Rainbow Valley (Anne of Green Gables Series)

by L.M. Montgomery

Paperback, 1985


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Bantam (1985), Edition: 2d ptg., 240 pages


Classic Literature. Juvenile Fiction. HTML: The seventh book in the acclaimed Anne of Green Gables series, Rainbow Valley recounts Anne Shirley's life as a mother to a growing brood of children. When a Presbyterian minister moves in next door, the two families experience some challenges when they begin to interact. Will the boisterous Blythe children be able to make nice? Read Rainbow Valley to find out..

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LibraryThing member atimco
Rainbow Valley completes the shift started in Anne of Ingleside, moving the story away from Anne and her family and focusing instead on the new minister's family, the motherless Merediths. Mr. Meredith is a wonderful preacher, but very absent minded in everyday life. The four Meredith children,
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Jerry, Faith, Una, and Carl, are at the mercy of their doddering Aunt Margaret, who is really too old and blind to run the manse properly. The Meredith children often go without rather than ask their beloved father for anything, and after their doings scandalize the Glen they form a club for bringing themselves up, "since there is no one else to do it."

Mary Vance is also introduced in this story, and she quickly becomes with the reader what she is to her set: a habit we can't get along without. She is an abused orphan who runs away from her mistress and lands in the manse with the Merediths. Her spicy tongue soon leads to trouble, as little Una believes everything Mary says... even regarding ghost stories and the inevitable cruelty of stepmothers. Throughout the story Mary voices a lot of stark theological misconceptions common to unloved, unwanted children. The children, left to figure out these problems themselves from their innocent observation of the people around them, always do so in a way consistent with their characters. The story is all the stronger for it.

Norman Douglas is another favorite character who makes his first blustering appearance in this story. He is absolutely hilarious, the old pagan. The scene where Faith tells him off is so much fun! And I've always liked the love story subplots in this book — so very different, both sweet and hilarious. Ellen is fascinating. It's interesting that she is proven so right about the Kaiser of Germany, when the men in the story disagree with her political opinions on that score. We get hints of what is coming in Rilla of Ingleside with the Great War. The last chapter has the strongest foreshadowing, with Walter seeing a vision of the Piper who will call the boys of his generation and pipe them round the world.

Rainbow Valley is one of my favorites among the series, despite the fact that Anne is a minor character. The Merediths are lovable and their adventures fresh and entertaining. I used to think that Anne of Green Gables and Rilla of Ingleside were my top favorites, but I'm not so sure that Rainbow Valley isn't among them after all. Funny, fresh, and written at the top of Montgomery's form, this is a delightful story I love to revisit. Highly recommended!
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LibraryThing member Wanderlust_Lost
This book has even less to do with Anne than the previous one. It focuses on Anne's six children and their friendship with the four children of the new minister. It's a lovely book, beautifully written and a terrific journey through the same type of idyllic childhood that all of Montgomery's
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stories have. It makes me want to turn Victorian and move to PE Island. :)
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LibraryThing member puckrobin
Rainbow Valley continues the trend begun in Anne of Ingleside in transferring the focus of attention from Anne Shirley herself to her children. This enables new readers come into the series 'fresh' - Anne of Ingleside, Rainbow Valley and Rilla of Ingleside are almost a sub-trilogy to the entire
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series of eight Anne novels. In many ways, with more focus on other community members and families, Rainbow Valley is akin to Montgomery's Avonlea books, and allows her the freedom to return to adventures of children in the idealist period of their lives and Montgomery's idealized vision of Canada in her youth.
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LibraryThing member AbigailAdams26
Originally published in 1919, this seventh book in L.M. Montgomery's eight-volume saga chronicling the life of red-headed orphan Anne Shirley (and then Blythe) - one could consider it a nine-volume series, if the recently released The Blythes Are Quoted was included - focuses on the adventures of
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Anne's children, together with their close friends, the Meredith siblings. Newly arrived in the village of Glen St. Mary, the Merediths - children of the widowed Rev. John Knox Meredith, the new Presbyterian minister in town, they include mischievous Faith and sweet-tempered Una, clever Jerry (Gerald) and scientifically-minded Carl - are soon fast friends with the young Blythes, and embroiled in the doings of village life. As the manse children, the Merediths are the center of village attention, something that often results in scandal, as they inadvertently give rise to gossip through their unconventional conduct. Whether it's taking in the runaway servant girl, Mary Vance - who herself eventually becomes part of the Rainbow Valley coterie - or meeting in the Methodist graveyard, everything the young Merediths do seems destined to set tongues wagging. As the novel progresses they resolve to "bring themselves up" in an effort to avoid embarrassing their father, but they meet with mixed success, proving that in the end there is no substitute for a mother. But will one be forthcoming...?

