Anne books, and despite my enjoyment, I am always cognizant of its flaws. There are some classist undercurrents here - the almost gleefully detailed descriptions of the poorer houses visited by the children, from Jenny Penny's run-down home, with its noisy, crowded dinner table, to the filthy seaside shanty of six-toed Jimmy Thomas - that I find rather unpleasant, and Anne herself sometimes appears as a distant figure, implausibly perfect as a mother, and curiously inactive, compared to her younger days. That said, I do think that the positives outweigh the negatives, and the realization that this was the last of Montgomery's books - something I had not been aware of, when reading it previously - gave the reading experience added interest and poignancy. When Anne describes herself as "a creature in an nightmare, trying to overtake someone with fettered feet," or laments that "Nothing had any meaning any longer. Everything seemed remote and unreal," one wonders whether Montgomery was writing from her own experience, at the moment of composition. ( )
1 vote AbigailAdams26 | May 27, 2013 |
I don't like Anne growing up very much, as I think I've said. This book still has glimpses of the old Anne, and her children are sweet to read about. The last part of the book brings a touch more realism to it.

But I still miss young Anne-spelled-with-an-e Shirley. ( )
  shanaqui | Apr 9, 2013 |
This is where the series kinda starts to go downhill for me. ( )
  leftik | Apr 3, 2013 |
So this one is not my favorite. It has these wild mood swings from creepy domestic abuse survivors showing up at funerals to mawkishly cutesy lisping children getting into "adorable" scrapes. There is essentially no plot, just a bunch of random anecdotes.
I did like the story of Peter Kirk's funeral though, and SUSAN BAKER REBECCA DEW = BFFS 4 ALWAYS ( )
  JenneB | Apr 2, 2013 |
This book was good and not so good at the same time. I really loved-all the adventures of her children, especially Nan and Walter who had the kind of imagination that Anne did. I did not care for when the adults talked and it was full of gossip and so many characters I couldn't keep track. ( )
  eliorajoy | Sep 17, 2012 |
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"How white the moonlight is tonight!" said Anne Blythe to herself, as she went up the walk of the Wright garden to Diana Wright's front door, where little cherry-blossom petals were coming down on the salty, breeze-stirred air.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0553213156, Paperback)

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 Maria 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!

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:44:38 -0400)

(see all 6 descriptions)

Anne is the mother of five, with never a dull moment in her lively home. She now has a new baby on the way and ready to make her cherished husband fall in love with her all over again.

(summary from another edition)

» see all 6 descriptions

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Penguin Australia

An edition of this book was published by Penguin Australia.

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