Book Reviews

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Anne of Ingleside
by L.M. Montgomery

This, the sixth book in the Anne of Green Gables series, focuses more on Anne's growing children and their reaction to various scraps they get themselves into. I missed Anne's voice in this story. Although she's in the book and we occasionally hear from her, she's mainly phased out.

I did hate reading one section where Anne, who was a published author in earlier books, says, "Occasionally I do write a little story, but a busy mother hasn't much time for that." I understand that this was written in a very different era, but still. Anne always dreamed of being an author and it seems like she gave up that dream entirely. She has certainly become a wonderful mother, but can't she be both?

I do love Montgomery's descriptions of life. The wonderful character of Anne finds such joy in the smallest things and has a very healthy view of dealing with change.

"Well that was life. Gladness and pain... hope and fear ... and change. Always change! You could not help it. You had to let the old go and take the new to your heart... learn to love it and then let it go in turn. Spring, lovely as it was, must yield to summer and summer loses itself in autumn. The birth ... the bridal ... the death."

I love the series and I'm glad I read the book, but it's definitely not my favorite.

Cannery Row
by John Steinbeck

Set in Monterey, CA in the 1940s, Cannery Row is a delightful little look at a small community. There's Hazel, a young man who asks questions just to hear others talk, Lee Chong the grocery store owner who's constantly trying to avoid being taken advantage of and Mack, a good-hearted bum who's always up to something. I loved reading about the quirky town's people. The main character, Doc, is a marine biologist. He's a gentle soul and was modeled after Steinbeck's good friend.

This book is so much lighter than most of Steinbeck's work. I've loved many of his epic novels (Grapes of Wrath, Of Mice and Men, East of Eden), but their dour themes can make for some rough reading. This book, on the other hand, is a celebration of a close-knit neighborhood coming together to celebrate a good man. I'm looking forward to reading more about these characters in the sequel, Sweet Thursday.

by Rudyard Kipling

Rikki-Tikki-Tavi, a mongoose, lives with a small family in India. He finds out that two cobras, Nag and his wife Nagaina, are planning to kill the two adults and their young son Teddy. The clever mongoose decides to protect them and to take on the dangerous snakes. I first got to know this story through the 1970s animated movie and I fell in love with the brave animal. The book is even better.

The White Seal
by Rudyard Kipling

A white seal, Kotick, sees his fellow seals being hunted and killed by men and decides to do something about it. He searches for a long time to find a safe, sheltered beach where they can live without men being able to reach them. When he tries to get his tribe of seals to move they mock him and he has to fight them. At its core, it's a story about doing something brave when everyone tells you that you can't do it. He refuses to accept things as they are and instead searches for a better life and succeeds.

Photo by moi.


Jenners said...

I can't imagine an Anne book without too much of Anne!

Captain Nick Sparrow said...

I loved Cannery Row and didn't know that there is a sequel!! Thanks!!