Rainbow Valley

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Rainbow Valley
by L.M. Montgomery

This is the seventh book in the Anne of Green Gables series, but the Blythes are actually minor characters in this novel. The story focuses more on the widowed minister, John Meredith, and his children, especially Faith and Una. They girls are friends with the Blythe children and they all play together in a place they call Rainbow Valley.

There were so many funny misunderstandings in this one. At one point, Faith and Una get mixed up about what day of the week it is and they miss church, which causes a big scandal in the little community. Every time they try to stand up for their father they end up making things worse. There’s also a pair of older, unmarried sisters they find themselves with unexpected suitors.

The first chapter of the book had me laughing out loud. Anne and her house keeper Susan are talking about gossip and their back and forth banter is just hilarious. There’s also a little orphaned girl named Mary who’s quite a pip. She was abused in her foster homes and is on the run. Her bad language and general worldview seem to get everyone in trouble.

This one was much funnier than some of the other books in the series, but it’s not my favorite. I missed Anne, Gilbert, and some of the other characters I’ve grown to love so dearly. This one felt like it wasn’t really part of the series, but I still enjoyed the story. Even when Anne isn’t the central figure of the story, Montgomery has a way of making you love the characters in her books.

“When that over-harbour doctor married the undertaker’s daughter at Lowbridge people felt suspicious of him. It didn’t look well.”

“We miss so much out of life if we don’t love.”


Mumsy said...

This reminded me more of The Story Girl and The Golden Road - more of a series of vignettes than a story arc. Still, like you, I always enjoy Montgomery's dead-pan humor. (Have you read The Blue Castle? There is a chapter wherein the heroine attends a family dinner and it slays me every time.) Also, after Rainbow Valley, I wasn't expecting much of Rilla of Ingleside - the last in the series - but it turned out to be one of my favorites.

Anonymous said...

I think one of Montgomery's real strengths - among many - is how good she was at bringing to life the supporting cast. I love how real and fleshed-out Anne's world is that Montgomery could centralise some of the other characters. But I'm waaaaaay behind in the series! I'll get here someday!

Kat @ NoPageLeftBehind said...

I just love L. M. Montgomery (and agree with Mumsy's thoughts on The Blue Castle). I really need to reread this series someday soon!

Melissa (Avid Reader) said...

Mumsy - I haven't read The Blue Castle, but it's first in line after I finish the Anne series. I'm glad to hear Rilla is really good. I haven't loved the last couple as much as the first half of the series.

Shannon - I think you're right. We wouldn't have loved Anne nearly so much if we hadn't loved Matthew and Marilla and Gilbert.

Kat - I hadn't read them since I was a little kid and I've loved rereading them as an adult!

BookQuoter said...

Oh I wish I could read the whole series one day.

Melissa (Avid Reader) said...

BookQuoter - You should! I've really enjoyed reading them, but I like to give myself a few months between each one because they are similar.

Carl V. Anderson said...

This is one of my favorite Anne books and is the one I've read the most. I just love it. It is a book for me that epitomizes the way I feel about spring/summer. It makes me feel nostalgic and makes me want to take long walks in the woods and appreciate what is all around me. I am planning on starting the series again with Anne of Green Gables soon. My wife bought me the series for Christmas as I didn't have all the books and I cannot wait to read them again.

Melissa (Avid Reader) said...

Carl V. - That's wonderful. I love that a book can mean the world to one person. I love the Anne series so much and rereading it as an adult has been such a treat! I hope you love it too.

The Insouciant Sophisticate said...

I really missed Anne and her family in this book so this is definitely among my least favorites. The other kids are fine but I wanted more of the Anne I love.

Melissa (Avid Reader) said...

Bookworm1858 - I did too. I definitely read the series for Anne, so it's sad when she's absent for most of the book.