Sonderbooks Book Reviews by Sondra Eklund

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I don't review books I don't like!

*****= An all-time favorite
****  = Outstanding
***    = Above average
**      = Enjoyable
*        = Good, with reservations

   cover

****Rainbow Valley

by L. M. Montgomery

Reviewed July 29, 2003.
Bantam Books, New York, 1985.  First published in 1919.  225 pages.
A Sonderbooks Best Book of 2001.
A Sonderbooks’ Stand-out of 2003:  #3, Young Adult and Children's Classics

This is the seventh in L. M. Montgomery’s Anne series.  This time, L. M. Montgomery didn’t try to write much about grown-up Anne.  Instead, the foci of this book are the four children of the new minister in town, especially the girls, Faith and Una.

The new children are playmates of Anne’s six children, but focusing on two children makes a more unified book than Anne of Ingleside, where L. M. Montgomery tells stories about all of Anne’s six.

Every one in the village of Glen St. Mary agrees that the new minister is a wonderful preacher, but his thoughts are generally in heaven, and his four motherless children are sadly neglected.  Faith Meredith is a girl much like Anne in the first book.  She’s good at heart, but a bit thoughtless.  As a result of not thinking, she gets into “scrapes,” and since she’s the minister’s daughter, her scrapes are the scandal of the whole village.

The children try with all their might to be good and not disgrace their father.  Indeed, I like the old-fashioned books like L. M. Montgomery’s and L. M. Alcott’s, where the kids devote lots of energy to trying to do what’s right.  (Perhaps Harry Potter should spend a little time agonizing over controlling his temper as Jo March does!)  I think that’s more real to childhood than we sometimes admit these days.  (Or did I worry about such things as a kid because the characters in the books I read did?)

The children do need a mother, so the author weaves a romance gently through the book, but she does keep it as the children’s story.  Like all of L. M. Montgomery’s books, this one is a breath of fresh air that is sure to make you smile.  Delightful reading!

Reviews of other L. M. Montgomery books:
The Blue Castle
Kilmeny of the Orchard
Emily of New Moon
Emily Climbs
Emily's Quest

The Anne Series:
Anne of Green Gables
Anne of Avonlea
Anne of the Island
Anne of Windy Poplars
Anne's House of Dreams
Anne of Ingleside
Rilla of Ingleside
The Road to Yesterday
Before Green Gables, by Budge Wilson

Copyright © 2005 Sondra Eklund.  All rights reserved.

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