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Rainbow Valley

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Anne Shirley is grown up, has married her beloved Gilbert and now is the mother of six mischievous children. These boys and girls discover a special place all their own, but they never dream  of what will happen when the strangest family  moves into an old nearby mansion. The Meredith clan is  two boys and two girls, with minister father but  no mother -- and a runaway girl Anne Shirley is grown up, has married her beloved Gilbert and now is the mother of six mischievous children. These boys and girls discover a special place all their own, but they never dream  of what will happen when the strangest family  moves into an old nearby mansion. The Meredith clan is  two boys and two girls, with minister father but  no mother -- and a runaway girl named Mary Vance. Soon the Meredith kids join Anne's children in their private hideout to carry out their plans to save Mary from the orphanage, to help the lonely minister find happiness, and to keep a pet rooster from the soup pot. There's always an adventure brewing in the sun-dappled world of Rainbow Valley.


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Anne Shirley is grown up, has married her beloved Gilbert and now is the mother of six mischievous children. These boys and girls discover a special place all their own, but they never dream  of what will happen when the strangest family  moves into an old nearby mansion. The Meredith clan is  two boys and two girls, with minister father but  no mother -- and a runaway girl Anne Shirley is grown up, has married her beloved Gilbert and now is the mother of six mischievous children. These boys and girls discover a special place all their own, but they never dream  of what will happen when the strangest family  moves into an old nearby mansion. The Meredith clan is  two boys and two girls, with minister father but  no mother -- and a runaway girl named Mary Vance. Soon the Meredith kids join Anne's children in their private hideout to carry out their plans to save Mary from the orphanage, to help the lonely minister find happiness, and to keep a pet rooster from the soup pot. There's always an adventure brewing in the sun-dappled world of Rainbow Valley.

30 review for Rainbow Valley

  1. 4 out of 5

    Ahmad Sharabiani

    Rainbow Valley (Anne of Green Gables #7), L.M. Montgomery Rainbow Valley (1919) is the seventh book in the chronology of the Anne of Green Gables series by Lucy Maud Montgomery, although it was the fifth book published. In this book Anne Shirley is married with six children, but the book focuses more on her new neighbor, the new Presbyterian minister John Meredith, as well as the interactions between Anne's and John Meredith's children. تاریخ نخستین خوانش: روز بیست و پنجم ماه سپتامبر سال 2012 میلا Rainbow Valley (Anne of Green Gables #7), L.M. Montgomery Rainbow Valley (1919) is the seventh book in the chronology of the Anne of Green Gables series by Lucy Maud Montgomery, although it was the fifth book published. In this book Anne Shirley is married with six children, but the book focuses more on her new neighbor, the new Presbyterian minister John Meredith, as well as the interactions between Anne's and John Meredith's children. تاریخ نخستین خوانش: روز بیست و پنجم ماه سپتامبر سال 2012 میلادی عنوان: دره رنگین کمان - آنی شرلی کتاب هفتم؛ نویسنده: لوسی مود مونتگمری؛ برگردان: فریده مهدوی دامغانی؛ تهران، آسیم، 1385؛ عنوان: دره رنگین کمان؛ نویسنده: لوسی مود (ال.ام.) مونتگمری؛ مترجم: سارا قدیانی؛ تهران، قدیانی، 1386؛ در 400 ص؛ چاپ دوم 1388؛ شابک: 9789645361943؛ چاپ پنجم 1392؛ دره «رنگین کمان» نام محل مورد علاقه ی فرزندان «آنی» برای بازی است. به همین سبب، داستان‌ هم در باره ی فرزندان ایشانست. کشیش جدیدی به گلن سنت مری میاید. کشیش همسرش را از دست داده، و چهار فرزند دارد: دو پسر به نامهای: «کارل» و «جرالد»، و دو دختر به نامهای: «فیت» و «اونا». داستان با دوستی چهار بچه، با فرزندان آنی ادامه مییابد. ا. شربیانی

  2. 4 out of 5

    Miranda Reads

    Over ten Mary-Sues in one book? Got to be a record. I thought Book 6 was rock bottom - turns out I was wrong. To catch you up - book 6 of ANNE of Green Gables demoted Anne to a secondary character and her six precocious (obnoxious) children shared the spotlight. Gag. Well, if that wasn't bad enough, book 7 has Anne as a tertiary character. L. M. Montgomery doubled the amount of precocious children and shoves Anne's kids off to the side. Are. You. Kidding. Me. Anne's kids are secondary to the "Ma Over ten Mary-Sues in one book? Got to be a record. I thought Book 6 was rock bottom - turns out I was wrong. To catch you up - book 6 of ANNE of Green Gables demoted Anne to a secondary character and her six precocious (obnoxious) children shared the spotlight. Gag. Well, if that wasn't bad enough, book 7 has Anne as a tertiary character. L. M. Montgomery doubled the amount of precocious children and shoves Anne's kids off to the side. Are. You. Kidding. Me. Anne's kids are secondary to the "Mary-Sue" Meredith clan - a wholesome, cherub-faced group of sorely neglected children who adore their minister father and God with all their heart. They are, in a word, loathsome. And I don't say it lightly. Every sin they commit or moment of disobedience can be traced back to an gosh-darn honest mistake - they could do no wrong and I hated them for it. Their widowed minister father is the worst man I've read about in a long time. He neglects his children, his house and his life in order to be a better minister. None of his children ever had much to eat, they ran around in literal rags and at one point, one child watched as her pet rooster was slaughtered and served for dinner. The children even adopted an orphan girl for two weeks before he noticed. The orphan girl lived under the same roof as the father. TWO. WEEKS. And what do the children think? That he's the best father in the world. And what does the town think? He's a fine minister, though he could use a wife to manage things. OH HELL NAW. He doesn't need a wife, he need a firm kick to the teeth. He's their father - their only parent alive - and he is supposedly too thick to understand that his children need socks? That they need guidance and affection? And all of that is excused because he is so holy and devoted to God? I couldn't stomach the lot of them. At one point, their weak-minded father has to whip one of the boys (for throwing a eel at an old lady) and the father discovers he cannot bring himself to do such a cruel act. The children meet in secret to punish themselves because if their father won't discipline them, then they will have to pull themselves up by their bootstraps and raise themselves. I honestly don't think L. M. Montgomery actually met any children. And, then there is the shoe-horned religion at every page. I don't mind reading religious books and quite like how it was handled in the first couple of Anne of Green Gables. But, Book 7 uses a funnel to force it down our throats so often that it actually soured me to this book. Heaven forbid if anyone questions the minutest aspect of God's love or infinite kindness - every single precocious child would discuss the finer points of theology. Preferably in painstaking detail. At one point, one of the clan marches up to a non-church goer to demand he attend church (so her father's salary could be paid). When he refuses, she feels a fury wash over herself and calls him names (including vampire) and says she doesn't care if he goes to hell. He (of course) finds this sweet and adorable - and immediately swears to start attending. The best part of this series? Finding out that I'm not done - there's another one. Whoopee. Audiobook Comments Decently read. We have had the same person reading this series and I always enjoy a consistent reader. Her voice for some of the children did grate on my ears, but that could just be because I hated them all so much. The 2018 ABC title challenge - R Blog | Instagram | Twitter