This being the work of L.M. Montgomery, who seemed to specialize in tales of orphans finding homes, and lonely people finding families (of one sort or another), there isn't much doubt as to the eventual outcome, but it is still a great pleasure to see the story of the Merediths unfold. I have always enjoyed Rainbow Valley, which, although one of the "Anne" books, seems far more focused on the Merediths than the Blythes, far more than its (subsequently written) predecessor, Anne of Ingleside. As the daughter of a minister myself, I identified with the idea of a minister's family being put under the community microscope, and sympathized with the Meredith children as they earnestly sought to do the right thing. There is clear foreshadowing here, in the scenes in which Walter Blythe envisions "the piper" that will eventually lead the boys of Rainbow Valley far afield, which makes sense as the book was published just after WWI, which features prominently in the subsequent Rilla of Ingleside. All in all, this was an engaging entry in the series - not one of my favorites, but by no means the weakest - and sets up the final installment very nicely.
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LibraryThing member mminor1985
This book is more about the new preacher's children than about Anne's and Gilbert's brood of children. The manse children get into all sort of scapes since their father is a widower who easily gets lost into his own world and doesn't pay attention to his children. A new character is introduced who
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is a little orphan girl who has ran away from the home that she is working for. She is similar to Anne at that age who was also an orphan in a bad situation.
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LibraryThing member susanbevans
Rainbow Valley is the seventh book in L.M. Montgomery's Anne of Green Gables series. It could almost be a stand-alone novel as there is very little of Anne, Gilbert, or their children. If you can get past the disappointment of not seeing very much of the Blythe's then you might enjoy Rainbow
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Valley. The story revolves around the Meredith's, the four children of a widowed Presbyterian minister. Anne and Gilbert's children play small parts, mostly in the background of the story.

Although the Meredith children certainly can be described as unusual, I didn't find anything particularly interesting about them. I'm afraid that L.M. Montgomery simply ran out of unique characters by the seventh book. I feel let down that the series has turned so far away from Anne. It makes me wonder if Montgomery believed that our adventures end when we grow up and get married. A spirited woman like Anne would definitely continue to grow and evolve as a person.

Taken outside of the series, Rainbow Valley is a beautifully written story - with the same graceful turns of phrase as the rest of the series, and full of drama and comedy. But when judged against it's predecessors it is a disappointment - with lackluster characters and a flat plot line. Quite uninteresting.
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LibraryThing member savageknight
After that disappointing 6th book, I was a little worried about what this 7th would be like. Although, again, the main action has little or no to do with Anne, this time it felt like a book-length story as opposed to mini character profiles. Anne's children make friends with the new Minister's
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children and there are plenty of tales and wild antics that ensue. The Minister and his kids really do take center stage but Anne's presence is still felt and the book is quite an enjoyable, leisurely read.
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LibraryThing member ThorneStaff
I must confess to being a little disappointed when I realized that this book primarily concerns the Blythes' new neighbors, the widowed Rev. Meredith's children. Of course the Blythes are their playmates in idyllic Rainbow Valley, but I didn't take to them nearly as much because they're too far
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removed from Anne.

