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The Literary Anne: The novels by L.M. Montgomery

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The original novel is my favourite, but I'm torn as to whether or not Anne's House of Dreams or Rilla of Ingleside is my second favourite. The latter is LMM's most powerful novel - writing about WWI really put a fire under her ass, and there are passages that just hurt to read, they're so real. But I just love the characters of Dreams, and I love fleshing out Gilbert as Anne's husband. I think it's the closest look we get at him of any of the novels.

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BTW, mods, there is a thread in the Book Talk section all about LMM's novels. Could we move that thread to here, or provide a link in this forum so we can easily visit that thread? Thank you.

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11 hours ago, Miss Dee said:

BTW, mods, there is a thread in the Book Talk section all about LMM's novels. Could we move that thread to here, or provide a link in this forum so we can easily visit that thread? Thank you.

Great question!  As this thread is for only the Anne books--and for viewers of this show--we'll keep this thread here.  However, the Lucy Maud Montgomery: More Than Just AoGG thread in the "Books" forum is a great place to discuss all of her books.

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There has been some discussion of Gilbert Blythe and Ruby Gillis in the episode 4 thread and I thought I should bring my response over here since it's all book, no show. Can I assume that things that happen in the books are not spoilers, or do I have to tag them?

Ruby does die in Anne of the Island (not Anne of Avonlea). Anne finds out in chapter 11 ("The Round of Life") that Ruby has tuberculosis, and Ruby dies in chapter 14 ("The Summons") after a heart-to-heart with Anne. Gilbert is not any kind of issue between them -- Ruby has always flirted a lot and had lots of beaux, but she confides in Anne that she is truly in love with someone called Herb Spencer.

As for whether everyone in Avonlea has identified Anne and Gilbert as "OTP", from Anne of Avonlea:

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Avonlea juvenile society persisted in regarding Gilbert Blythe and Charlie Sloane as rivals in the good graces of a certain damsel with gray eyes and an imagination.

In fact while they were at Redmond Charlie Sloane proposed to Anne before Gilbert did. It's true that once Anne lets go of her Carrots grudge against Gilbert, Gilbert never seems to pay attention to another girl until after Anne meets Royal Gardner. Anne is a bit disconcerted by rumours that he is seeing Christine Stuart, but according to Gilbert they were only ever just friends and he was looking after her as a favour to her brother. (I was really annoyed with the 1985 series for having Gilbert get engaged to Christine and jilt her.)

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The one thing I didn't like about the 1985 version is how they kept putting Gilbert together with Josie to make Anne jealous.  The Christine thing in the sequel didn't bother me as much, since Gilbert broke things off himself and acknowledged it would not have been fair to Christine.  I don't think it would have worked to give the explanation from the book.

In this "Anne" series, it looks like Ruby is much more of an obstacle, since the other girls (including Josie) claims she has "first dibs" and because of that Anne can't even walk with him.  Though I'm glad that it seems like in episode 4, Anne is still holding a grudge because of Gilbert's actions in episode 3.  Unlike the Martin Sheen version where all is forgiven and they date.  Though who knows what will happen in the second or third season of this show.

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Hey all, just a reminder that this thread is for discussing the novels.  Discussion of the various adaptations should go to the Anne in All Her Glory thread.

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I guess the best thing any adaptation can do is point you back to the original books, and so after watching (and enjoying, far more than I expected to) the first several episodes of this new series, I decided to revisit the books. I’d read Anne of Green Gables all the way through for the first time a few years ago, and for some odd reason had read Anne of the Island some time before that, but I’d tried Anne of Avonlea a couple of times and stalled out after a few chapters. However, I was determined to see it through this time! And now that I have I’m bursting to tell someone about it, so forgive my rambling. 

Man, that first book is so, so good. I enjoyed it just as much as I did the first time I read it, if not more. I took my time with it and really tried to savour the writing, even on a sentence-by-sentence level. (A couple of my favourites were “[Mrs. Rachel] thought in exclamation points”, followed by a string of said thoughts, with the according exclamation points, and “During Marilla’s speech a sunrise had been dawning on Anne’s face.” Odd choices amidst many other more descriptive paragraphs, but they stuck out to me for some reason.) And some of Anne’s speeches are just so much fun, I actually had to read them out loud, just for the chance to do my best Anne voice. I think Miss Shirley would approve of my dramatic readings. :)