  3. 5 out of 5

    Melki

    If the last book wasn't really about Anne, this go-round isn't even about Anne's children. Instead, we meet the new minister's kids. Talk about a family that really NEEDS Nanny Mc Phee! Reverend Dad has been floundering since his wife passed away, leaving him to raise four young 'uns alone. He's a loving father, but constantly distracted, and preoccupied. He can frequently be found with his nose buried in a book. (I can relate.) Though an elderly, bumbling relative is attempting to care for them If the last book wasn't really about Anne, this go-round isn't even about Anne's children. Instead, we meet the new minister's kids. Talk about a family that really NEEDS Nanny Mc Phee! Reverend Dad has been floundering since his wife passed away, leaving him to raise four young 'uns alone. He's a loving father, but constantly distracted, and preoccupied. He can frequently be found with his nose buried in a book. (I can relate.) Though an elderly, bumbling relative is attempting to care for them, the kids are mostly bringing up themselves. And, they're only doing a so-so job of it. Lucky Faith, the oldest girl, gets to be The Anne of this novel. Seeming an awful lot like a certain girl once called "Carrots," Faith gets into scrapes, takes dares, and makes bold, persuasive speeches to her elders. She even commits the unforgivable blunder of going bare-legged to church. (Horrors!) As you can imagine, village tongues are a-waggin'. While this is certainly not the best of the series, it's a decent enough outing with lots of love and laughs. It provided just the escape I needed from the anxieties of the modern world. Ahhhh . . .

  4. 4 out of 5

    Elinor Loredan

    The front cover is simply maddening! There are four girls, and Anne only has three, so one must be a Meredith. So which one?? The boy in the water is, I'm thinking, Shirley, and the tall one is Walter. The girl sitting is Diana. If the girl in the blue dress holding the flowers is Rilla and the one holding the basket is Nan, or vice versa, then who is the second redhead? Rilla's hair is a softer red, and neither of the Meredith sisters has red hair. Till my dying day I will be puzzling over this... The front cover is simply maddening! There are four girls, and Anne only has three, so one must be a Meredith. So which one?? The boy in the water is, I'm thinking, Shirley, and the tall one is Walter. The girl sitting is Diana. If the girl in the blue dress holding the flowers is Rilla and the one holding the basket is Nan, or vice versa, then who is the second redhead? Rilla's hair is a softer red, and neither of the Meredith sisters has red hair. Till my dying day I will be puzzling over this...I like things to make sense, for heaven's sake. Ah well, it's the wonderful book that counts: as always, LMM's powers of description shine out. I relish each word I read like a juicy piece of fruit whose sweet taste never quite leaves my mouth. Every character means something to me and moves me in some way. There are characters I would like more of, especially Una. I'd love more of her troubles and adventures, particularly since I feel like her--sensitive and shy. But Faith gets more attention, more, in fact, than any of the other children. It's understandable given her spunky, active personality, and there's no doubt that she's a fun, lovable heroine. But just because Una is perhaps less active and outwardly reactive than Faith doesn't mean her episodes would be less engaging and meaningful. This partiality for Faith in Rainbow Valley is similar to what happens in Anne of Avonlea: Dora, the quiet, perfect child, is ignored in favor of Davy, the more vivacious, troublesome one. I would also like more of the Blythes and their specific activities with the Merediths in Rainbow Valley. In addition, a chapter or two from Anne's persepective, in which Faith or another Meredith comes to her for a talk, would be nice. I want a sampling of her adult self, who is sympathetic and helps them with their problems and feelings. Adults seek Anne too, but there are no examples of either. Vagueness in Rainbow Valley also lies in the romance of Mr. Meredith (who is really too absent to be believable-forgetting to eat and sleep! But he is lovable) and Rosemary West. It's rather rushed. He meets her, 'wakes up' a little, visits her and Ellen frequently, then suddenly proposes. I feel like "Did I miss something, skip a chapter?" I don't get to see any of the dialogues Mr. Meredith has with Rosemary, or Ellen. I have to give LMM a break because it's hard to actually show relationships develop, but they would have so much more meaning if I got an idea of what exactly Mr. Meredith and Rosemary are like together and what they talk about. I always love LMM's romances, especially how they begin and culminate, but she does tend to gloss over their progression, summarizing with "They talked of books, politics, etc, and felt such kinship," which is easier than actually showing the conversations. The summaries and circumstances of her romances are so beautifully described I love them anyway, but still feel a little cheated. For example, on page 148, 'Mr. Meredith touched deeps in her nature that Martin had never touched--that had not, perhaps, been in the girl of seventeen to touch.' Wonderful! But where does such a sentiment come from? In simply being with him, in the things he says...? Another point on Mr. Meredith--I am opposed to the idea that, in order to be an attentive, caring father, Mr. Meredith needs a wife. It may be true that he cannot do it all alone and children's lives are not quite complete with only one parent, but I can't accept his lack of a wife as an excuse to be neglectful. Throughout the book he rues his neglect when his children get into scrapes, but he really does nothing about it. No wife is necessary for him to be more involved in their lives. I greatly enjoy the intervals with Miss Cornelia and Susan giving their opinions on various matters, as well as the theological discussions of both the adult and children. All of them are enjoyable and thought-provoking. Despite some vagueness, Rainbow Valley is utterly lovely and golden. How I wish for a Rainbow Valley of my own, and a group of such children as the Blythes and Merediths to tryst in it with! LMM is an author who instantly instills in me a desire to live in the worlds of her books. How I wish, too, that there was another book between Rainbow Valley and Rilla of Ingleside that shows all of the Blythes and Merediths growing up! I come to care so deeply for them.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Manybooks

