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Rainbow Valley by L.M. Montgomery

Rainbow Valley (original 1919; edition 1985)

by L.M. Montgomery

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3,187231,751 (3.84)55
Title:Rainbow Valley
Authors:L.M. Montgomery
Info:Starfire (1985), Edition: First Thus, Paperback, 225 pages
Collections:Your library, Kids
Tags:girl book, books, 20th century fiction, fiction, juvenile fiction, canadian lit, iconic character, brothers and sisters, novel, coming of age novel

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Rainbow Valley by L. M. Montgomery (1919)



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Originally published in 1919, this seventh book in L.M. Montgomery's eight-volume saga chronicling the life of red-headed orphan Anne Shirley (and then Blythe) - one could consider it a nine-volume series, if the recently released The Blythes Are Quoted was included - focuses on the adventures of Anne's children, together with their close friends, the Meredith siblings. Newly arrived in the village of Glen St. Mary, the Merediths - children of the widowed Rev. John Knox Meredith, the new Presbyterian minister in town, they include mischievous Faith and sweet-tempered Una, clever Jerry (Gerald) and scientifically-minded Carl - are soon fast friends with the young Blythes, and embroiled in the doings of village life. As the manse children, the Merediths are the center of village attention, something that often results in scandal, as they inadvertently give rise to gossip through their unconventional conduct. Whether it's taking in the runaway servant girl, Mary Vance - who herself eventually becomes part of the Rainbow Valley coterie - or meeting in the Methodist graveyard, everything the young Merediths do seems destined to set tongues wagging. As the novel progresses they resolve to "bring themselves up" in an effort to avoid embarrassing their father, but they meet with mixed success, proving that in the end there is no substitute for a mother. But will one be forthcoming...?

This being the work of L.M. Montgomery, who seemed to specialize in tales of orphans finding homes, and lonely people finding families (of one sort or another), there isn't much doubt as to the eventual outcome, but it is still a great pleasure to see the story of the Merediths unfold. I have always enjoyed Rainbow Valley, which, although one of the "Anne" books, seems far more focused on the Merediths than the Blythes, far more than its (subsequently written) predecessor, Anne of Ingleside. As the daughter of a minister myself, I identified with the idea of a minister's family being put under the community microscope, and sympathized with the Meredith children as they earnestly sought to do the right thing. There is clear foreshadowing here, in the scenes in which Walter Blythe envisions "the piper" that will eventually lead the boys of Rainbow Valley far afield, which makes sense as the book was published just after WWI, which features prominently in the subsequent Rilla of Ingleside. All in all, this was an engaging entry in the series - not one of my favorites, but by no means the weakest - and sets up the final installment very nicely. ( )
1 vote AbigailAdams26 | Jun 22, 2013 |
Anne’s kids find new playmates. Overall, a bit better than Anne of Ingleside — the Blythe kids are more interesting in this book, and the Meredith children are a lot of fun. My one major gripe is Rev. John Meredith, the severely absent-minded minister father who supposedly loves his kids but who doesn’t notice their poor food and household conditions, and on the rare occasions where he wakes up enough to notice, he doesn’t do anything about it, until he finally gets married to a woman who’ll take care of all that. I don’t find him funny or endearing; I pity him, but I also find him criminally irresponsible. At the very least, he could apply to one of his neighbors for advice — the Blythes live quite nearby, for example — or he could shell out the money for a good housekeeper; there’s no hint that this would be impossibly expensive for him. He’s one of these people who would make a fabulous contemplative monk or celibate priest but who has no business being a family man. ( )
  castiron | May 10, 2013 |
I liked this one more than the last, somehow. Perhaps because it didn't pretend to be about Anne when it wasn't, really. It's sad that it's the seventh of the Anne of Green Gables series, and Anne is hardly in it, of course, but the children are sweet, and interesting to read about. I think maybe the writing was a little better than in "Anne of Ingleside", too. ( )
  shanaqui | Apr 9, 2013 |
Anne's kids are almost as much fun as she is, but the preacher's children really make the book. ( )
  JG_IntrovertedReader | Apr 3, 2013 |
Overall a pleasant installment in the Anne of Green Gables series, albeit one that focuses much more on her children and their friends, the Merediths. The children get into all sorts of scrapes and mischief but at the same time there is a great deal of poignancy in the air: Walter Blythe talks about a "pied piper" who will call away him and all the other boys to the other side of the world (foreshadowing of the First World War), while the Meredith children struggle valiantly to meet the demands of village society, trying to bring themselves up without a mother and a rather absent-minded father while being subjected to the laser-like focus of the gossips. This is the sort of book that can be picked up and put down fairly easily, but it may help to have Anne of Ingleside relatively fresh in your mind when reading it, just to keep better track of the cast of characters. ( )
  rabbitprincess | Dec 26, 2012 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
L. M. Montgomeryprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Caruso, BarbaraNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Wiherheimo, AlliTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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To the memory of Goldwin Lapp, Robert Brookes, and Morley Shier, who made the supreme sacrifice that the happy valleys of their home land might be kept sacred from the ravage of the invader.
First words
It was a clear, apple-green evening in May, and Four Winds
Harbour was mirroring back the clouds of the golden west between
its softly dark shores.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0553269216, Paperback)

Anne Shirley is grown up, has married her beloved  Gilbert and now is the mother of six mischievous  children.

These boys and girls discover a  special place all their own, but they never dream  of what will happen when the strangest family  moves into an old nearby mansion. The Meredith clan is  two boys and two girls, with minister father but  no mother -- and a runaway girl named Mary Vance.  Soon the Meredith kids join Anne's children in  their private hideout to carry out their plans to save  Mary from the orphanage, to help the lonely  minister find happiness, and to keep a pet rooster from  the soup pot. There's always an adventure brewing  in the sun-dappled world of Rainbow Valley.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:48:36 -0400)

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The grown-up Anne of Green Gables, her husband, and their six children live in a special hideaway known as Rainbow Valley.

(summary from another edition)

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