One thing I noticed on this reading is the somewhat unusual narrative structure. It surprised me how much of the “action” is given to us filtered through Anne’s retelling of an incident to Marilla. In many chapters, Anne is about to set out to some event, she leaves, and then comes home and recounts the proceedings to Marilla. It’s not all that often that we actually go with Anne and see the action unfold. So we get Anne’s perspective, in her words to Marilla, but it’s not told from her point-of-view in the traditional sense. In fact, I found that we get inside Marilla’s thoughts much more often than we do Anne’s, at least in this first book. Clearly, this unique structure wouldn’t be sustainable for the entire series to follow, and beginning in book two, there is a shift to a more traditional point-of-view, with much more linear storytelling following Anne herself more closely.

On to book two. I found Avonlea to be, unfortunately, a less-than-stellar follow-up. It’s hard to pinpoint why I found this one so much less delightful. I think it’s a combination of really not caring about some of the new characters and their subplots and a lack of compelling storyline for Anne herself. Considering that Anne’s teaching career is ostensibly the setup for this installment, I was surprised by how little her teaching experiences are actually shown. I felt that we were told about her progress and eventual success as a teacher over those two years rather than shown that progress. I guess LM Montgomery wasn’t that interested in showing more of that for whatever reason. But by the end of the novel, I didn’t feel that I’d gotten to Anne really grow or change all that much.

And as to the new characters, they were a mixed bag for me. I was pleasantly surprised to enjoy Davy (and Dora, I guess, though she’s not as much developed) more than I’d expected to. I found his various scrapes fairly entertaining. Paul Irving, on the other hand, really grated on me. Every time he’d mention his “little mother” or say “you know, teacher”, I just wanted to grind my teeth. Anne adored him for some reason, but I didn’t! Miss Lavendar was okay, I guess. She didn’t irk me like Paul did, but I also wasn’t very invested in her situation, so it didn’t really do much for me even in its culmination at the end of the book.

Oh, and...holy ellipses, Batman! They seemed to take the place of dashes for some reason. Was that a grammatical fad at the time of writing, perhaps? Very distracting.

On to Anne of the Island! I remembered really enjoying this one when I read it back in the day, so I was hoping that it would hold up on rereading. And happily, it really did. I breezed through this one much faster than Avonlea, enjoying the college adventures of Anne and her friends, and the periodic returns to Avonlea.

First, to get it out of the way, there were just a couple of things I didn’t like that much in this one. First, the sort of random detour near the end of the book when Anne takes a summer teaching job in Valley Road. A bit too late in the game to introduce a new set of characters and get me to care about their mini-subplot. I just wanted to get back to Redmond at that point. Also, I think that there’s some missed potential with Stella and Priscilla. To me, there wasn’t much distinguishing them as characters – they’re nice, good friends/housemates, but there’s not much depth there.

On the other hand, there’s Phil, who I found to be a great addition. She’s just a lot of fun as a character, flighty and flirtatious but with a heart of gold. Love that despite her seeming frivolity, she’s smart too, winning those math prizes and being a voice of reason in Anne’s relationships with Gilbert and Roy. It was fun to read about her friendship with Anne, especially with Diana at a distance through much of this one.

I can sympathize with Anne’s misgivings about seeing her friends grow up and change, and wishing that things could go on as they were in their younger years. Ruby Gillis’ death was very touching. Like Matthew’s death, it’s a sad, but powerful, note in the often-idyllic world of Avonlea.

And of course, the Anne and Gilbert romance finally takes off. Gilbert may be a bit underwritten as a character, but I still can’t help but get invested in these two crazy kids. I really liked that Anne doesn’t break things off with Roy Gardner because she realizes she loves Gilbert, but that the important thing is that she doesn’t love Roy, and has come to understand that a romantic ideal does not a good match make. Gilbert’s not really in the picture at that point, but she’d rather remain single than marry the wrong person. Her relationship with Roy does move along pretty quickly, and we don’t spend much time in-scene with them as a couple, but I guess that works since he doesn’t seem to have had much depth to him anyway, so why spend the time when he’s obviously not the right fit? My shipper heart was very glad to see Anne realize her love for Gilbert in the end, of course.

Overall, loved this one; a return to form after a disappointing second installment. The coziness of Anne and friends’ life at Patty’s Place made me nostalgic for my own university days. Hoping that this new series will keep going through Anne’s Redmond years!