    While I have most definitely always enjoyed reading about both the Meredith children and Anne and Gilbert Blythe's offspring encountering both fun and sometimes even adventure in L.M. Montgomery's Rainbow Valley (and also do find Mary Vance not only entertaining but also very much a breath of reality, of the sorry fact that neglected and abused children existed even in L.M. Montgomery's for the most part oh so positive and delightful Anne of Green Gables universe), indeed Rainbow Valley has also While I have most definitely always enjoyed reading about both the Meredith children and Anne and Gilbert Blythe's offspring encountering both fun and sometimes even adventure in L.M. Montgomery's Rainbow Valley (and also do find Mary Vance not only entertaining but also very much a breath of reality, of the sorry fact that neglected and abused children existed even in L.M. Montgomery's for the most part oh so positive and delightful Anne of Green Gables universe), indeed Rainbow Valley has also never been amongst my personal favourites of the series. For one, and I guess first and foremost, while reading about Anne's children (and the Meredith kids) has been entertaining and engaging to a point, there also is simply and utterly too little Anne Shirley/Blythe (at least in an active enough role) present in Rainbow Valley and once again too much of that for and to me just simplyanqd utterly frustratingly annoying and full of herself Susan Baker. And yes indeed, even Cornelia Bryan seems as a married woman (as Mrs. Marshall Elliot) to in Rainbow Valley rather fade into the shadows and become less and less of an active and community oriented individual (for in my opinion, if the issues with the new pastor, if the problems of the Manse children, of Jerry, Faith, Carl and Una not being properly parented and often not even getting enough to eat had happened in say Anne's House of Dreams both Anne and Cornelia would have absolutely been much much more involved and actively so, and they also and certainly would not have cared all that much about possibly offending either the absent minded Mr. Meredith even if he is a minister or the rather annoying and full of herself aunt). And for two, while in Rainbow Valley both Anne and Gilbert's six children and the four Meredith siblings generally play the active parts (and of course also Mary Vance), I cannot help but notice that just like with Dora Keith in especially Anne of Avonlea, similarly quiet and introverted Una Meredith is often (at least to and for me) more than a bit ignored whilst the lion's share of L.M. Montgomery's attention seems to focus on her more outgoing and tomboyish sister Faith (and really, with ALL of the children, both Blythe and Meredith, Una does often simply just appear as rather pale and lifeless and not nearly as nuanced and intricately depicted and described, not as much as Dora Keith in Anne of Avonlea but still enough for me to have noticed this and been a bit annoyed at this, although I do appreciate that L.M. Montgomery has Una being the one to go to Rosemary West and ask for her to marry her father, as that took a lot of courage, considering that she had been told by Mary Vance that stepmothers generally are neglectful if not abusive to their stepchildren). A high three (actually three and a half) stars for Rainbow Valley and yes, while an enjoyable Anne of Green Gables series tale, too little Anne Blythe (Shirley) and Cornelia Bryan (Elliot), much too much Susan Baker and especially that little Una Meredith often does to and for my eyes and feelings seem to have been portrayed (and ignored) by L.M. Montgomery in a similarly lacking and one-sided fashion as Davy Keith's sister Dora, this all does rather make me not enjoy Rainbow Valley quite as much as I have always enjoyed and reread my favourite Anne of Green Gables novels.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Britany

    The Blythes are living in Four Winds and life is going great. They've befriended the local pastor and his family-- The Merediths. The Meredith family is very endearing. They have lost their mother and their father always seems so distracted (which really got on my nerves). They do the best they can with a useless Aunt Martha who makes disgusting food the children call ditto and many hijinks ensue. These poor little kids just warmed my heart right up with their preconcievened notions and how badl The Blythes are living in Four Winds and life is going great. They've befriended the local pastor and his family-- The Merediths. The Meredith family is very endearing. They have lost their mother and their father always seems so distracted (which really got on my nerves). They do the best they can with a useless Aunt Martha who makes disgusting food the children call ditto and many hijinks ensue. These poor little kids just warmed my heart right up with their preconcievened notions and how badly they wanted to protect their dad from the town gossip that went on behind his back. My favorite part was when Faith went into Norman Douglas' house and made her demands, and also the rooster Adam. I missed the Blythes in this book, particularly Anne. It seemed like the focus has shifted and while it was endearing, it was also slow moving and lacked the spark that Anne Shirley always managed to bring.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Celeste

    Full (mini) review now posted! If the previous book was more about Anne’s children than the woman herself, this installment was more about the children’s new neighbors than the children themselves. A new minister has come to town, and he’s an absentminded widower with four children. These are good kids, but they’re basically raising themselves and they more than a little wild. They get into all kinds of messes and scrapes, and were a pleasure to read about. As with all of the Anne books so far, e Full (mini) review now posted! If the previous book was more about Anne’s children than the woman herself, this installment was more about the children’s new neighbors than the children themselves. A new minister has come to town, and he’s an absentminded widower with four children. These are good kids, but they’re basically raising themselves and they more than a little wild. They get into all kinds of messes and scrapes, and were a pleasure to read about. As with all of the Anne books so far, everything ends up working out just fine. This installment actually felt more like a children's book than the three or so books before it. While I would’ve loved more Anne in this story, they new little cast of characters Montgomery created were delightful, especially paired with appearances from characters I’ve grown to love as the series progresses. I can see why some Anne purists wouldn’t love this one, but it still worked for me!

  8. 5 out of 5

    Elaina

    ~4.5 stars~ Ok I'm going to be honest, this wasn't my favorite Anne of Green Gables book...it was cute with all of the kids and it was interesting to learn more about the Blythe children, but the majority of the time this was about their neighbors, the Merediths. I'm not saying it was terrible, because it wasn't...it just wasn't as good as some of the others in my opinion...please don't get mad at me for those who LOVED this one hehe xD

  9. 5 out of 5

    Shantelle

    I'm so happy I finally read Rainbow Valley! I read the previous books in the ANNE OF GREEN GABLES series by L.M. Montgomery a few years ago now ... but just never got around to book seven. Now I have! *grins* And it was fun! I'm so excited to get my hands on a copy of Rilla of Ingleside! It was wonderful to be back in this classic world, filled with wonderful characters. The bits we saw of Anne, I, of course, loved! I had missed her! She is as passionate, whimsical, sweet, and delightful as ever. I'm so happy I finally read Rainbow Valley! I read the previous books in the ANNE OF GREEN GABLES series by L.M. Montgomery a few years ago now ... but just never got around to book seven. Now I have! *grins* And it was fun! I'm so excited to get my hands on a copy of Rilla of Ingleside! It was wonderful to be back in this classic world, filled with wonderful characters. The bits we saw of Anne, I, of course, loved! I had missed her! She is as passionate, whimsical, sweet, and delightful as ever. And, I do admit, it thrilled my heart when someone said, "Anne Blythe!" Oh, brings back the memories of when she once despised the boy, Gilbert Blythe, while he did all he could to get her attention! <3333 I love their darling romance! Gilbert and Anne's children were lovely! ^_^ Jem, Dianna, Nan, Walter, Rilla ... who am I forgetting? Don't they have six children? It was a little hard to keep track, as we were seeing a whole lot of the Pastor Meredith's children as well: Jerry, Faith, Carl, Una ... And of course, the boisterous orphan girl, Mary. I felt all the children were pretty unique with their personalities, and their adventures were fun and humorous. Endearing and even heart-wrenching. Mr. Meredith and Rosemary's romance ... enchanting. One of my favorite parts of Rainbow Valley. I was very much angry with Ellen, but it all turned out so sweet. And when Ellen cried a little at the end ... "I hope we will all be happy." That was lovely. Now Susan, I could hardly stand! And even Miss Cornelia. There was something so arrogant and pompous about them. Always talking about other people and acting as if they're so much better! -_- I didn't appreciate their judgmental attitude, or wishy-washy-ness. Hopefully they'll get better in the next book. Rainbow Valley was a pretty slow-paced read, but that's generally how the ANNE OF GREEN GABLES series is. And when I'm in the mood for a classic, I quite enjoy peeking into Anne's life! ^_^ Wish we could have seen more of her! And Gilbert! My biggest complaint? While I feel there are some poignant (though subtle) faith themes running through Rainbow Valley, the characters do have a rather careless attitude when it comes to loving your enemies/turning the other cheek/forgiving wrongs/treating others as better than yourself. I just felt there was more than one time where the adults could have spoke of patience, forgiveness, and kindness to the upset children, instead of applauding their anger and even slight disrespect. Anyway, overall Rainbow Valley was an enjoyable read, and I look forward to returning to these characters.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Lady

