Rilla of Ingleside (Anne of Green Gables #8), by L. M. Montgomery
Publish Date: 1921 (audiobook recorded in August 2006)
Published by: Librivox.org
Narrated by: Karen Savage
Pages: 277 (approx. 8 1/2 hours)
Genre: MG Fiction/Classics
My Rating: ★★★☆☆ (3 out of 5 stars)
Anne’s children were almost grown up, except for pretty, high-spirited Rilla. No one could resist her bright hazel eyes and dazzling smile. Rilla, almost fifteen, can’t think any further ahead than going to her very first dance at the Four Winds lighthouse and getting her first kiss from handsome Kenneth Ford. But undreamed-of challenges await the irrepressible Rilla when the world of Ingleside becomes endangered by a far-off war. Her brothers go off to fight, and Rilla brings home an orphaned newborn in a soup tureen. She is swept into a drama that tests her courage and leaves her changed forever.
While this one was definitely more interesting than the previous two in the series, I felt like things got away from the characters a bit and the amount of facts about the war became a little much, especially in audiobook format. Part of it was also that Rilla herself wasn’t all that inspiring of a character, and of the ones I cared about, I already knew what was going to happen to Walter from book 6 and Anne and Gilbert are once again just vacantly there. I really wish she would have stopped calling Gilbert “the doctor” all the time, as though his profession became his entire personality.
I did like that Rilla went through some character development, especially concerning her dealings with Jims, but I did not feel that I cared at all for her romance with Kenneth Ford. He just up and fell in love with her for seemingly no reason? And there were definitely some entertaining and gripping scenes, but there were just so many things being told about the battles of the war one right after the other that sometimes I forgot about the characters themselves. Also, Mathilda Pickman was such a deus ex machina and while I loved her as a character, I wish she hadn’t appeared in only one chapter, and near the end at that.
It was an okay ending to this series. But honestly I think that, overall, I would have been happy if it had ended after Anne’s House of Dreams. Or maybe even sooner than that. The first one will always be my favorite, though.
Beat the Backlist 2018 | Books Completed Toward Goal: 23/20