Nevertheless, they have some riotous adventures, often inadvertantly at their father's expense, and the horror of the community seems to be directly in inverse proportion to their good intentions. The adventures snowball until the denoument, when all the situations are smoothed out in a satisfactory way. But the happy ending is bittersweet, especially as dark foreshadowing crops up more and more as the book progresses.
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LibraryThing member tjsjohanna
One of the best bits of this book is that while there are plenty of little stories along the way, there is an overarching storyline that is so satisfying. The Meredith family is mourning the loss of their mother & wife - but all is resolved in the end. The Meredith children are enjoyable -
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particularly the girls - and there is a scene at the end of the novel that never fails to bring me to tears. There isn't much in this book of Anne - I suppose it would be difficult to say much of life as a wife and mother that would be interesting to children - the main audience for these books. But Anne continues to be a sympathetic ear to children - both her own and the Merediths.
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LibraryThing member milti
Oh my god, so sad, and so grown up somehow. Very different, and a whole world away, from Anne's Avonlea. I cried so much!
LibraryThing member bookworm12
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
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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.”
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LibraryThing member Magadri
This book focuses more on the children and their neighbors than on Anne. Drudged through this one.
LibraryThing member castiron
Anne’s kids find new playmates. Overall, a bit better than Anne of Ingleside — the Blythe kids are more interesting in this book, and the Meredith children are a lot of fun. My one major gripe is Rev. John Meredith, the severely absent-minded minister father who supposedly loves his kids but
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who doesn’t notice their poor food and household conditions, and on the rare occasions where he wakes up enough to notice, he doesn’t do anything about it, until he finally gets married to a woman who’ll take care of all that. I don’t find him funny or endearing; I pity him, but I also find him criminally irresponsible. At the very least, he could apply to one of his neighbors for advice — the Blythes live quite nearby, for example — or he could shell out the money for a good housekeeper; there’s no hint that this would be impossibly expensive for him. He’s one of these people who would make a fabulous contemplative monk or celibate priest but who has no business being a family man.
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LibraryThing member HeatherLINC
Although Anne only made brief appearances in this book, I did enjoy "Rainbow Valley". The focused moved from the Blythes to their neighbours, Mr Meredith and his mother children who were basically raising themselves. The Meredith children were a boisterous and fun-loving group and were always
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getting into mishaps. However, they were cheerful, kind and good-natured children and I found them charming. I especially liked the youngest girl, Una. She was an old soul with big, serious eyes.

I also enjoyed the romance between Rosemary West and Mr Meredith. It was sweet and endearing, and my favourite part of this book. The end foreshadows the advent of the Great War and finished rather poignantly.

One more book to go!
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LibraryThing member DeltaQueen50
Rainbow Valley by L.M. Montgomery is about children. The main characters are the six children of Anne Shirley and Gilbert Blythe and their good friends and neighbours the four Meredith children. Mr. Meredith is the local vicar and a widower, and while he is busy tending to his parish and working on
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sermons, his children have only a very elderly aunt to watch over them and so tend to get into scrapes and difficulties that manage to shock the community. But these are good-hearted children who eventually help keep a girl from being sent to the orphanage and find her a good home. They also put their heads together and help their father find a new wife and helpmate who will also be a friendly guide and companion to the children.

Although this story is very light and the author tends to rely on clichéd phrases, I did enjoy reading of the values and mores of the early 20th Century. So much importance was placed on appearances and what the community would think, that I was quite happy when Faith and Walter shocked everyone by riding a couple of pigs through town. When the children gathered in Rainbow Valley, it reminded me of my own special places that I went to play when I was young.

Rainbow Valley never reaches the perfection of the first three Anne books, but it is a cheerful, sunny story with a few clouds lurking on the horizon. I have very little doubt that these clouds will someday become World War I and that there could be heartbreak and suffering ahead for this family.
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LibraryThing member nancynova
This is mostly the story of the Meridith children growing up, who are friends with the Blythe children, Anne and Gilbert's offspring
LibraryThing member DrFuriosa
Montgomery writes children well, and in the mischievous Merediths, she finds kindred spirits. Their misadventures are entertaining, though Mary Vance is, as Susan would say, a cat of another color.
LibraryThing member BookConcierge
Digital audiobook read by Pam Ward.

Book seven in the classic series about Anne Shirley and her family. Anne’s six children have discovered their own “magical” place where they can play and indulge their imaginations. When a new family moves into an old mansion nearby, they welcome the
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Meredith kids into their hideaway. And the children are intent on several projects.

These books are just delightful reads. A nice gentle escape from today’s harsher realities. Yes, there are missteps and some tragic occurrences – life is like that. But on the whole, they are full of charming characters, believably innocent fun, and a few humorous miscalculations. The children learn that actions and words have consequences. Anne has grown into a wonderful mother, caring and supportive, guiding her brood towards adulthood.
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LibraryThing member briandrewz
I really enjoyed this installment in the Anne of Green Gables series. I've seen a lot of people complain about the very brief appearances of Anne in the book. And, yes, I would agree that if you're going to label this as an "Anne of Green Gables" book, Anne should feature as a major character. At
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best, she is in it about five times, and only in passing. It would've been better had this been a stand alone book.