Very glad to have read/reread these first three books! And apologies for writing my own novel in this post. :)

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I agree about "Anne of Avonlea".  I recently did a re-read of "Anne of Green Gables" but when I got to "Anne of Avonlea", I had to skip certain chapters because I was so disinterested (I personally found Davy's adventures to be grating and not entertaining in the least).  But "Anne of the Island" was just as good as the first time I read it more than a decade ago.  And this time, I actually liked "Anne of Windy Poplars" (I didn't like it the first time around, but this time, I just expected it to be "more time with Anne" vs. any actual plot occurring, and I was okay with it that way).  

Edited by Camera One
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Anne of Avonlea was written very hastily to capitalize on the success of the first book, which I think is reflected in its quality relative to its predecessor and later books that were written at a more measured pace.

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11 minutes ago, SeanC said:

Anne of Avonlea was written very hastily to capitalize on the success of the first book, which I think is reflected in its quality relative to its predecessor and later books that were written at a more measured pace.

A thing I'm always shocked by: Nellie McClung's Sowing Seeds in Danny was published the same year as AOGG but met with far more commercial success (at the time). How many Canadians even knew McClung was an authoress prior to being a suffragette? And yet LMM's novels have endured and are far more popular than McClung's are. I'd be curious to understand what exactly makes AOGG outlast Sowing Seeds. I haven't read Sowing Seeds to truly compare the two. 

Edited by Keener

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On 2/26/2017 at 9:21 AM, Miss Dee said:

The original novel is my favourite, but I'm torn as to whether or not Anne's House of Dreams or Rilla of Ingleside is my second favourite. The latter is LMM's most powerful novel - writing about WWI really put a fire under her ass, and there are passages that just hurt to read, they're so real. But I just love the characters of Dreams, and I love fleshing out Gilbert as Anne's husband. I think it's the closest look we get at him of any of the novels.

This is the first time I knew others loved Rilla. I still return to read it on boring winter evenings. And I agree is it Montgomery's finest writing. I love HofD too though. 

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I love all the Anne novels until Anne of Ingleside and Rainbow Valley. The latter is my least-liked, although I have a soft spot for John Meredith and Rosemary - oh, and Norman Douglas because he's an exaggerated version of my own husband who is also no "tame puppy" (thank God!). I'm just not as into the next generation. But the writing of RoI was enough to win my love, even if Rilla herself hadn't turned out to be the most interesting of Anne's kids. Walter is a close second and the focus on him through Rilla helps too.

If the series had been able to show Anne's kids in WWI (it's probably impossible with moving up the dates to show a young Anne so close to 1900), do you think Walter's artistic side, sensitivity and disinterest in girls would receive the...well, the "Josephine Barry" treatment, shall we say?

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5 hours ago, Miss Dee said:

I love all the Anne novels until Anne of Ingleside and Rainbow Valley. The latter is my least-liked, although I have a soft spot for John Meredith and Rosemary - oh, and Norman Douglas because he's an exaggerated version of my own husband who is also no "tame puppy" (thank God!). I'm just not as into the next generation. But the writing of RoI was enough to win my love, even if Rilla herself hadn't turned out to be the most interesting of Anne's kids. Walter is a close second and the focus on him through Rilla helps too.

If the series had been able to show Anne's kids in WWI (it's probably impossible with moving up the dates to show a young Anne so close to 1900), do you think Walter's artistic side, sensitivity and disinterest in girls would receive the...well, the "Josephine Barry" treatment, shall we say?

Seeing a good adaptation of Rilla is the dream of my Canadian lit life. It's my second favourite of the novels, although I would hate to have to slog through Ingleside and Rainbow Valley to get there. I like some parts of RV (I have a soft spot for Faith, Una bores me to tears), but Ingleside is just a bunch of cute kids being cute. I would guess that a modern-ish Walter would be gay. I've always thought of him as one of those celebrities that come out much later in life and no one is even a little surprised. 

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Revisiting the later novels, I'm kind of amused by how completely Gilbert gets rolled on the naming of their kids.  After Joyce, who isn't named for anybody, you've got:

- James Matthew (Jem), named after a guy they both knew and Anne's late guardian.

- Walter Cuthbert, named after Anne's late father and the surname of Anne's guardians.

- Anne (Nan), named after Anne (duh).

- Diana, named after Anne's childhood BFF.

- Shirley, named after Anne's maiden name.

- Bertha Marilla (Rilla), named after Anne's late mother and Anne's guardian.

