2011: 72. Rainbow Valley

Rainbow Valley

Rainbow Valley

L. M. Montgomery

"It was a clear, apple-green evening in May, and Four Winds Harbour was mirroring back the clouds of the golden West between its softly dark shores."

         When I was in third grade, at the height of my Anne obsession, my parents decided to take us on a family vacation to Prince Edward Island, which, in case you don't know, is where Anne lives (i.e., where Montgomery grew up, and where most of her books are set).  Beyond cementing their reputations as the world's greatest parents, this was wonderful because it gave me access to so many Montgomery books that I hadn't known existed,* and I grabbed all I could.  The best, and the most amazing to 9 year old me, was finding out that there weren't six Anne books, as I had thought, but eight.  That's right, my collection** had ended with Ingleside.  Learning about two new Anne books was such an exciting and formative experience that to this day I sometimes have dreams about there being even more Montgomery books I haven't read yet.

        Beyond those fond memories, I do just love Rainbow Valley.  I love Anne's kids.  When I was young, me and my best friend (the only other Queen of Booklandia), used to "play Anne," but we really played Anne's kids, and so I have such a soft spot for this book, which tells of their adventures, and introduces their partners in crime (and, future spouses) the Meredith family.  More on that in my Rilla review, but let me just say that Montgomery, who was clearly tired of Anne, managed to write a novel in which Anne was a character, but really stands on its one.  Filled with classic Montgomery scrapes and adventures, plus a lovely little love story, with Reverand Meredith and Rosemary West.  And you can't enjoy Rilla (i.e. the best Anne book) as much if you don't know the children.  So read this one, and then read Rilla!

Categories:  Fiction, Re-Read, L.M. Montgomery Project

*BTW, I seem to have been lucky enough to hit my Montgomery obsession during a  mini Montgomery boomlet, in which all her books were reissued, and all those story story collections (watch this space) came out - and I bought most of them just in regular bookstores - remember B. Daltons?  Maybe because it was right around when the movies starring Meghan Fellows came out? Anyway, it seems like the books aren't quite so accessible now, more's the pity.  Luckily, I have hoarded them all!

** Another memory just flashed into my head - I got the first six books for a birthday present. I so clearly remember opening them (for some reason, it seems like I was in my aunts old house, in Rowley, Ma.) and being ridiculously excited.  Like, it was one of the greatest gifts I ever got.  What a nerd! But what a killer gift!!

© Carrie Dunsmore 2017