23 Jan 2015

Reread 2015: Anne of Ingleside

First published: 1939
Country of Origin: Canada
Pages: 400
Format: Hardcover | Purchased

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 I first read Anne of Ingleside when I was eleven or twelve. I was definitely less interested in grown-up Anne, Anne the mother and wife and dutiful neighbour.
 To be honest, I didn't remember that much about this book! I think the reason for this is because it's not really an Anne book: Anne has mostly become a secondary character in her own series. Instead, her children take centre-stage in this book, and while they manage to get themselves into a lot of scrapes, they aren't as winsome and charming as their mother was.
 I don't remember a lot about the later Anne books - I think my first reads of the last three books were kind of half-hearted at best.

 The blurb on the back of my edition reads:

Anne Shirley can think of no place she'd rather be than her beloved Ingleside. At least not until the day she begins to imagine that her cherised Gilbert doesn't love her anymore. Could it possibly be true? In her heart Anne knows she's still the same fiery red-head who came to Green Gables all those years ago. She hasn't changed, but has he?
I feel like this is misleading, because this isn't a storyline that's picked up until the last two or three chapters of the book, and is resolved fairly quickly.  It would've been interesting had this been the main point of the book, but it isn't. In fact, despite the title, this book isn't really an Anne book, and what I mean by that is that it isn't Anne's story any more - she's faded into the background. This is the story of Jem and Walter, of Nan and Di, of Shirley and Rilla. Like the other Anne books, they're quite anecdotal, and the chapters usually focus on one of the Blythe children. However, with so many children to focus on, I ended up feeling like I didn't really know any of the little Blythes at all.

Nevertheless, it was wonderful to return to Avonlea and Green Gables at the beginning of Anne of Ingleside (I still prefer Avonlea and its inhabitants to Four Winds, I'm afraid to say), and revisit all of Anne's childhood haunts - and to see Diana again!

If I was doing a series reread again, then yes - but I don't think that this would be one that I'd just pull off the shelf and read for the sake of reading.

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