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1 minute ago, Miss Dee said:

Poor Gilbert! Always an afterthought! :)

Rilla, at least, throws her dad a bone and names her son after him.  While also naming her daughter after herself.

A trait that Anne and her children share, in fact: monopolizing naming rights in their own favour, since Jem's kids are James Jr., Walter Jr., and Anne, and Nan's daughter is named Diana.

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Just now, Miss Dee said:

Ooh, this is new to me!! Cite your source?

It's from The Blythes Are Quoted.

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It's... different... It isn't a novel, it's a collection of short stories set around Glen St. Mary. The Blythes aren't the main characters, but they're referred to (and occasionally make an appearance) in each story. In between the stories are poems attributed to Anne or Walter and a bit of dialogue in script form where some of the characters chat about the poem (The Blythes we know and later on the next generation). It's the last thing L.M. wrote before she died. Some of the stories are good, but all are pretty typical of her short story style (if you've read Akin to Anne, Among the Shadows or Christmas with Anne, they're along that line). I will say though, that "The Aftermath" is one of the best WW1 poems I've ever read. It's a lot more like Wilfred Owen than John McCrea and so far away from the pastoral stuff that you usually associate with Montgomery.  

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One thing which struck me from the book series is the concept of older single people, who had love affairs in their youth, but who broke up for some reason, (Usually a disagreement, exacerbated by pride) and finally get together again in their later years. I mean, there are at least three sub plots where this happens, and of course we know it happened with Marilla and John Blythe.  In Anne with an E,  they are also using this device with Matthew and Jeannie, the dress shop owner. 

I wonder if this was something that LMM personally experienced or something that was very common in her day. Is it a stubborn, islander type thing, where people fall in love but then have a disagreement and refuse to unbend, leading them to break up and remain stubborn single people all their lives? I see it in Anne, in the first book, when she gets angry at Gilbert and will not let it go...for years!

It struck me as so weird, in the books, that as soon as we meet some old maid or reclusive curmudgeon, sooner or later some old lover will emerge from the woodwork, and with a little help from Anne and her friends,  will suddenly rediscover their old feelings and finally forgive each other. 

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On 5/13/2017 at 1:06 PM, Jodithgrace said:

One thing which struck me from the book series is the concept of older single people, who had love affairs in their youth, but who broke up for some reason, (Usually a disagreement, exacerbated by pride) and finally get together again in their later years. I mean, there are at least three sub plots where this happens, and of course we know it happened with Marilla and John Blythe.  In Anne with an E,  they are also using this device with Matthew and Jeannie, the dress shop owner. 

I wonder if this was something that LMM personally experienced or something that was very common in her day. Is it a stubborn, islander type thing, where people fall in love but then have a disagreement and refuse to unbend, leading them to break up and remain stubborn single people all their lives? I see it in Anne, in the first book, when she gets angry at Gilbert and will not let it go...for years!

It struck me as so weird, in the books, that as soon as we meet some old maid or reclusive curmudgeon, sooner or later some old lover will emerge from the woodwork, and with a little help from Anne and her friends,  will suddenly rediscover their old feelings and finally forgive each other. 

Montgomery was married to a Presbyterian pastor who became so mentally ill I believe he was sometimes hospitalized. She was writing the Anne books during some very sad personal years. As a pastor's wife she may have become privy to the lonely hearts of many folks, and I suspect she had a lonely heart as well. 

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She seemed to enjoy writing children and elderly spinsters the most.  Maybe she found the humor in those groups of people most easily.  They do seem to be the types to really speak their minds.

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On 5/13/2017 at 1:06 PM, Jodithgrace said:

One thing which struck me from the book series is the concept of older single people, who had love affairs in their youth, but who broke up for some reason, (Usually a disagreement, exacerbated by pride) and finally get together again in their later years. I mean, there are at least three sub plots where this happens, and of course we know it happened with Marilla and John Blythe.  In Anne with an E,  they are also using this device with Matthew and Jeannie, the dress shop owner. 

I wonder if this was something that LMM personally experienced or something that was very common in her day. Is it a stubborn, islander type thing, where people fall in love but then have a disagreement and refuse to unbend, leading them to break up and remain stubborn single people all their lives? I see it in Anne, in the first book, when she gets angry at Gilbert and will not let it go...for years!