    Like I always say, children are the best form of birth control. Even imaginative, sweet-natured children. Oh, lisping Rilla, being chased into the mud by a codfish-wielding Mary Vance... how I laughed uproariously over your plight, though I gathered from the soulful prose that I was meant to feel sorry for you. Seven books in, and I can't stop wondering what Anne was like in bed. When one of her litter of six was born, L. M. Montgomery wrote of a stork depositing a bundle of baby at the Blythe re Like I always say, children are the best form of birth control. Even imaginative, sweet-natured children. Oh, lisping Rilla, being chased into the mud by a codfish-wielding Mary Vance... how I laughed uproariously over your plight, though I gathered from the soulful prose that I was meant to feel sorry for you. Seven books in, and I can't stop wondering what Anne was like in bed. When one of her litter of six was born, L. M. Montgomery wrote of a stork depositing a bundle of baby at the Blythe residence. I was so flummoxed by the reference to this cliched bullshit that I couldn't even summon a proper giggle. It made me think of the horrible Victorian values that are with us still, in their myriad stifling forms. I suppose Vicki really did just close her eyes and think of England. I wonder what Liz thinks of the whole reproductive process.

  11. 5 out of 5

    E.F.B.

    4 stars. Rainbow Valley was a sweet little installment in the Anne series that was mainly focuses on the kids. It honestly felt like a bit of a spin off because of how much it focused on the Meridith kids, while Anne and family were practictally side characters. Still, I did enjoy it very much even if the shadow of the impending Great War did creep in here and there and make me sad. (Darn that Pied Piper metaphor that kept making me want to cry.) This story was so character driven I think the best 4 stars. Rainbow Valley was a sweet little installment in the Anne series that was mainly focuses on the kids. It honestly felt like a bit of a spin off because of how much it focused on the Meridith kids, while Anne and family were practictally side characters. Still, I did enjoy it very much even if the shadow of the impending Great War did creep in here and there and make me sad. (Darn that Pied Piper metaphor that kept making me want to cry.) This story was so character driven I think the best way to get in my likes and dislikes (more likes than dislikes this time, yay!) will be to simply talk about each character in turn. Gilbert and Anne: Though not the centers of attention in this story, they remained their wonderful lovable selves. Anne has matured beautifully while still maintaining her sense of wonder, imagination, and excitement for life, and while not perfect, she and Gilbert are still good parents. I thought it was nice to see that Anne has also become a trusted confidant for other children and adults in the community, largely just by being a patient and caring listener. It was also nice to see Gilbert doing his doctor thing from time to time. I honestly kind of wish Montgomery would have written a spin off book or two about him, because he's such a nice guy, but my one disappointment with this series is that we've never gotten to know him quite as well as Anne. The Ingleside kids are still likable as well. Even though they didn't all get equal representation in this one, we did get glimpses at all of them enough to see how they're growing and the kind of people they're becoming. I was especially proud of Walter for the way he grew in this book. He learned lessons about bravery, enduring pain, and that standing up in defense of someone else is worth it even if you get a few bruises. Which reminds me, he and Faith were so cute together. I'd ship them if it wouldn't make it hurt that much more when the events of the next book come. *weeps* Also, when I reviewed the 6th book in this series I complained that, while I liked the Ingleside kids, I was annoyed by the fact that the only other kids with whom we saw them interact were the mean ones. So, I was happy that this book featured them making those good friendships with the Meredith children that I'd wanted to see them making before. Speaking of which... The Meredith children and storyline reminded me a little bit of The Nanny Mcphee movies with how they misbehave because they didn't have a mother and their father loved them to bits but didn't know how to discipline properly. The difference being the Meredith's misbehavior was only immature and impulsive kids unintentionally doing things that set the gossips to talking as opposed to the Nanny Mcphee kids who very intentionally did bad things to chase off nannys and get their father's attention. In all reality, the majority of what the Meredith kids did wasn't all that bad, it was simply that the community (especially the "old cats" as Faith so aptly called them) dramatized and sensationalized it and were embarrassed by it because they thought it made them look bad to the Methodists. *eye roll* Even with this "bad behavior" I found the Meredith kids likable because of their sweet natures and good hearts, which is good, seeing how the story was mainly about them. Rev. Meredith: I had a love/hate relationship with Mr. Meredith. He seemed to be such a nice guy who, like I said above, loved his kids to bits and also seemed to be a genuinely good minister, but he was so distracted as to be ridiculous. Seriously, is anybody really that oblivious? I was glad that he got less oblivious as the story went on and he realized what he was missing, but the times when he fell back into it were still annoying. I also wishhe would have specifically put an end to the Good Conduct Club because some of the kids' but of course he didn't think to. Rosemary West: Generally a nice lady whom I liked. The only time she annoyed me was a chapter near the end when she and Ellen were both being ridiculously stubborn About something and I wanted to slap them both. Susan and Cornelia Elliot: I'm putting these two in the same paragraph because they only ever showed up in the same sections of story. They were...themselves. :) they're both still the same nosy and opinionated ladies we know. Whether you love them or hate them seems to depend on the reader, but I personally just find them funny and ridiculous. I also was proud of them both for finally listening to Anne about the Meredith children and making the choice to see the positives about them instead of the negatives. Mary Vance: Er...I honestly didn't like her most of the time. She was a bit of a know-it-all and also very self-absorbed. I can almost forgive the self-absorption given what her life was like before she met the Merediths...she pretty much had no choice but to look out for herself back then....but the know it all aspect was annoying no matter what. I did appreciate, however, that she took correction fairly easily and once she found out something she was doing was wrong, actually did make an effort to stop doing it. About the only likable thing about Norman Douglas and Ellen West was that they both understood the threat Hitler posed to the world before anyone else did. Otherwise, Norman was loud, brash, rude, and a bully. (I'll give him points for ignoring the gossips, but that's it.) Ellen was stubborn, strong-willed, and selfish. I see how they were a perfect match for each other, but they weren't perfect matches for me. In conclusion, all these characters came together to make a generally charming story that I enjoyed. But, due to the nature of the ending of thus book, I feel I must end my review by saying say: WHY YOU FORESHADOW SAD THINGS SO MUCH MONTGOMERY? THIS WAS OTHERWISE A SWEET AND HAPPY BOOK BUT YOU STILL HURT MY HEART! THAT ENDING DIDN'T MAKE ME WANT TO HUG THE BOOK AT ALL IT MADE ME WAMT TO CRY! AAARRRRG! *calms down* That is all. Carry on. Content Advisory: Violence: A child's arms are said to be black with bruises given to her by the woman she was living with and working for. Two boys get in a fist fight because one boy was calling a girl mean names and when the other boy told him to stop, the mean boy challenged him to a fight. (If the mean boy lost he would stop calling names.) We are only told of the first punch to the face which is said to be painful. After that the fight is skimmed over until one boy wins and the other boy's nose is said to be bleeding. Some of the girls who were watching the fight are crying by the end because the winners' fighting style was so vicious they thought he might kill the other boy. (We the reader are aware that he had no intention of killing him.) The nice boy is commended by adults for defending the girl's honor, even if it was via a fist fight. Swearing: No swears written out, but it's said that Mary Vance knows how to swear and occasionally threatens to do so, but then doesn't. She is eventially taught that this isn't a proper way for a young lady to talk. While swear words are not used, some mean kids call other kids names like "pig girl" and the other school boys have a habit of calling Walter "Miss Walter" because of his genteel personality, affinity for poetry, and dislike of violence and pain. Other: An individual with a rather brusque personality refers to the Chinese (his deceased wife used to send money to the missionaries in China) as "yellow". This individual also has no problem with yelling at and intimidating people, (including small kids and women) and the only way to earn his respect is to yell right back at him. He also seems to find it hilarious that everyone thinks he'll go to hell when he dies and states that that would actually be his preference, basically because he thinks hell would be more "interesting" than heaven. Mary Vance, while boasting to the other children about how good she and Mrs. Elliot are to each other, at one point says "I work like a n-----r" to make things easy for Mrs. Elliot. (To Mrs. Elliot's credit, I kind of think she'd have been embarrassed if she'd heard Mary say this.) SO. MUCH. GOSSIPING. This was mainly by minor side characters, but Susan, and (unsurprisingly) Mrs. Elliot participated in much of it. Worldviews: Sometimes the kids get ideas in their heads about God that are not biblical. Sometimes they are later corrected in a loving way. Sometimes no adults find out about it to correct them at all. As in all of the Anne books, there are some side characters who claim to be “Christian” but who do not behave as such. A man who used to go to church but doesn't any longer refers to himself as a pagan. Sexual content: None.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Obsidian

