Overview from www.bn.com: Anne Shirley has left Redmond College behind to begin a new job and a new chapter of her life away from Green Gables. Now she faces a new challenge: the Pringles. They’re known as the royal family of Summerside – and they quickly let Anne know she is not the person they had wanted as principal of Summerside High School. But as she settles into the cozy tower room at Windy Poplars, Anne finds she has great allies in the widows Aunt Kate and Aunt Chatty – and in their irrepressible housekeeper, Rebecca Dew. As Anne learns Summerside’s strangest secrets, winning the support of the prickly Pringles becomes only the first of her triumphs.
Novel number four in the Anne of Green Gables series finds our main character, Anne Shirley in yet another town and a different job. She is now the principal of a high school in the town of Summerside which is apparently a little different from being a principal of a high school in the modern-day USA. She teaches her own class in addition to disciplining wayward students that other teachers send her way.
Unfortunately for Anne, the deck is already stacked against her long before she arrives to take up her position. The town’s royal family of sorts, called by the last name Pringle, wants to punish her for getting the job ahead of one of their own. They do everything they possibly can to thwart Anne’s attempts to assimilate, even banning her from the church choir.
However, she does have a few residents on her side including Aunt Chatty and Aunt Kate (and their housekeeper Rebecca Dew) who have taken her on as a border at Windy Poplars after the Pringles refuse to. While she eventually succeeds in making the Pringles and their offspring behave she still struggles with a new coworker who is determined not to like her.
Just like the last novel in the series, Anne of the Island, this story is filled with a cast of colorful characters. I once again came to fall in love with many of Anne’s new friends, even when they seemed unlikable. Anne has a way of digging beneath the surface and finding out what the real trouble is in a given characters’ life and making him or her change for the better. I love her for this though it makes me a little sad that I have not met an Anne in real life. This book, I guess, is the next best thing. When I felt a little depressed at times, Anne got me through. Much of the story is told through Anne’s letters to Gilbert and sometimes I would imagine that Anne was writing the letter to me and not him. This worked most of the time.
My favorite character besides Anne herself was little Elizabeth. She tugged at my heart when her name changed along with her mood. Her grandmother was so mean that it broke my heart to see such a sweet girl so pulverized till there was little of her courageous spirit left.
I can’t say enough good things about this Anne book but there was one thing I didn’t like about it. Gilbert is not in most of the story. Anne’s letters to him are really the only sense you get that he’s even still around. I guess this was appropriate though given that they hardly see each other at all during the three-year period that this novel covers. I have a feeling that the next book will feature him more and I am glad for it. I hope you will agree.