It struck me as so weird, in the books, that as soon as we meet some old maid or reclusive curmudgeon, sooner or later some old lover will emerge from the woodwork, and with a little help from Anne and her friends,  will suddenly rediscover their old feelings and finally forgive each other. 


If wikipedia is to be believed, LMM was quite the catch and had many beaux. She also seemed to not find many of them interesting enough to marry (a very Anne-ish trait, to be sure). There is speculation that she married simply to settle down and was never really happy.  Some go as far to suggest that she died by suicide. Wikipedia has a good list of her beaux and a few of them bear some striking similarities to characters from the novel. Apparently at one point she was engaged and then had a seemingly passionate affair with a man who's family she boarded with. The wiki article quotes from her diary and it's quite heated in the way she writes about kissing that man and how much better he was at it than her fiance. Of course she was discouraged from pursuing that relationship and he died of flu.  I think for LMM, the plot points from the books are wish fulfillments. Perhaps she wished that her past "exciting" dalliances would save her from her dull life as a preacher's wife. 

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On 5/13/2017 at 1:06 PM, Jodithgrace said:

One thing which struck me from the book series is the concept of older single people, who had love affairs in their youth, but who broke up for some reason, (Usually a disagreement, exacerbated by pride) and finally get together again in their later years. I mean, there are at least three sub plots where this happens, and of course we know it happened with Marilla and John Blythe.

I wouldn't include Marilla in that list. Maybe it's been blown out of proportion in the adaptations, but in the book Marilla refers to it as something she had forgotten about. It's mentioned only once as a sort of foreshadowing of Anne's forgiving Gilbert and becoming friends since Marilla admits she regretted being too proud to forgive his father. 

Quote

In Anne with an E,  they are also using this device with Matthew and Jeannie, the dress shop owner. 

Has Matthew started to Insist on Puffed Sleeves yet in Anne with an E? I'm taken aback at the mention of a dress shop since in the books I can only think of Marilla and Anne making their own clothes. Maybe there are store-bought clothes I can't think of because Marilla making the plain dresses and Matthew buying the material for the puffed sleeves dress and arranging with Mrs Lynde to sew the dress is so vivid to me.

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33 minutes ago, SomeTameGazelle said:

Has Matthew started to Insist on Puffed Sleeves yet in Anne with an E? I'm taken aback at the mention of a dress shop since in the books I can only think of Marilla and Anne making their own clothes. Maybe there are store-bought clothes I can't think of because Marilla making the plain dresses and Matthew buying the material for the puffed sleeves dress and arranging with Mrs Lynde to sew the dress is so vivid to me.

Yes, that happened in Episode 5.  He goes to town and eventually gets enough courage to go into a dress-shop which turns out to be owned by his childhood sweetheart.  She makes the puffed sleeve dress for Anne.

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On ‎26‎.‎2‎.‎2017 at 4:21 PM, Miss Dee said:

The original novel is my favourite, but I'm torn as to whether or not Anne's House of Dreams or Rilla of Ingleside is my second favourite. The latter is LMM's most powerful novel - writing about WWI really put a fire under her ass, and there are passages that just hurt to read, they're so real. 

I liked Rilla of Ingleside as a child but later I became suspicious of its attitudes. When one remembers how many million soldies on both sides were killed for nothing, Montgomery's naive war propaganda makes me shudder.

She can think fear as the only reason why Walter didn't want to enlist. And when he finally did, she must make him to die "heroically". 

Also, if Kevin had really loved Rilla, he wouldn't written her a single letter - and that when he didn't, he would come back ready to marry her. Weird! 

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Ken...but I had the impression he wrote more than one letter. Rilla writes in her diary about his letters becoming less "romantic" (not hard to see why, considering what it must have been like over there) except he would occasionally do things like sign "Your Kenneth" and leave her to wonder exactly what he meant by that! LOL Straight relationships, they never change through the ages....

I also disagree that Walter was written as someone who was afraid, at least of getting hurt or killed or anything like that. That's what the small-minded people around him, caught up in all the propaganda, thought about him. LMM makes it clear that it was the horror and ugliness of war that made Walter reluctant to fight; he could imagine the reality of it instead of getting swept up in the "romance" and couldn't bear it.

I take your point about the novel being written from a pro-war perspective, though. Hard to accept that ol' Whiskers-on-the-moon is the only character having the pacifist mindset that many of us hold today. Maybe that comes from a place of privilege, though. Unlike most war novels, LMM is not writing this from the perspective of having lived through the fighting (like Hemingway, say) or from the perspective of history; it's still relevantly recent for her.