    I remember reading Rainbow Valley when I was a kid and enjoying it, but not loving it. I still have that same issue today. This is technically the 7th book in the Anne of Green Gables series. However, it was the fifth book published. L.M. Montgomery went back later and wrote Anne of Windy Poplars and Anne of Ingleside. I think that is why I often felt as if Anne of Ingleside was more dark than the earlier books in the series. This novel though it proclaims it is an Anne of Green Gable book really I remember reading Rainbow Valley when I was a kid and enjoying it, but not loving it. I still have that same issue today. This is technically the 7th book in the Anne of Green Gables series. However, it was the fifth book published. L.M. Montgomery went back later and wrote Anne of Windy Poplars and Anne of Ingleside. I think that is why I often felt as if Anne of Ingleside was more dark than the earlier books in the series. This novel though it proclaims it is an Anne of Green Gable book really has very little Anne or Gilbert. We now have Anne a mother of six children (3 boys and 3 girls) and still quite in love with Gilbert. However, most of the text follows the Ingleside's new neighbors, the Meredith family. The father is a minister who is still reeling from the loss of his wife and is doing his very best to raise his children in less than ideal conditions. We quickly see that each of the Meredith children (Jerry, Faith, Una, and Carl) have found themselves to be awe struck by the Ingleside children and one can imagine them as teenagers. The main reason why I marked this down two stars was the following: One, I really don't recall dislike Susan (Ingleside housekeeper) this much as a child, but I really found that she rubbed me the wrong way in this book. Perhaps if I had not read "Rilla of Ingleside" and "The Blythes Are Quoted" after this novel I maybe would not have had the urge to shake the character. We do find out that she has maternal feelings to the youngest Blythe son (Shirley) due to her nursing him since Anne was ill for several months after his birth. That is all well and good. However, you definitely see that he is her favorite and she dislikes anything that Anne or Gilbert do to discipline him though she doesn't care about what they do with the other children. That and her constant warbling about Walter (second oldest Blythe son) writing poems and her implying that he was not really a "man" was just awful. I am sure that was the prevailing attitude back then, but it did not make it any easier to read. Second, I have read I believe the majority of the short stories that L.M. Montgomery published. In many of them she has a number of themes she often returns to in these stories. The main storyline between John Meredith and Rosemary West was just that same storyline repeated in a longer novel. She often wrote short stories about one sister promising never to marry and the other sister holding her to it. I had forgotten that particular storyline until I re-read this the other day and I was dissatisfied by it since as I said I felt like I read the same story by L.M. Montgomery numerous times. All in all a good read for those that want to catch up (as much as they can) with Gilbert, Anne, and their children. Also it is the last "cheerful" book in the series since Rilla of Ingleside was much darker in tone and subject manner.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Laurence R.

    LMM's stories are the absolute loveliest. I just adore her characters! This book is cute and funny and mostly light-hearted, which is exactly what I needed.

  14. 4 out of 5

    A.

    The stories of Anne of Green Gables manage to cast such a cheerful, lighthearted glow on the world. At first glance it almost seems too much, as if the characters are unbelievable because the world isn't so bright and good all the time. But L.M. Montgomery doesn't avoid writing about characters that suffer, she just refuses to dwell on the misery in life. Even characters such as Mary Vance, or Lida Marsh have a hopeful feel to them. It makes me feel like some of our authors today try too hard, s The stories of Anne of Green Gables manage to cast such a cheerful, lighthearted glow on the world. At first glance it almost seems too much, as if the characters are unbelievable because the world isn't so bright and good all the time. But L.M. Montgomery doesn't avoid writing about characters that suffer, she just refuses to dwell on the misery in life. Even characters such as Mary Vance, or Lida Marsh have a hopeful feel to them. It makes me feel like some of our authors today try too hard, spend too much detail on the horribleness of life. I wish more modern authors would take after L.M. Montgomery's style, that a character's life doesn't have to be perfect, but the character can still be strong and get through it... and we don't have to wade through all the horrible, ghastly details.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Audrey

