My girls and I finished the sixth book in our Year of Anne, Anne’s House of Dreams, a few weeks ago, amidst tears (mine) and laughter and smiles (the girls’). Anne’s House of Dreams might be my favorite Anne book. Might be. (Wait. That’s sort of like picking a favorite child. Impossible! It’s definitely among my top two or three, though.) I could wax rhapsodic about this book–the pathos! The romance! The humor! (Oh, the humor!) Instead, I’m going to make a list, bullet-style, of what I love most about this book.
- The setting. This introduction to Glen St. Mary and New Winds Harbor feels like the beginning of a beautiful relationship. I mean, I love and adore Avonlea, but I think Montgomery does a wonderful job of settling the Blythes into their new domain and helping us readers feel at home there, too.
- Leslie Moore. Need I say more? The Leslie/Owen romance (and the tragic life that predates her meeting Owen) is just the thing to grab the heartstrings of a tweenage girl (or her middle-aged mama). I can’t think of a single story in all of the L.M. Montgomery books quite as memorable as this one to me.
- Miss Cornelia. Oh, my–how I LOVE Miss Cornelia! Who doesn’t? I had the most fun reading her “just like a man” pronouncements aloud. My girls got a real kick out of her. She is the epitome of the “man hater,” but in true L.M. Montgomery fashion, even she must capitulate to the power of love.
- Susan Baker. She takes the cake! She is the perfect foil for Miss Cornelia. Her humility, her love for the Blythes (and especially Mrs. Dr. Dear), and her innocent wisdom. Who wouldn’t love to have a Susan Baker “at the helm” of her home? She’s right up there with Alice from The Brady Bunch. I’d let her run my kitchen in a heartbeat!
- And last but certainly never least, Captain Jim. I’d have named my firstborn son after him, too.
I’m always interested in the variety of book cover that has been designed for the Anne books over the years. This is the version I have, from my original set which I received for Christmas about thirty years ago:
I never loved this one because in it Gilbert appears to have red hair coverwhich is simply a travesty.
This cover is nice, though I’ve never seen one like it in real life:
Most of the other covers, even the vintage ones, do not depict Gilbert. I kind of like him to be on this one.
Anne’s House of Dreams is as satisfying a read as they come. We’ve taken a little break from our Anne readings for the holidays, but we’ll be back at it soon to finish up the series!