While I don't really agree with the pro-war stance, I can see where she would - and honestly, maybe that's what she and others had to do and had to feel to get through the day. Who knows?

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Coming late to the party; I hope someone sees this!

Rilla of Ingleside stands out among the sequels for me because it’s the book that helped me through postpartum depression.  Rilla’s transition from dutiful but unhappy caregiver to devoted foster mother gave me hope!  My only motivating feeling during those awful months was a sense that I could not be derelict in such an important duty, and if muddling through was the best I could manage, then at least I wouldn’t fail.

I wouldn’t describe the book as pro-war, but as naive.  The prevailing view today that the first world war was a pointless bloodbath hadn’t taken hold yet for many people.  It doesn’t surprise me that people were still clinging to the view that they had fought for a just cause and made the world a safer place.  The reality that they had accomplished nothing (other than setting up the conditions that would lead to WWII) was just too grim—who wants to believe that sons, fathers, brothers, and sweethearts were killed, maimed, and traumatized for nothing?  It was so much more comforting to see them as heroes rather than hapless victims.  The pro-war sentiment isn’t an anachronism so as a snapshot in time.  It’s too easy to judge that generation for not seeing what we see 100 years later.  Better to ask ourselves what we might be criticized for 100 years from now.

A postscript:  I fully recovered from postpartum depression by the time the baby was 7 months old.  “Baby” is now a sweet and lively young woman in her last term of high school.  She starts college with a scholarship in September!

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I agree that RIlla is a snap shot more than a long-lasting pro-war statement. It was published in 1921 only three years after the end of the war when the fall out (WWII) wouldn't have been at all obvious to the average person. Plus, Montgomery really changed her tune towards the end of her life. Her poem "The Aftermath" in her last novel, The Blythes are Quoted, is right up there with Wilfred Owen in grim anti-war poetry. 

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The pro-war sentiment isn’t an anachronism so as a snapshot in time. 

Yeah, it's definitely not an anachronism, as pro-war was the prevalent view during and immediately after WWI.  Society back then was also very religious and as you said, it was a way to make sense of the horror of what happened.  Even though I know that to be the case, I found it very difficult to enjoy the book since I could not connect to that mindset at all.  Rilla didn't come together as a character for me, nor did the romance.  Going to war was portrayed as Walter's duty, so all I could think was what a waste of a life.  

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On 3/16/2018 at 7:18 AM, satrunrose said:

I agree that RIlla is a snap shot more than a long-lasting pro-war statement. It was published in 1921 only three years after the end of the war when the fall out (WWII) wouldn't have been at all obvious to the average person. Plus, Montgomery really changed her tune towards the end of her life. Her poem "The Aftermath" in her last novel, The Blythes are Quoted, is right up there with Wilfred Owen in grim anti-war poetry. 

She was terrified at the time that her son Stuart was going to be drafted into the army for WWII (and he was).

Edited by Brn2bwild
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On 2/2/2018 at 5:27 AM, TwoGrayTabbies said:

Rilla of Ingleside stands out among the sequels for me because it’s the book that helped me through postpartum depression.  Rilla’s transition from dutiful but unhappy caregiver to devoted foster mother gave me hope!  My only motivating feeling during those awful months was a sense that I could not be derelict in such an important duty, and if muddling through was the best I could manage, then at least I wouldn’t fail.

I wouldn’t describe the book as pro-war, but as naive.  The prevailing view today that the first world war was a pointless bloodbath hadn’t taken hold yet for many people.  It doesn’t surprise me that people were still clinging to the view that they had fought for a just cause and made the world a safer place.  The reality that they had accomplished nothing (other than setting up the conditions that would lead to WWII) was just too grim—who wants to believe that sons, fathers, brothers, and sweethearts were killed, maimed, and traumatized for nothing?  It was so much more comforting to see them as heroes rather than hapless victims.  The pro-war sentiment isn’t an anachronism so as a snapshot in time.  It’s too easy to judge that generation for not seeing what we see 100 years later.  Better to ask ourselves what we might be criticized for 100 years from now.

A postscript:  I fully recovered from postpartum depression by the time the baby was 7 months old.  “Baby” is now a sweet and lively young woman in her last term of high school.  She starts college with a scholarship in September!

I recently re-read this... one question I have is about Jem.  He was away for 4.5 years... did people really spend that long continuously near/at the front?  Wouldn't he have been allowed to go on leave every now and then?

