As my readers know, I am a lifelong fan of Anne of Green Gables. I have enjoyed the hijinks of initial book many times. Rilla of Ingleside is the eighth and last book of the series and does not disappoint. While Anne is no longer the main character, she supports her youngest daughter, Rilla, as the family struggles through sending off family members and friends to fight for freedom overseas.
The story begins as Rilla headis off to her first dance, worrying about little things that seem so very inconsequential as her brother’s and the boy she loves head off to war. The novel highlights the strength and resilience of the women who remain at home, looking after children, raising funds and knitting socks for the soldiers while they anxiously wait for news of Jem, Walter and other local boys. As the mother of 3 boys, it is hard to imagine how awful it would be to send your boys off to war, knowing that they were in the trenches and may never return.
This last novel does not disappoint. It is a serious topic and shares the struggles that women had to deal with in 1914. As a reader, I feel that I have been able to grow up with Anne, laughing as she dyed her hair, following her to university, through her growing relationship and marriage to Gilbert and her years as a young mother and finally as her children grow up and her boys head off to war.
Now that I have finished the Anne series, I will move on to the Emily series and am hoping to make a return trip to PEI next summer so my youngest two can experience the red sands and relaxation of Canada’s smallest province.