Anne Shirley has left Redmond College behind to begin a new job and a new chapter of her life away from Green Gables. Now she faces a new challenge: the Pringles. They're known as the royal family of Summerside - and they quickly let Anne know she is not the person they wanted to be principal of Summerside High School. But as she settles into the cozy tower room at Windy Poplars, Anne finds she also has great allies: the widows Aunt Kate and Aunt Chatty and in their irrepressible housekeeper, Rebecca Dew, are on her side. As Anne learns Summerside's strangest secrets, winning the support of the prickly Pringles becomes only the first of her triumphs.
Original publication date
With each new novel, Montgomery introduces new and delightful characters to add spice to the story and keep things from getting flat. The widows with whom Anne lodges, Aunt Chatty and Aunt Kate, and their servant Rebecca Dew are fun each in her own way. The buttermilk secret always makes me laugh. And I do love Katherine Brooke. She is decidedly different from Anne's other friends; the only comparable character in the series would probably be Nora Nelson... though there are hints of Leslie Ford as well, come to think of it.
One new character I'm not a big fan of is Elizabeth. She just seems too precocious and perfect to me. I think Montgomery wrote Elizabeth as a facet of herself; during her childhood she lived with her strict grandparents and her experiences with them might have been similar. Interestingly, Elizabeth's grandmother and servant do not soften or change by the end of the story. Elizabeth escapes, but the prison itself does not disappear.
Another thing I enjoy about this story is its epistolary nature. The only complaint I would make is that it would be nice to see some of Gilbert's letters to Anne. But I suppose they wouldn't be half so interesting or funny!
Although this isn't the first book I think of when I try to name my favorites among the series, it has so many brilliant little stories... Anne's day with the onerous invalid Mrs. Gibson, the disastrous dinner with sulky Cyrus Taylor, the affair of the play, Rebecca Dew's flowery but sincere goodbye note, Cousin Ernestine Bugle's dolorously hilarious visit, etc. This book is a joy to read and I'm so thankful that the Anne stories — wholesome, hilarious, wonderful — influenced me so much in my teen years. I think Anne makes me a better person.
In Anne of Windy Poplars the dreaded Pringles make their appearance. And it's oh so much more than the movie shows. They are so dreadful, each and every one of them, but everything else is an absolute delight. Windy Poplars, Rebecca Dew, Little Elizabeth and most of all - a character we rarely get to see in the book, Gilbert Blythe.
Wait, how can Gilbert be so wonderful? He's hardly in the book! I'll tell you why - because this book shows the reader just how beautiful love letters can be.
A good portion of Anne of Windy Poplars is composed of Anne's letters to "her dearest of dears" and they are so tender and sweet and filled with so much news and juicy tidbits and sweetness (with just the right amount of "pages omitted") that it set the romantic in me a-fluttering. Anne is learning how to be in love, something we see all too rarely in girls literature today. She has to be patient, to wait to make a life with the one her heart has chosen, but she does it so sweetly it's impossible not to feel the excitement. Romance doesn't need to be rushed. One doesn't need to spend all of ones time before the wedding crushed up against his or her chosen. Anne learns that absence sweetens the deal and her dreams grow because of it. And, in the process, sets aside a beautiful history to share with her own children.
Today we write emails and tweet to one another and love letters such as those in this book are a thing of the past. But they don't have to be - and if you need inspiration, pick up this book.
However that may be, it is Anne of Windy Poplars that I have just reread (for the umpteenth time), a book that is currently considered the fourth entry in the "Anne" series, although it was written and published seventh. Chronicling the three years between the events of Anne of the Island (1915), which sees Anne attending Redmond College, and Anne's House of Dreams (1917), in which Anne Shirley becomes Anne Blythe, and embarks upon the first years of married life, it is the tale of Anne's days as the Principal of Summerside High School, and her time as a boarder at Windy Poplars, the home of those two endearingly quirky widows, Aunt Kate and Aunt Chatty.
Alternating between the epistolary form, in which events unfold in Anne's letters to Gilbert (away at medical school), and third person narration, it feels rather episodic, when compared to some of Anne's other books, but is still immensely appealing - full of entertaining characters and incident, as well as a most engaging heroine. I loved Aunt Kate and Aunt Chatty's method of dealing with their sometimes recalcitrant (but always goodhearted) maid, Rebecca Dew (reverse psychology with a vengeance!); I loved Anne's battles with, and eventual conquest of the proud Pringle clan (cannibalism - the horror!); and, having a fondness for difficult people, I loved Anne's evolving relationship with the prickly Katherine Brooke. In short, I loved Anne of Windy Poplars (as I always do), and although there were certain elements I found less than thrilling (I could have lived without the entire Hazel Marr episode), my overall pleasure more than compensated. Highly recommended to any reader who has read the first three Anne books, and wants to continue the journey!
As with the rest of the series, this book is a thrilling read, with sorrows and triumphs. I feel that this book is missing something that the others have (it is probably the absence of Gilbert, who rarely shows up in this book), but it is fun and exciting all the same.
