Anne of Windy Willows (Anne of Green Gables #4) by L.M. Montgomery
Publication Date: June 4th 2015 (first published 1936)
Publisher: Puffin Classics Penguin Random House
Genre: Classics / Historical Fiction
Stars: ★★★★★ (4.5)
The fourth book about the red-haired Anne Shirley from Green Gables.
Now a young woman and her romance with Gilbert Blythe beginning to flourish, Anne Shirley becomes Principal of Summerside High School. But Summerside is virtually ruled by the Pringle family, who don’t want Anne at the school. It takes all of Anne’s courage and tact, and the comfort she draws from the eccentric household at Windy Willows, to overcome local prejudice and confront the dreaded Pringles.
Previous books in the series:
- Anne of Green Gables (Anne of Green Gables, #1)
- Anne of Avonlea (Anne of Green Gables, #2)
- Anne of the Island (Anne of Green Gables, #3)
Anne of Windy Willows was semi epistolary, historical fiction that revolved around Anne’s three years as a Principal of Summerside High School, her sojourn in Summerside, people she met and mini lessons she learned from her experiences- all in letters she wrote to Gilbert. A new place, new stetting and lots of new friends. It was about friendship, helping people of Summerside, and importance of happiness, life, dresses and imagination.
Book was first person narrative. It was divided in 3 years of Anne’s principalship in Summerside, Prince Edward Island. Do I have to tell anything about author’s writing? It was poetic, lyrical, atmospheric, and beautiful. Once again, author added a wonderful book to series. I loved all character’s life story, dresses, setting, and that usual effects of weather and atmosphere that was constant in whole Anne series so far.
It’s been long since I read last book (in January) so I was little clueless when Anne was offered job at Summerside High. But I didn’t dwell on it and plunged into Anne’s beautiful new abode, Windy Willows, its occupants, students of Summerside High, Pringles, impressive people in the town, and gossips.
Throughout the book, one place that I so loved was, Windy Willows and Anne’s Tower room at Windy Willows. I can perfectly imagine each room of the house, every corner and windows of Anne’s room where our kindred spirit resided.
Let me tell about Anne and other characters, because without them you cannot just talk about book.
Anne– If I have commented on your blog or anywhere in more than 2 sentences, it’s purely Anne effect. She was catching. She wrote amazingly long letters, told her stories and experiences in her refreshing, vivacious and infectious voice. It felt so good to see Anne growing into wonderful woman. She was great throughout the book, I cannot imagine from where she got patience! She handled some prickly and temperamental characters so effortlessly. I loved her thoughts about all of them.
She was wise, sensible, lil bit sensitive and as always dreamy. I loved her seeing as teacher in Anne of Avonlea and I loved her even more in this book. But here Anne faced bigger challenge- The Pringles who gave her tough time in her first year. Pringles made her stay so difficult that she couldn’t see her job and stay more than a year. But this is Anne we are talking about and it was certain she was going to win them all sooner or later but what I was curious to know was, how.
Then there was Anne’s Kindred spirit that added mystery to story- Elizabeth. She was just like little Anne we met in first book, living in imaginations, having dreams and giving names to herself. It was kind of creative, you know, giving different names as per moods. She was such an adorable kid, I couldn’t understand why her great-grandmother and the Woman (their maid) treated her so strictly, how they could keep her in house all the time and discourage her, keep her starved from life and happiness! And why he father doesn’t know anything about it. I couldn’t wait to see what Anne would do about it.
I loved widows and Rebecca Dew, occupants of Windy Willows. They were quirky and made fascinating trio. How can the house be complete without ‘The Cat’. I liked the bickering between these ladies. Even though there was generation gap and disagreements they loved and took care of each other. I loved to see Anne becoming integral part of their little cult.
There were all sort of Pringles who were great to read. I liked Jane and her gang. And so many windows, cranky old people in Summerside who were really amusing, specially Mrs. Gibson and what I tell you about twins of Mrs. Raymond! They were naughtiest twin, Davy felt rather gentlemanly after reading them. Miss Minerva’s haunted house and cursed family was nightmarish. I don’t know how Anne spent a night there. I loved Katherine’s development. She turned out totally different person by the end of the book and became Anne’s best friend.
There were all sort of characters with all sort of personalities in this book. Some were lovely, some dreamy, sulky, bad-tempered, nosey, cantankerous, chatty, lonely, romantic, worrier, tyrant, ungrateful, sensitive and mischievous. Just so many characters! They all were given a story even if it was just in one or few lines which was plus point, but the drawback was I felt dizzy reading about them all and trying to remember them. If I dare to list them all, I bet it will fill 2-3 foolscap pages.
Ah and there was wedding and Anne’s part in eloping lovebirds. Some stories were emotional while some were comical. And there was lots of gossips and drama. I didn’t want Anne leaving this amusing community after 3 years but I knew it was not possible. I liked the way things turned out in all stories and things Anne learned throughout the book.
All the previous books were feel good and so was this one. You can enjoy this book in any season. Just relax in sunshine, enjoy the flowery writing, dreamy Anne and warmth of the story.
My only teeny weeny issue was there were too many characters. I know I should get used to it by now but this had more than previous books. And as I mentioned, it was overwhelming. But I’m rounding it to 5 star because I just love this series and Anne.
Overall, I just love Anne Shirley, L.M. Montgomery’s writing and her beautiful stories.
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What do you think about the book and review? Have you read this book or any in this series or by other book by the same author? If so which character you loved most apart from Anne in this series? What do you love most about this series and Anne?
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