“Once, looking from the attic windows of Ingleside, through the mist and the aftermath of a summer thunderstorm, they had seen the beloved spot arched by a glorious rainbow, on end of which seemed to dip straight down to where a corner of the pond ran up into the lower end of the valley. “Let’s call in Rainbow Valley,” said Walter delightedly, and Rainbow Valley thenceforth it was”.
Anne of Green Gables is a beloved Canadian classic novel which I have read at least 3 times. Set in Prince Edward Island, Canada’s smallest province, it is the tale of Anne Shirley, a feisty red headed orphan adopted by Marilla and her brother Matthew. The Anne series is appreciated across the world and and estimated 125,000 tourists flock to Prince Edward Island, to visit the Green Gables Heritage Place, each year. After rereading Anne of Green Gables last summer, my goal was to finish the 8 book series which includes:
- Anne of Green Gables
- Anne of Avonlea
- Anne of the Island
- Anne of Windy Poplars
- Anne’s House of Dreams
- Anne of Ingleside
- Rainbow Valley
- Rilla of Ingleside
- Christmas with Anne (a collection of short stories which is in addition to the Anne collection)
Rainbow Valley is set in the village of Glen St. Mary as Anne and Gilbert raise their six children. Much like Anne, as a child, the children are involved in hijinks along with the four spirited children of the widowed minister. The Meredith children have little oversight by their distracted father and cause much gossip and speculation in the village as they run rampant in the graveyard, attend church with no stockings, and form a society to self-punish themselves. The children gather together in Rainbow Valley, befriend an orphaned runaway and try their very best to stay out of trouble. The novel is a light, easy read with beautifully, descriptive prose and makes one wish to travel back in time to the island.
According to Anne Quick Facts, her first novel, Anne of Green Gables, was published in 1908 and quickly sold 19 thousand copies. It is now believed to have sold over 50 million copies! There have been many film adaptations, a musical (it is the longest running musical theatre according to the Guiness World Book of records and holds as special place in my heart after participating as part of the chorus in a high school production in the mid 1980s) and the University of P.E.I even has a designated L.M. Montgomery Institute. L.M Montgomery has an Ontario connection and I am hoping to visit the Manse where she lived and wrote after marrying her husband who was a presbyterian minister.
As mentioned in my previous reviews of the books in this collection, the Anne of Green Gables series is a series that every Canadian should read! It describes the experience of this loveable orphan from the time of her adoption, through her school and courting years, her marriage and her experience as a parent. Tundra books (series pictured above) have reprinted the books with beautifully illustrated covers which look terrific on my bookshelf! Next up, Rilla of Ingleside!