Overview from www.bn.com: Anne is the mother of five, with never a dull moment in her lively home. And now with a new baby on the way and insufferable Aunt Mary Maria visiting – and wearing out her welcome – Anne’s life is full to bursting.
Still, Mrs. Doctor can’t think of any place she’d rather be than her own beloved Ingleside. Until the day she begins to worry that her adored Gilbert doesn’t love her anymore. How could that be? She may be a little older, but she’s still the same irrepressible, irreplaceable redhead – the wonderful Anne of Green Gables, all grown up …. She’s ready to make her cherished husband fall in love with her all over again!
I picked up the Anne of Green Gables series with the title Anne of Ingleside which picks up a few years after the last Anne book, Anne’s House of Dreams.
When this book opens Anne and Gilbert have been happily married and living in their new house, Ingleside, for years. For Anne this is an amazing fact since as readers might remember from the last book, Anne practically leaves her house of dreams kicking and screaming. The idea to move is Gilbert’s and though she knows he is probably right, she can’t see herself being happy anywhere else.
The good news is that years later she now sees that Ingleside has charms all its own. For one thing, it houses they’re growing brood of children the house of dreams could never have done that.
Most of Anne’s four children have been born there. The oldest one who was born in the other house is often teased by his siblings that he was not born in the house of dreams like they were. Anne then has a fifth and final child named Bertha Marilla (called Rilla) in that very house.
But first they must contend with an unexpected new resident in Gilbert’s “gloomy Aunt Mary Maria.” The name alone is rather redundant and so is Mary Maria.
In the beginning, Anne is told that she will be visiting for three weeks but weeks have a way of turning into months. When all is said and done Mary Maria is there for a year.
During that year, Anne becomes severely depressed without wanting to admit it. Nothing is good enough for her which drives everyone crazy. Even their eating habits become fodder for Mary Maria complaints. The children in particular or objects of her criticism.
They are at a loss as to what to do about they’re unwanted house guest as Gilbert says that he will never turn away a member of his own family though even he feels the strain of her “visit.”
Anne is worn out from dealing with her yet she can’t bear to insult her and keeps wishing that Gilbert would do it. Yet in the end, it is Anne’s decision to throw Mary Maria a birthday party that drives her away forever. Unintentionally, Anne frees herself and her family to live the way they want without criticism and life can now go on happily.
Later in the book Anne faces the fact that she is getting older along with her husband. She worries that perhaps Gilbert is tired of her and that he children will soon be grown and gone. In the end she must make the best of what she has while she has it, before it is all gone.
I liked this one almost as much as some of the other Anne books but it is not one of my favorites. I don’t know why but I just couldn’t get used to the author referring to Anne as “Mother” so much even though I know from the children’s’ points of view, that is who she is.
And while we are in the children’s’ points of view (as we are for most of the novel) we don’t get too much of Anne’s take on things except through the children’s’ eyes. We hear what she tells them only, for the most part and for me this was the only negative to the story.
The rest was enjoyable. I am glad Anne is changing but at the same time a little sad. At least she still understands how much joy a child can get from his or her imagination though she sometimes lets hers get a little carried away with her—and not in a good way.
So, I guess I liked it but it wasn’t a favorite. Still, it is good to see that Anne is still around as long as the books endure.