    I didn't expect to love the Meredith children (and unforgettable Mary Vance) so much, but I found them charming. This whole book was really delightful--filled with so much childhood innocence and gentle humor. This book had a central plot and was better constructed than the previous volume in the series. I think that's why I enjoyed it more. There is some serious foreshadowing in this. Montgomery was definitely preparing her readers for the looming cloud of war that shakes the world in the next I didn't expect to love the Meredith children (and unforgettable Mary Vance) so much, but I found them charming. This whole book was really delightful--filled with so much childhood innocence and gentle humor. This book had a central plot and was better constructed than the previous volume in the series. I think that's why I enjoyed it more. There is some serious foreshadowing in this. Montgomery was definitely preparing her readers for the looming cloud of war that shakes the world in the next book. That hint of gritty reality is so different than anything she has included in the series thus far. It's scary; this peaceful, idyllic life is about to become irrevocably altered. But in this book we get to savor one last romp with childhood wonder.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Beth

    This has always been one of my least-favorites of the series, but I reread all the Anne books this past week and couldn't leave this out. I might be a completionist, but still: a reread in the order I just read maybe isn't the most coherent? I started with Windy Poplars (the most underrated Anne, I think; I love it) and then read Anne of the Island (favorite!), Anne's House of Dreams, and Anne of Green Gables; I skimmed Avonlea (my second least-favorite), read Ingleside, then Rilla (so, so good), This has always been one of my least-favorites of the series, but I reread all the Anne books this past week and couldn't leave this out. I might be a completionist, but still: a reread in the order I just read maybe isn't the most coherent? I started with Windy Poplars (the most underrated Anne, I think; I love it) and then read Anne of the Island (favorite!), Anne's House of Dreams, and Anne of Green Gables; I skimmed Avonlea (my second least-favorite), read Ingleside, then Rilla (so, so good), then this. (Then I finished off with The Blue Castle for good measure. It's a sign of that I haven't found any compelling Newbery reading, by the way. Normally I'll read more than three Newbery possibilities over these four months...) Anyway - this is supposed to be about Rainbow Valley. This book is really the Merediths' book, and Anne is just the charming Mrs. Blythe, who hovers on the periphery, beloved by all. Can't say that's my favorite version of Anne. The Merediths are charming, if overdone; everything they do is terrible, but not their fault; and really, their father is too abstracted and clueless to ring true. But Mr. Meredith's relationship with Rosemary West is sweet, even if it's a little reminiscent of Windy Poplars (remember the story with Janet and John, who swore to his dying mother that he wouldn't marry and ~bring another woman into the house, and then his mother lived for twenty more years?) - but I really liked Rosemary - and Uma - and I found that charming regardless. This feels more like a collection of stories that would typically appear in the middle of House of Dreams or Ingleside, and not be its own book. But it is, and it's - decent! Fine! Not L. M. Montgomery's best. She made up for it by publishing Rilla of Ingleside next. Now that's a book.

  17. 5 out of 5

    kris

    Anne Blythe ("Mrs. Dr. dear") lives at Ingleside with a brood of children. Across the way is the manse in which lives the head-in-the-clouds minister John Meredith and his four "varmint" children. They wreak havoc in all the ways. 1. This is really a book about the Merediths. Pinning it to the tail end of the Anne series is almost insulting because there's no real reason for it. Anne herself barely features and her children are merely background characters to the impossibly precocious manse chil Anne Blythe ("Mrs. Dr. dear") lives at Ingleside with a brood of children. Across the way is the manse in which lives the head-in-the-clouds minister John Meredith and his four "varmint" children. They wreak havoc in all the ways. 1. This is really a book about the Merediths. Pinning it to the tail end of the Anne series is almost insulting because there's no real reason for it. Anne herself barely features and her children are merely background characters to the impossibly precocious manse children. Whom I mostly did not like. Ugh. 2. Here's why the pacing of this didn't work for me in this book but worked fine in Anne of Green Gables: between misadventures, Anne learns and grows as a character. She always finds new scrapes but there's obvious development as Marilla provides a source of steadiness and discipline and it's GOOD. It works. The Merediths don't grow or change or learn anything: they realize they need to do those things but without any actual influence in their lives, they're left to spin and fall into new scandals on the same scale and it gets old, fast. (Just imagine a similiar book set with the Meredith-West wedding early on: not only is there opportunity for scrapes, but there's the added conflict of the family figuring out their new dynamics and creating new traditions and solving problems together. COULD HAVE BEEN BETTER, METHINKS.) 3. Mary Vance is just a goddamned monster. EUGW. 4. Susan can also shut her mouth at any time, OMG. I was so uncomfortable.

  18. 5 out of 5

    stephanieisabookworm

    I actually ended up really really loving this installment. I think partly I love it because the children are the focus now--none of the indecision of the previous book, although there are of course digressions that focus a bit on Anne, and a few that focus on Mr. Meredith and the West sisters and a few other choice adults. I just LOVE the addition of the Meredith family to the Ingleside cast, and even though we really don't get to see their visits, it makes me deeply happy to know that the Blyth I actually ended up really really loving this installment. I think partly I love it because the children are the focus now--none of the indecision of the previous book, although there are of course digressions that focus a bit on Anne, and a few that focus on Mr. Meredith and the West sisters and a few other choice adults. I just LOVE the addition of the Meredith family to the Ingleside cast, and even though we really don't get to see their visits, it makes me deeply happy to know that the Blythe family still goes back to Avonlea to visit rather regularly. However, there are a few honestly chilling moments of foreshadowing of World War One, which I think rather add to the book than detract from it, giving it a bit of added depth and urgency: we know these charming, happy days will soon come to a brutal end because of the Great War. (Am I starting to sound like the narrator of this series??) Despite how Anne may feel about it, Four Winds will never be as dear to me as Avonlea, nor Ingleside as loveable as Green Gables, but they're almost there, and I truly enjoyed reading this book.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Castiron

    Anne’s kids find new playmates. Overall, a bit better than Anne of Ingleside — the Blythe kids are more interesting in this book, and the Meredith children are a lot of fun. My one major gripe is Rev. John Meredith, the severely absent-minded minister father who supposedly loves his kids but who doesn’t notice their poor food and household conditions, and on the rare occasions where he wakes up enough to notice, he doesn’t do anything about it, until he finally gets married to a woman who’ll tak Anne’s kids find new playmates. Overall, a bit better than Anne of Ingleside — the Blythe kids are more interesting in this book, and the Meredith children are a lot of fun. My one major gripe is Rev. John Meredith, the severely absent-minded minister father who supposedly loves his kids but who doesn’t notice their poor food and household conditions, and on the rare occasions where he wakes up enough to notice, he doesn’t do anything about it, until he finally gets married to a woman who’ll take care of all that. I don’t find him funny or endearing; I pity him, but I also find him criminally irresponsible. At the very least, he could apply to one of his neighbors for advice — the Blythes live quite nearby, for example — or he could shell out the money for a good housekeeper; there’s no hint that this would be impossibly expensive for him. He’s one of these people who would make a fabulous contemplative monk or celibate priest but who has no business being a family man.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Rachel