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5 hours ago, Brn2bwild said:

I recently re-read this... one question I have is about Jem.  He was away for 4.5 years... did people really spend that long continuously near/at the front?  Wouldn't he have been allowed to go on leave every now and then?

We have in our family archive a collection of postcards written by my great-great-grandfather to his son during WWI - it is pretty clear from the content that no, he didn't get to visit home during the four years he was on active service (he gets quite melancholy about it at times, writes plaintively toward the end of the war of how he longs to talk to his son face to face and put an end to all this writing, and states quite clearly that he has been four years continuously away from home). They had leave, yes, and some were able to make home visits depending on where they were stationed, but not everyone had the capacity/funds to travel long distances during that leave, especially if the route was dangerous/blocked.

Edited by Llywela
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I love the first book because it's the original and, well, it's a good book.

Like others on here, I thought AoA felt a bit like filler. It's not a bad book though.

Anne of the Island was my absolute favorite. I didn't care much for the books after they got married or the ones that focused on her children. They just weren't as fun or as exciting to me. Of the ones that are about her children, I think Rilla of Ingleside is probably the best.

I wish someone would make a faithful TV series of the Anne books. With a TV series you don't have the same time constraints you do with a 2 or 3 hour movie so you can be more faithful to the source material. I would probably stop the series after Anne of Windy Poplars though.

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I am reading a new book, not by LM Montgomery, but a big fan of hers. It is Marilla of Green Gables and tells the story of Marilla growing up. I am only about 1/4 through but I am enjoying it.

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On 11/27/2018 at 3:47 PM, Pepper the Cat said:

I am reading a new book, not by LM Montgomery, but a big fan of hers. It is Marilla of Green Gables and tells the story of Marilla growing up. I am only about 1/4 through but I am enjoying it.

ooh...that sounds good. Do you think it's available on Kindle? Who's the author?

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47 minutes ago, Aryanna said:

ooh...that sounds good. Do you think it's available on Kindle? Who's the author?

Yes, it's available on Kindle.  The author of "Marilla of Green Gables" is Sarah McCoy.  

I just finished the book as well.  I had mixed feelings about the book.  

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7 hours ago, Aryanna said:

How so?

It was fun to find references to the original when reading this book, and the story was very easy to read and engaging enough to make me finish it.  But at the same time, I don't think I was convinced that the main character in the story was a younger version of the Marilla in the original book. 

For example (beware some minor book spoilers):

Spoiler

The Marilla/Rachel friendship had echos of Anne and Diana.  Rachel was supposed to be from a well-off family with well-off relations in the city and Marilla goes for a visit.  Marilla and John Blythe also had echos of Anne and Gilbert.  Which is all fine and good, but the character didn't feel like Marilla.

There's a bit more of a modern mentality in the characters, and as a history buff, I was a little put-off by some historical inaccuracies.  I did like the first quarter of the book best, when it showed some daily slices of life in Avonlea, but the overarching historical plot just didn't work for me.

Still, I think the book would be interesting for an Anne fan to read.  The reviews online are overwhelmingly positive so I am probably an outlier. I would be interested to hear your thoughts!

Edited by Camera One

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1 hour ago, Camera One said:

It was fun to find references to the original when reading this book, and the story was very easy to read and engaging enough to make me finish it.  But at the same time, I don't think I was convinced that the main character in the story was a younger version of the Marilla in the original book. 

For example (beware some minor book spoilers):

  Hide contents

The Marilla/Rachel friendship had echos of Anne and Diana.  Rachel was supposed to be from a well-off family with well-off relations in the city and Marilla goes for a visit.  Marilla and John Blythe also had echos of Anne and Gilbert.  Which is all fine and good, but the character didn't feel like Marilla.

There's a bit more of a modern mentality in the characters, and as a history buff, I was a little put-off by some historical inaccuracies.  I did like the first quarter of the book best, when it showed some daily slices of life in Avonlea, but the overarching historical plot just didn't work for me.

Still, I think the book would be interesting for an Anne fan to read.  The reviews online are overwhelmingly positive so I am probably an outlier. I would be interested to hear your thoughts!

I read some of the reviews on Amazon and of the ones who gave it less than a 5 star review, they mentioned the same thing about Marilla as you. They said the Marilla in the book didn't seem like she would grow up to be the Marilla in AoGG.