That being said, this volume was completely charming. I loved all of the different characters and the way they interacted with each other. Of course, Walter is my favorite, as in all the other books he makes an appearance in. The ambiance and the writing are excellent.
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LibraryThing member sweetiegherkin
This book picks up more or less where the last one left off, with Anne and Gilbert returning from their holiday and the children coming back from visiting Avonlea. There's a new minister in town and with him comes his several innocent but nevertheless mischievous children. Further, the group of
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them comes across a runaway orphan who is tired of being mistreated at the hands of the woman who supposedly cares for them.

Rainbow Valley concerns itself primarily with the children but is more focused on the new children in town than the Blythe children. It's such a weird turn in a series supposedly about Anne. On the flip side, I will say the minister's children have more of young Anne's mishaps about them than any of her children do so in that way this book captures the spirit of the original Anne of Green Gables.

It's strange to me that these books are considered children's classics (and indeed I originally read them as a child) as there's plenty in these books that isn't child friendly, including discussions around abuse and nonchalant talk of suicide. And of course, many of the adults in this small town are very gossipy and judgmental, but that isn't seen as a bad thing nearly as much as it should be.

The audiobook narrator does a pretty good job with this story, attempting to give different voices to each character, although it is difficult with some many children and so many adults to cover.
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LibraryThing member ElizaJane
The 7th Anne of Green Gables book takes place one year after the previous book. Anne rarely appears and strangely enough Rainbow Valley was much more prominent in the previous book. This book has an overreaching story arc of the family in the manse; a minister and his four children. The children
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are the bane of the town and everyone including them thinks the minister needs a wife to "bring up" the children.

Of course, I enjoyed the book but missed Anne being prominent. She would have been perfect to matchmaker as she's done in previous volumes but sadly she doesn't get involved. I did really enjoy the manse children, Mary Vance, and the youngish old maid sisters. Anne's children were best friends of the manse children and played a strong role in the novel but again it was the manse children getting into all the scrapes. Enjoyable but only a so-so entry in the series.
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LibraryThing member INeilC
Rainbow Valley describes more of the lives of the children of Anne and Gilbert - particularly the feud with the Meredith children of the Manse. An enoyable read,
LibraryThing member MickyFine
Freshly returned from their European tour, Anne and Gilbert are reunited with their children and back in Ingleside. In their absence, a new minister, John Meredith has been appointed and has settled into the manse with his four rambunctious children who quickly bond with the Blythe children. As the
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children get into various adventures and mischief that frequently scandalizes their small community, the Meredith family must also face the realities of being without a mother and just what it means if their father should ever remarry.

I always forget how beautiful Montgomery's prose is until I settle down with her novels and then I immediately remember how lovely it is to just let the words wash over you. In this penultimate entry in the Anne series we get far more focus on the Meredith children then on Anne and Gilbert and their brood. However, the book is no less charming for this mild shift in focus. The adventures and scrapes the children get into are just as entertaining as those of the Blythe children and the quiet romance of John Meredith's courting of a local old maid is just as delightful. There is also the sharp contrast with the charms of life in this small community with the dark foreshadowing of the onset of WWI.
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LibraryThing member Stewartry
After having read through the trials and tribulations of Anne as she grew up, married, had children, made a life and a home, Rainbow Valley was a little startling in its pure concentration on the kids. Suddenly it was all nightmares and bosom friends and school tribulations again, with only glances
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at Anne. I missed her. Again, it was all dear and sweet, never sticky-icky – those children were not all angels, though the Blythes and their friends the Merediths were uniformly good-hearted … but … I wanted Anne, I guess.
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LibraryThing member mapg.genie
Setting description, character development, plot all work together to create a great story! This one has them all! At first I thought this book, #7 of the series, was a little slow, but it wasn't long before I was drawn into this one, like all the previous ones, and couldn't put it down. Such great
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examples Montgomery uses to teach so many lessons!
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Original language


Original publication date

1997 (Nouvelle édition française, Presses de la Cité)

Physical description

240 p.


0553252135 / 9780553252132
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