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

****Anne's House of Dreams

by L. M. Montgomery

Reviewed November 10, 2002.
A Sonderbooks' Best Book of 2002 (#2, Young Adult and Children's Classic Rereads)
Grosset & Dunlap, New York, 1970.  Originally published in 1917.  245 pages.

My copy of Anne’s House of Dreams has an inscription from my friend Christine, written in 1981.  It brings back fond and friendly memories.

I tried to look at this book with new eyes, trying to decide if I would like it as much if I were reading it for the first time.  L. M. Montgomery’s plots do tend to get melodramatic and episodic.  She learned to be a writer by writing hundreds of short stories, and her books tend to be full of separate events.  This one, though, is more unified than most, continuing the story of Anne now that she has finally gotten married and moved away from Green Gables.  She befriends Leslie Moore, who has a tragic history, and Leslie’s story unifies the book.

L. M. Montgomery is a master of character, or at least caricature.  I think if she lived in modern times she might have ended up as a stand-up comedian.  She sees the funny things in everyday life and points out people’s foibles.  Of course, the character of Anne wins our hearts because she is like L. M. Montgomery herself—able to see the beauty in everyday life as well as the humor.  She’s not afraid to be sentimental and the result is refreshing.

I did notice flaws as I read through this book again, but when I closed the book there was a smile on my face.  No, L. M. Montgomery’s books aren’t perfect, but when I finish one I feel uplifted, invigorated, and inspired.  I feel ready to take on the world and do something creative like write a book of my own.  No wonder I re-read these books every few years.

Reviews of other L. M. Montgomery books:
The Blue Castle
Kilmeny of the Orchard

The Emily Series:
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 of Ingleside
Rainbow Valley
Rilla of Ingleside
The Road to Yesterday
Before Green Gables, by Budge Wilson


Copyright © 2005 Sondra Eklund.  All rights reserved.

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