    I thoroughly loved this! It was funny and the characters were charming, particularly Norman and Ellen. I just LOVED their romance. I was horrified by the maltreatment of Mr Meredith's children, though. What started out funny quickly became full-blown neglect, and no one did a damn thing about it. Still, she's back on the side of poking fun at religion. Yay! "Mr Wiley used to mention hell when he was alive. He was always telling folks to go there. I thought it was some place over in New Brunswick I thoroughly loved this! It was funny and the characters were charming, particularly Norman and Ellen. I just LOVED their romance. I was horrified by the maltreatment of Mr Meredith's children, though. What started out funny quickly became full-blown neglect, and no one did a damn thing about it. Still, she's back on the side of poking fun at religion. Yay! "Mr Wiley used to mention hell when he was alive. He was always telling folks to go there. I thought it was some place over in New Brunswick where he come from." Mary is way more like what an orphan servant would be than Anne ever was. "Fancy!" said Mary. "I saw the main street in Charlottetown once and I thought it was real grand, but I s'pose it's got nothing on heaven." "We are bringing ourselves up, you know, because there is nobody to do it." Faith says a variation of this to Mr Meredith about three times and he feels HORRIBLY GUILTY and then does fuck-all about it. What a shit dad.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Hope

    I sometimes think you have to be in a certain mood to enjoy the Anne books. It took me almost half the book to warm up to these characters. But by then I'd come to love the pastor's children with all of their quirks and troubles. Even sardonic, sensible Susan (with her annoying habit of addressing Anne as "Mrs. Dr. dear") found a place in my heart as she knit a pair of stockings for Faith because "Susan never worried over poor humanity. She did what she could for its betterment and serenely left I sometimes think you have to be in a certain mood to enjoy the Anne books. It took me almost half the book to warm up to these characters. But by then I'd come to love the pastor's children with all of their quirks and troubles. Even sardonic, sensible Susan (with her annoying habit of addressing Anne as "Mrs. Dr. dear") found a place in my heart as she knit a pair of stockings for Faith because "Susan never worried over poor humanity. She did what she could for its betterment and serenely left the rest to the Higher Powers." A sweet story full of humor, pathos, and happy endings. Note: There's one unfortunate use of the "N" word, which would not have been considered inappropriate at the time of the book's publication.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Manisha

    Review to come.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Kristi

    2.5 stars. This book follows the adventures of Anne and Gilbert Blythe's 6 children as they grow older and meet the mischievous Meredith clan. It generally focuses on the adventures of the children, with Anne appearing only in passing. The children's adventures are amusing, but the core of the book for me was really the would-be romance between Mr. Meredith and Rosemary West. If not for that, the book would have lacked a strong emotional foundation. Many of the Meredith children's woes and misad 2.5 stars. This book follows the adventures of Anne and Gilbert Blythe's 6 children as they grow older and meet the mischievous Meredith clan. It generally focuses on the adventures of the children, with Anne appearing only in passing. The children's adventures are amusing, but the core of the book for me was really the would-be romance between Mr. Meredith and Rosemary West. If not for that, the book would have lacked a strong emotional foundation. Many of the Meredith children's woes and misadventures can be traced to the fact that they lack a mother, a proper housekeeper, or an attentive father, so the reader naturally begins to wish that someone would just help these kids out. That helps to link the childish and romantic aspects of the book quite nicely. I would really only recommend this book to completists who feel that they just have to finish a series; I suspect that most Anne fans won't find it particularly compelling. At this point in the series, the books are really just a series of charming vignettes about children living in a quaint time and place. As I mentioned in my review of Anne of Ingleside, much of the appeal of the original Anne of Green Gables was the adversity that Anne faced. The Blythe children lack any kind of meaningful adversity; their lives are essentially perfect. Perhaps that's why the Meredith children and other characters such as Mary Vance (who hailed from the same orphanage as Anne) were introduced. I will also echo the sentiment found in others reviews that it's a shame that we don't hear more about Anne herself or about any of the folks at Green Gables. Much of the core of the series seems to have been lost, which is a real shame.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Nyx

    Sono quattro stelle piuttosto scarse, in realtà. Stavolta ho avvertito qualche scricchiolio perché non sono riuscita ad entrare in sintonia sin da subito con i nuovi personaggi, i Meredith, le cui vicende monopolizzano la narrazione a tal punto da apparire come gli assoluti protagonisti di questo settimo romanzo. A parte questo piccolo intoppo iniziale, Rainbow Valley si è rivelato in fin dei conti così gradevole che riesco persino a passar sopra il fatto che l'azione di Anna e Gilbert all'interno Sono quattro stelle piuttosto scarse, in realtà. Stavolta ho avvertito qualche scricchiolio perché non sono riuscita ad entrare in sintonia sin da subito con i nuovi personaggi, i Meredith, le cui vicende monopolizzano la narrazione a tal punto da apparire come gli assoluti protagonisti di questo settimo romanzo. A parte questo piccolo intoppo iniziale, Rainbow Valley si è rivelato in fin dei conti così gradevole che riesco persino a passar sopra il fatto che l'azione di Anna e Gilbert all'interno della storia è circoscritta ai consueti, estenuanti dialoghi infarciti dei soliti, esasperanti pettegolezzi con Miss Cornelia e Susan (Gilbert è talmente indaffarato che gli è stata concessa appena una battuta, UNA - e sì, le ho contate).

  25. 4 out of 5

    Hannah

    I feel like I would've liked this one better if it hadn't been labeled as an Anne book. I mean going into it I didn't expect it to really focus on Anne much, but almost none of her or her children played any part of the story whatsoever. The Blythes had cameos, but nothing more. Instead we mainly follow the Meredith children, and while they were adorable and sweet, I had no connection with them, and when I was expecting an Anne book, it was very disappointing. There were a lot of great moments i I feel like I would've liked this one better if it hadn't been labeled as an Anne book. I mean going into it I didn't expect it to really focus on Anne much, but almost none of her or her children played any part of the story whatsoever. The Blythes had cameos, but nothing more. Instead we mainly follow the Meredith children, and while they were adorable and sweet, I had no connection with them, and when I was expecting an Anne book, it was very disappointing. There were a lot of great moments in this book though. And L.M. Montgomery's writing is so comforting to read during the cold, long, winter months. But yeah, I must say this is probably my least favorite in the series.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Nancy Ellis

    This is actually more of the story of a widowed pastor's children and a runaway, but Anne's children also play a part in it. More beautiful writing with characters to fall in love with and a setting which you wish you could jump into! There is an undercurrent of change running through the book. Even though it was finished shortly after World War I, it takes place before the war, but more than once a hint of what's to come is given which makes it all the more poignant. With only one more book lef This is actually more of the story of a widowed pastor's children and a runaway, but Anne's children also play a part in it. More beautiful writing with characters to fall in love with and a setting which you wish you could jump into! There is an undercurrent of change running through the book. Even though it was finished shortly after World War I, it takes place before the war, but more than once a hint of what's to come is given which makes it all the more poignant. With only one more book left to read in the series, I'm already feeling sad to be leaving my visits with Anne and her family!

