Anne of Ingleside (Anne of Green Gables #6), by L. M. Montgomery
Publish Date: 1939 (audiobook published in October 7, 2017)
Published by: Dreamscape Media
Pages: 274 (approx. 11 3/4 hours)
Genre: MG Fiction/Classics
My Rating: ★★☆☆☆ (2 out of 5 stars)
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 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!
Well. I was a little wary going into this one based on the reviews, and my can I say they are accurate. Where the previous books were all engaging and enjoying to read (or in my case, listen to), this one was kind of a bore and a struggle to get through. If it hadn’t been for the fact that I found an audiobook version on Hoopla, I probably would still be trying to make my way through the ebook. As it is, the audiobook was read by someone who was not the best at narrating (especially when compared to Karen Savage on librivox who is so enchanting to listen to) and the recording itself sounded robotic.
As other people have said, Anne felt jilted in this book, shoved aside to give the spotlight to her brood of children, all who dealt with random and seemingly endless escapades in the glen. They all seemed to go about the same way too: One of the children would get some strange notion into their head, they would then act foolishly on it – usually by doing something that ought to get them reprimanded – and when they realized what they did, would go crying to Anne who would comfort them and forgive them. Diana’s stories felt like they repeated themselves, and poor Shirley never even got a story. I loved Anne’s imagination in the first book and all the things she did with it, but somehow her children’s imagination was just plain annoying in how they allowed it to possess themselves.
Anne and Gilbert, meanwhile, seemed to become a stereotypical mother and father one might see cookie-cuttered into other books of a similar type. Anne – caring, doting, taking care of the house, once in a while remembering that she used to write things, and kind of losing that vibrant personality that I fell in love with. Gilbert, meanwhile, became “The Doctor” who was always off birthing a baby or saving someone’s life. I felt like I was missing their old connection, the personalities that had built their relationship, and now they were just figureheads. I would also like to mention that the summary on here for this particular novel is very misleading – the bit about Anne feeling like Gilbert doesn’t feel like he loves her anymore didn’t even happen until the very end of the novel. For the longest time I thought that plot point had been mistaken (and I would have been fine if it had been). And when things were reconciled, they focused mostly on their physical looks and how much better they looked than everyone else in their own eyes, and honestly that just disgusted me considering how their love had first grown.
The other thing was just how it felt like there was no overall connection between these annecdotes. They just happened and things moved on. Where in other books everything felt like it flowed one right into another, in this one is felt like a series of short stories connected only by location and family. One of the most annoying and useless chapters was the one where the Ladies’ Aide sewed a quilt and gossiped about completely irrelevant topics. I don’t even understand why that chapter was necessary in the scheme of things.
Overall, this book was a disappointment. It almost makes me want to not continue with this series, but I made it this far and I am determined to see it through. Plus, while the next one looks to be just as dull and uninteresting as this one, the final book in the series does look like it should have some promising plotline.
Beat the Backlist 2018 | Books Completed Toward Goal: 20/20