Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Rainbow Valley - L. M. Montgomery

Rainbow Valley
I have so enjoyed reading through the Anne of Green Gables series over the past few years. As I have mentioned previously, I do not think I ever actually read through the whole series in my childhood. If my memory serves, I always got stalled around Anne of Ingleside. This may be the first time I ever actually made it to Rainbow Valley.

By this point in the series, Anne is barely mentioned. After all, her name is not even in the title. Surprisingly, much of the book is not even about her family. Instead, a good portion of the book revolves around the Meredith family. 

The Merediths are a new addition to Glen St. Mary. A widower minister and his four children, they also bring along a maiden aunt who's a bit, well, batty. The Meredith clan become quick friends with the Blythe children and the group spend many hours together in the cherished Rainbow Valley. 

Yet, even with the Blythe children floating in and out of the story, the Meredith kids are the real center of the book. Their hijinks keep the whole town either up in arms or highly entertained over the course of the book. They sing songs in the Methodist graveyard, they secretly take in an orphan girl named Mary Vance, they confuse days of the week and skip church to deep clean the manse, they even make apologetic speeches in church, and write in to the local newspaper to explain their actions. It's all very reminiscent of the lovable, nearly unexplainable situations that Anne herself was getting into in those first few books. 

I am not sure why Montgomery felt the need to bring this whole new group of children onto the scene, rather than using Anne's own brood. Perhaps she was a bit tired of writing about the Blythes and wanted fresh blood. I suppose, really, Anne of Ingleside focuses so much on the Blythe children, she felt she did not want to right a book too similar. Still, it's strange to read a book in the series with so little presence from our beloved Anne-girl. 

The book is exactly what any faithful reader would expect. Some romance, some laughter, lots of love. Montgomery stays true to her style, albeit with less beautiful nature descriptions than some previous novels. As I near the end of the series, I cannot say that these later books have captured me with the same ferocity that the early ones do. Still, it's fun to continue to peak into the lives of those on Montgomery's P.E.I., even if the dearest characters only get a line here or there. 

Pages: 256
Date Completed: November 28, 2014


  1. Actually, Montgomery published Rainbow Valley twenty years before Anne of Windy Poplars and Anne of Ingleside. I guess she wanted to fill in some gaps. I personally enjoy Rainbow Valley, but Windy Poplars is always hard to get through. Sometimes I skip from Anne of the Island to Anne's House of Dreams :) - Maggie @ macarons & paperbacks

    1. That's fascinating! Didn't know that! The way it's written makes much more sense to me now.