And I totally agree with you about historical books/movies/tv shows seeming too modern or having a modern mentality or the characters having modern morals. I watched the show The Alienist and even though it took place in the late 19th century, is was very obviously written by someone in the early 21st century. They didn't even try to make it seem era accurate. I believe AoGG begins in the mid to late 1870s with Marilla being in her 50s so Marilla of Green Gables would have to take place in the 1830s. It really needs to at least try to be era accurate and make you feel like you're transported back to that time instead of feeling contemporary. 

I'll probably still get this book on the Kindle though. I'm sure I'll enjoy it and try to overlook the shortcomings. It sounds like it could be some good, lighthearted fun.

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I can still remember getting the first three Anne books, they came as a boxed set, for Christmas when I was about 12.  I spent the rest of the Christmas holiday reading about Anne.  I'm interested to read how many others posting here also loved Rilla of Ingleside.  Definitely second only to Anne of Green Gables as far as I'm concerned.

With regard to earlier discussions about the way the war was handled in that book, personally I found it very realistic.  One of my biggest pet peeves is reading historical fiction where the main characters are obviously right out of the present day.  If someone was writing Rilla of Ingleside today it would be a very different book.  And not nearly as effective IMO.  Rilla was clearly written by someone who had just lived through the war years and did not have the benefit of hindsight.  It was a real slice of what life was like for those on the home front and I found it compelling reading.  It's also the only book I've ever read that made me cry on a bus.  

Edited by CherryAmes
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I definitely agree that "Rilla of Ingleside" is a good example of historical fiction which is true to its time.  LM Montgomery lived through the war, and it showed how people of the time would have seen the conflict and the decisions of enlisting and contributing to the war effort.

However, as a reader, I didn't enjoy "Rilla of Ingleside" at all.  Overall, I didn't enjoy the books about Anne's children.  When Anne was mentioned or when she spoke, she was devoid of all personality.  I didn't connect with any of the children except maybe Walter.  Of the books about Anne's children, I probably enjoyed "Rilla" the least.  It was hard for me to identify with the sentiments of the time.  In hindsight, we know that World War I was a pointless conflict and the government riled up feelings of empire to glorify and fuel the war effort.  I didn't find the character of Rilla likeable, nor did I buy the love story.  Overall, I was just sad that Walter felt he had to enlist and he died.  As someone who studied history, I find "Rilla of Ingleside" a fascinating look into how people thought at the time, but the reality was too depressing and the mindset too outdated for me to enjoy any part of that book in terms of the reading experience.

Edited by Camera One
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On 8/12/2018 at 10:34 PM, Brn2bwild said:

I recently re-read this... one question I have is about Jem.  He was away for 4.5 years... did people really spend that long continuously near/at the front?  Wouldn't he have been allowed to go on leave every now and then?

With a few exceptions, Rilla being one of them, normally I avoid reading fiction set during the First World War (I agree with Camera One -  a truly pointless war) but I've been reading a lot of children's books and YA lately and two books that I read that were set during WWI (both by Jean Little and part of the Dear Canada diary series) reference young Canadians serving overseas and how they would spend their leave in England.   Even those who were injured recuperated in Europe, if they were sent back home it would have been because they likely would not have been going back.

Edited by CherryAmes
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1 hour ago, Camera One said:

However, as a reader, I didn't enjoy "Rilla of Ingleside" at all.  Overall, I didn't enjoy the books about Anne's children.  When Anne was mentioned or when she spoke, she was devoid of all personality.  I didn't connect with any of the children except maybe Walter.

I felt the same way about the books starring Anne's children. And I don't mean to nor want to crap on them because I know some people loved them. But I agree that Anne's cute, fiery personality from the early books was all but gone.

1 hour ago, CherryAmes said:

It's also the only book I've ever read that made me cry on a bus.  

When I read the part where Ruby Gillis died in Anne of the Island, I cried like a little girl. I just had to put the book down and have a good cry.

Some people may call it melodrama but I think it was written so beautifully. I felt like I had grown up with Ruby and that I was losing a friend that I had known for years. And it was so sad when Ruby said she was afraid to die because Heaven wouldn't be what she was used to. She told Anne she was so young and hadn't gotten to live her life and wanted to have what other girls would have by getting married and having children and she would miss out on all of that.

*sniff sniff*

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I'm so glad this topic is active. I love discussing the books with you all.

Kindred spirits and all that...

Edited by Aryanna
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