517 of 521 people found the following review helpful
Enduring, original, and always entertaining Anne Shirley!,
This review is from: The Complete Anne of Green Gables Boxed Set (Anne of Green Gables, Anne of Avonlea, Anne of the Island, Anne of Windy Poplars, Anne's House of Dreams, ... Rainbow Valley, Rilla of Ingleside) (Mass Market Paperback)
The ANNE OF GREEN GABLES series is one of the most unforgettable, and one of the most enjoyable, series of all children's literature. This series chronicles the life and times of Anne Shirley.
Anne Shirley is the plucky, imaginative, red-haired orphan. Her parents die when she is baby, and so she spends the first 11 years of her life going between homes and orphanages, with no one really wanting to keep or to love her. By a mistake, she is brought to Avonlea--instead of a boy--to be adopted by Matthew and Marilla Cuthbert, a pair of farmers who never thought they would be raising a girl in their old age.
You may want to skip this next part of my review, because I am going to sum up each book briefly. No plot spoilers will be revealed, but some of the contents will, and if you haven't read all the books, then maybe you don't want the content revealed ahead of time.
ANNE OF GREEN GABLES covers a span of Anne's first 5 years in Avonlea. She will age from 11 to 16. Her immortal antics that have made this book so beloved include her rivalry with Gilbert Blythe, dyeing her hair, and falling off of Mrs. Barry's roof...
ANNE OF AVONLEA spans two years. Anne is 18 at the novel's finish. She has become a teacher. Marilla adopts twins. Also, Anne has some more humorous and immortal moments.
ANNE OF THE ISLAND spans 4 years--Anne college years at Redmond. She will be 22 at the end of the novel. Anne discovers the real meaning of romance and love and courtship in this novel.
ANNE OF WINDY POPLARS also known as ANNE OF WINDY WILLOWS covers the 3 years of Anne's engagement to Gilbert. She is a Principle at Summerside High School where she has to deal with the Pringle clan, Katherine Brooke, and plenty of other interesting folks.
ANNE'S HOUSE OF DREAMS covers the first two years of Anne's married life. She and Gilbert now live in Four Winds Point, 60 miles east of Avonlea. Gilbert is making a living as a doctor, and the Blythes have new and interesting neighbors. **My favorite book of the series.**
Note: there is about a 6 year break between AHoD and AoI.
ANNE OF INGLESIDE covers about 6 years. Anne and Gilbert have moved to Glen St. Mary, near Four Winds Point, and now have children. This novel covers the birth of Rilla to the 15th wedding anniversary of Anne and Gilbert. More about Anne's children's adventures than Anne herself.
RAINBOW VALLEY takes place in 1 year. It is about Anne's children, and more specifically their neighbors, the Merediths--Faith, Una, Jerry, and Carl--and Mary Vance, but Anne does come in at important points within the novel. Faith is reminiscent in many ways of the young Anne.
Note: there is about a 9 year break between RV and RoI.
RILLA OF INGLESIDE is a heroine in her right. She ages from 15 to 19 during World War 1, the setting of this novel's time period. Anne is by now in her 50s and is a background character, but Rilla is a delightful and outgoing heroine with or without her mother.
This series was meant to be loved and reread and reread. Read the books in chronological order, or read them out-of-order but you'll still find them as fresh and enjoyable and as humorous as the first time you read them.
***Montgomery wrote some books about Anne's neighbors in Avonlea (CHRONICLES OF AVONLEA, FURTHER CHRONICLES OF AVONELEA) and in Glen St. Mary (THE ROAD TO YESTERDAY). And so if you enjoy the Anne books you might enjoy those books as well---although any Montgomery book is a reccommended read.***
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Showing 1-4 of 4 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Nov 23, 2006 8:27:51 PM PST
Posted on Jan 17, 2007 9:10:57 PM PST
Thank you so much for the brief descriptions of each book. The chronolgy of events is very helpful. How I wish that the TV series could have been expanded to include all the books in the "Anne" saga.
Posted on Jan 12, 2008 10:08:38 AM PST
R. Perryman says:
Your review was most helpful; thank you so much! I especially appreciate your note at the end explaining that the Chronicles, etc are about Anne's neighbors. I was unclear about the content of those books, and you were a great help.
In reply to an earlier post on Dec 4, 2010 11:35:01 AM PST
Thank you for your brief synopses of each book. This was especially helpful and impelled me to buy this box set as a Christmas gift.
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