  27. 4 out of 5

    Fatemeh Nazari

    خب اين كتاب نه تنها آنه حضورش كم بود بلكه بچه هاى آنه هم نقش زيادى نداشتند. بيشتر از هر چيز ماجراى كشيش جديد و فرزندانش بود. درست است كه اين كتاب هفتم، شباهت خيلى كمترى به كتاب هاى قبلى مجموعه ى آنه شرلى داشت، اما از اين ماجراهاى كوچك و بانمكش لذت بردم و خيلى زود كتاب را تمام كردم.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Eva

    LOVE IT LOVE IT LOVE IT. I love all the children (except Mary Vance) and how brave my darling Walter is and John and Rosemary's romance (it's my favorite 'side' romance in the whole series, I think). Almost everything about this book is sweetness and adorableness. <333333

  29. 5 out of 5

    Rachel Maxwell

    I want to wallop Mary Vance and I wish there was more Anne. I miss my Anne Girl.

  30. 5 out of 5

    MC

    To say that I was disappointed with Anne of Ingleside - the sixth book in the Anne Shirley series, by L. M. Montgomery - would be an understatement. My review of that book details why it is my least favorite book in the series that I've read to date. It was with this in mind that I read the seventh book, Rainbow Valley, with some apprehension. I was willing to give it a try, because I was told by some friends how it was MUCH better than the abysmal (to my view) Anne of Ingleside. I can honestly To say that I was disappointed with Anne of Ingleside - the sixth book in the Anne Shirley series, by L. M. Montgomery - would be an understatement. My review of that book details why it is my least favorite book in the series that I've read to date. It was with this in mind that I read the seventh book, Rainbow Valley, with some apprehension. I was willing to give it a try, because I was told by some friends how it was MUCH better than the abysmal (to my view) Anne of Ingleside. I can honestly say that, while not nearly as good a read as Anne of Green Gables or Anne of Windy Poplars, it was quite a fun book nonetheless. This book, like the previous one, focuses on the children, the next generation, if you will, with the main difference being that for this book the Blythe children themselves are secondary characters. The “manse children” or the kids of the new Presbyterian minister, who is a widower of a few years are the actual primary protagonists, along with another character that also seems to displace the Blythe children in importance. This other character is a girl named Mary Vance, and boy is she ever a hoot! The minister, John Meredith, has four children, Jerry, Carl, Faith and Una. These children get in so many scrapes reminiscent of what Anne got into in the first two books, but with them it's more because they have no firm hand guiding them. Mr. Meredith often has his head stuck in the clouds, and is very much unable to focus on present concerns. His wife really was a “help meet” for him, to quote Genesis, and without her, he has been lost. The children are not bad, just unsupervised and untaught in the way of decorum or proper manners. The little children meet a young girl who ran away from her foster mother. This girl is, of course, the aforementioned Mary Vance. Her foster-mother, and her own relations before hand, were terribly abusive, and she is starving and in miserable condition as a scared run-away. The manse children take pity on her and help her, right under the nose of their father, who doesn't notice a blooming thing. Of course, the rest of the town notices, and points it out to him eventually. John Meredith investigates, and finds out the foster-mother has since died, and eventually Mary ends up adopted by the least likely people of all.... Mrs. Marshall Eliot, aka, Miss Cornelia, and her husband! The family they make is almost worth the story by itself. There is, of course, romance, as there usually is of some kind in an Anne Shirley book, but I won't get into that too much, as I can see I've spoiled enough already. This book was far superior to the previous one with actual characterization, and wasn't quite as formulaic as the previous two were. It also showed the responsible, moral, and decent sides to Anne and Gilbert that were so visibly lacking in the previous volume. That said, I do have a problem with one aspect of the children. It's just a small criticism, but the scene where little Walter avenges himself on a boy that mocks his mom and his friend, Faith Meredith, and everyone congratulates him for it, bothered me. That is appropriate enough to stand up for yourself. But little Faith acted snotty towards the boy in question, and hurt his feelings, so he retaliated, leading to the fight with Walter. No mention seems to be made of how this was wrong as well. For some reason, it made Walter and Faith like bullies, at least to me. It also seems to teach that sometimes it's good to be mean and snobbish to people, or put them down, if they “deserve it”. Then again, this could just be my admitted pet peeve, as I absolutely DESPISE snobbishness. The foreshadowing of the coming conflict in WWI is here once again. From a character, Ellen West, stating her disdain for the Kaiser of Germany, to the end pages where the boys talk of how they would fight and have grand adventures in some amorphous, fictional war, like in the stories. Here it is done more poetically and yet more somberly, to make a very melancholy, but somehow still satisfying ending. Anne knows her sons' dreams of greatness, and humors them as she reflects that the time of wars is gone. Man is past all of the foolishness, she thinks. She is sadly mistaken, as will be revealed in a few years, with the advent of the Great War. The ending of Rainbow Valley is particularly poignant in this regard, as Montgomery paints a picture of a time of innocence about to end. He (Walter) began to speak dreamily, partly because he wanted to thrill his companions a little, and partly because something apart from him seemed to be speaking through his lips. "The Piper is coming nearer," he said, "he is nearer than he was that evening I saw him before. His long, shadowy cloak is blowing around him. He pipes - he pipes - and we must follow - Jem and Carl and Jerry and I - round and round the world. Listen - listen - can't you hear his wild music?" The girls shivered. "You know you're only pretending," protested Mary Vance, "and I wish you wouldn't. You make it too real. I hate that old Piper of yours." But Jem sprang up with a gay laugh. He stood up on a hillock, tall and splendid, with his open brow and fearless eyes. There were thousands like him all over the land of the maple. Let the Piper come and welcome," he cried, waving his hand. "I'LL follow him gladly round and round the world." This part of the book struck a chord with me, perhaps because it was so much more thoughtful and respectfully written than the remonstrances on the subject of the Great War in the previous novel. Or perhaps because I can see myself in these fictional boys, as even as late as my early 20s, I harbored the same silly notions. The silly ideas that these fictional boys have - that all boys and men untouched by war keep, whether they admit it or not - that had to be knocked out of me by experiences. How we need our heroes and adventures! But how disastrous and life-changingly awful it is to us when our adventures are real, and we must be the heroes. Idealism and causes go out the window, to be replaced by cold, hard, unforgiving realities. These fictional boys, like myself and all real-life boys and men who march to drums of battle or of necessity, we all march for adventure that is a shroud of mist quickly dispersed, and to the beat of the Pied Piper whose robes are of the color of Death. War is often necessary in our utterly sinful world until Christ redeems us and Creation at the final hour, but woe to them who yearn for the adventure of it. Our dreams are shattered, and we are left to pick up the pieces. A moving and worthwhile book to read, and one that truly touched my heart. Highly Recommended.

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