Anne of Ingleside (Anne of Green Gables #6) by Lucy Maud Montgomery manages to return to the charm of some of the earlier books while still feeling more like a collection of short stories which works more effectively here than in some of the previous books.
The focus is on Anne and her children, of which there are quite a few. Six total. There is none of the tedious matchmaking romance. Instead, the foibles of family life take front stage, each of the children given a chance to shine in some way. Well, almost all of them, anyway. And I don’t want to spoil too much but I will say that the blurb on the back of my edition was ridiculous, alluding to the content of only the last few chapters. In fact, I would suggest everyone avoid the Bantam Classic from 1992 altogether because it is so poorly edited, with names changing (Lina becomes Linda and one time Susan becomes Susand).
Now some side notes. At one point Anne is walking with her still-bosom-buddy. Anyone who is fond of the Anne books knows that Diana is always described as plump, being less sylphlike than Anne herself. At the beginning you learn that Diana, now a mother and with the matronly figure to prove it, is said to weigh 155. And the idea is that she is even more heavy now, due to childbirth and age. If not downright fat, she is nonetheless the contrast to Anne’s delicate figure and I found myself disappointed to discover she was a mere 155. That hardly seems so remarkably heavy.
Later in the novel, Anne feels a tingling in her lip (263). Apparently she gets cold sores; I smiled. Given what we know about these things and how few men Anne would have actually kissed, it is nice to see that even one who is so idealized is also so very human.
But, ultimately, except for the last few chapters, this book shines most when the focus is on the children. Most of the book is dominated by their stories and it really is better than either of the previous two in the series. There are only two more books in the series and the focus seems to more fully shift towards the children, especially the eighth book. I am not complaining. Anne as a child is charming and as an adult she is a lovely mother. However, there’s only so much of her matchmaking and romantic intentions I could tolerate. I’d already had my fill and this book was a nice respite.