Sunday, November 27, 2011
Anne's House of Dreams
Originally Published Lippincott, 1922
In this fifth Anne book, Anne and Gilbert are married (!) and are living in their "house of dreams" in Four Winds as he sets up his practice and she takes up housekeeping. She also makes new friends: Captain Jim in the lighthouse, Miss Cornelia, a staunch spinster and Presbyterian, and beautiful morose Leslie Moore and her tragic life.
All together in some ways this book is a sadder one than the previous stories. Leslie lives a miserable existence and Anne suffers some serious heartbreak, although I won't tell you why since it caught me surprise. Still there are the happy times to balance out the sad, just as in real life. And the end of the book exemplifies that. As Anne and Gilbert expand their family, they must leave their beloved house of dreams for a bigger house in town. Good-children, bigger house, more respect for Gilbert's skill as a doctor; Bad-leaving a place where they were happy: good and bad just like real life!
And while Anne and Gilbert are married, I didn't feel they had enough scenes together. I feel bad comparing it to Betsy's Wedding by Maud Hart Lovelace (and the whole Betsy series in fact) but since the main characters in both are women who like to write who've grown up over a series of books before marrying her childhood sweetheart, I inevitably find myself doing so. And I feel like Betsy and Joe spend way more time together; the romantic in me finds this more pleasing.
Another thing I noticed about this book were the descriptions. Having read all eight books by now, I felt like this one especially depended on descriptions and Anne's sometimes fanciful imaginings of her scenery. While I found this charming in the first book and tolerable in the others, I was a bit tired of it by now and skimmed certain passages when I found myself growing bored. I like to read about the local gossip and about their lives, not what things look like. Of course, that's a personal preference; I'm sure others will find it enchanting as they read through the series.
Overall, this is probably among my least favorites due to the excessive descriptions and lack of Anne/Gilbert love.