I would recommend this book to all fans of Anne of Green Gables, as well as to those who are simply looking for laughter and magic in their life.
This book deals more with Anne's relationship to Gilbert and her impending marriage and is written in epistolary form.
A slight departure
It's not my favourite, but it deserves full marks. And the next novel picks things up again properly.
As I've discovered, all things "Anne" really do work out for the best and no situation - regardless of how bad it seems at first, will eventually
The only answer I have is that I have grown quite fond of the character. She is a dreamer, a believer of fantasy and imagination, and someone who always looks to the positives of life. These are all things that are quite dear to me as well. On top of that, I have to admit that we are introduced to a large array of characters each with their own little quirks that makes them "real" and interesting to read.
I've often remarked that reading these "Anne" books was like catching up with an old friend. The format of this particular novel is very much like that. A comforting read.
But she has allies in the kindly widows who allow her to board, Aunt Chatty and Aunt Kate, along with Rebecca Dew, the housekeeper. What follows is a series of vignettes about Anne's dealings with the school and the people of the town, but a common thread goes throughout: her fate is largely determined by the Pringles, and Anne is just as determined to win them over. Part of "Anne of Windy Poplars" consists of Anne's letters to Gilbert, and the author judiciously omits the more sentimental passages of the letters.
This book was written seventh in the series of eight books, so it definitely seems to lose a little continuity, and might rightly be considered a companion piece rather than book five of the series. And it is probably not Ms. Montgomery's best work in the Anne of Green Gables series, though it may fit in better with her other lesser-known collections of short stories. It seems to drag in parts, and I kept wanting to skip through to the "good" sections. However, I faithfully read through it and was glad to be done and on to the next book, "Anne's House of Dreams", that has better "flow".
Anne of Windy Poplars almost surpasses Anne of Green Gables for me. Through Anne's writing, Montgomery really has a chance to illustrate just what a special young woman Anne is. She is a delightful character to read, intelligent and witty with real gumption. Even in the face of overwhelming negativity Anne refuses to back down. She is determined to persevere against all odds, and in the end manages to change every life she touches. This is Anne as I will always think of her - a spirited woman whose heart bursts with love and poetry.
As always, Montgomery seems to cast an even more eccentric set of characters in Anne of Windy Poplars. She has such a way with creating characters that seem to leap off the page. From Aunt Kate and Aunt Chatty at Windy Poplars, to characters like Jen Pringle (and the whole Pringle clan,) Katherine Brooke, Pauline Gibson, and Cousin Ernestine - Montgomery has taken great care to invent highly readable and believable people to live in Anne's world. These are people full of faults but with a great capacity for growth - they just need a little Anne Shirley in their lives!
Anne of Windy Poplars enhances Anne's story beautifully. By using her charming letters to Gilbert, the reader gets to see things through Anne's own eyes. Anne is a gifted writer, as is L.M. Montgomery, obviously. This series of books offers the reader a lyrical look into the life of one of literature's most entertaining heroines. I highly recommend reading it straight through!
Windy Poplars is the home that Annie is boarding in. Owned by two widows and run by a salt-of-the-earth housekeeper, Anne arrives like a breath of spring air. Along with these women, Anne makes other friends in and around Summerside and is able in her own winning way to bring happiness and change into many lives. This book comes to an end as Anne returns home to Green Gables knowing in a very short while she will finally become Mrs. Gilbert Blyth.
I was a little disappointed with Anne of Windy Poplars as much of the story felt repetitious and Anne seemed a little too perfect. I missed the Anne that often make mistakes and learned life lessons from her errors. I found the author seemed more moralistic and a little preach-y in this volume. I also missed the great descriptive writing about the passing of the seasons that I have enjoyed in the previous three volumes. I note that this book is often the one missing from boxed sets of the Anne of Green Gables series, and I also know that although it is the fourth book in chronological order, it was actually the seventh one to be published.
This book is different from the previous books. First, it is written mostly as letters to Gilbert and also third person narrative. The book also reads older. Anne is now young 20's (ages 20 to 23, I believe). Chapter titles have been omitted and I really missed them. I enjoyed the book and had a pleasant time reading it in just a day. I did find the events to be rather superficial though and nothing happened that changed Anne's course of life. The book felt like a filler before we will get to the wedding in the next book. Also, Gilbert isn't in the book. He's mentioned frequently but he's always off the page. Still a fun book. I'm really looking forward to the next book though.
In this book, Anne is appointed "principle" of a school for a
I also wasn't keen on the new characters introduced in this book. There were too many of them, and I felt most didn't have a significant role to play. Overall, I found "Anne of Windy Willows" a disappointing read, but I am still keen to continue the series. I do like Anne the more she matures.
Not my favourite entry in the series thus far but I still thoroughly enjoyed these more episodic tales of Anne's adventures. I did love the more epistolary style of this novel as about half of it are excerpts of Anne's letters to Gilbert. I'd complain that there isn't enough Gilbert in this novel but I have a feeling I'll get plenty of him in the next book.