About the Book

Title: Anne’s House of Dreams (Anne of Green Gables #5)
Published: 1917
Series: Anne of Green Gables
Swoonworthy Scale: 6

Cover Story: Yadda, Yadda, Yadda
BFF Charm: x10
Talky Talk: Of The Times
Bonus Factor: Captain Jim, Wedded Bliss
Relationship Status: The Great Influence

Cover Story: Yadda, Yadda, Yadda

Like a true old friend, it doesn’t matter what images this cover conjures up for those people on the train or in the pub who might see you with it, you KNOW what’s inside this book, and what treasures it holds for you.

The Deal:

Anne Shirley and Gilbert Blythe get married (HUZZAH!). They move away from Avonlea, to Four Winds, where Gilbert is to be a doctor. They meet new friends. Stuff happens. It’s mostly awesome.

BFF Charm: x10

BFF platinum charm

By and by we’ve all come to know just how wonderful and special Anne is, and all would swear undying affection, but in this book, we get to see how good a friend she can be to others. Although the bosom friendship young Anne shares with Dianna will always be my favorite, the more difficult path that leads Anne to her unity with Leslie is truly beautiful, and speaks more to the trials of adulthood –its delights and its sorrows– in a sweet frankness that well represents that fully-developed red-head we’ve come to love.

Swoonworthy Scale: 6

It’s kind of felt like a swoon drought here in Anne-world. But she and Gilbert are FINALLY married! Yay! Montgomery is almost too stingy with the swoony moments between Anne and Gilbert, but there is an underlying current of true romance that satisfies.*

Plus, we get Leslie and Owen! The first swoonworthy couple in the Anne series apart from Anne and Gilbert themselves! And what swoon it is! Love at first sight! Forbidden! Concealed! Impossible! Yet we just KNOW it’s all going to work out, because this is Anne Shirley’s world. And it does.

*Okay, to be honest, I’m NOT really satisfied. I don’t want smut, or anything. That would feel sacrilegious, but I sure wouldn’t mind I few good sound smoochies, overwrought with that passion that I KNOW stirs in the loins of one Gilbert Blythe.

Talky Talk: Of The Times

This is the book that lost me when I was a young. It seemed to me then that Anne just gave up all of her dreams and ambition as soon as she was wed. Suddenly she dissed her own writing skills, and all she talked about was keeping house for the young doctor. Then there were the times when ‘women’ were generalized about as having no sense, and when Anne and Gilbert truly disagreed about something (telling Leslie there was hope to ‘cure’ poor useless-formerly-a-douchebag Dick) Gilbert turned out to be right. And WHAT was up with the weird way she illuded to Anne being pregnant? She had a dream in her heart? WTF?! And then THAT awful tragedy. And people trying to tell Anne that it was God’s Will that brought about the biggest heartache of her life?!! Pardon me, but that sentiment is such bullshit. Anne was right to disagree. Bad things, horrible things happen. They’re not meant to happen. But they sometimes do. And we go on, and we grow, and we encompass the heartache along with the joy, and it adds layers of color to our life. But I digress…

As an adult, I view all these with temperance. Are they still there? Yes. Do I have a better perspective of the times Montgomery was writing in and about? Yes. Did I recognize the not-so-thinly veiled counterpoint she made in Miss Cornelia? Hells yes! What I’m trying to get at is this: Montgomery created in Anne a heroine not afraid of being proven wrong. And she created in Gilbert a hero who cherished his wife –and her opinion, in a time when such ideas were just boiling under the surface of most people’s subconscious. And she did it with humor and charm.

I still can’t explain the weird pregnancy lingo.

Bonus Factor: Captain Jim

William Shatner as Captain Kirk, looking furious

Okay, so I Google-image searched ‘Captain Jim’ and couldn’t resist. Although our Captain Jim is a delightful crusty old sea captain, full of so many stories I sometimes felt that Anne’s House of Dreams was his life-book. Some of my favoritest parts are just reading the banter back and forth between him and Miss Cornelia, and others, when he would tell some tale, whether it be about his sea-fairing days or something his little nephew had said. If I had been Anne, would have named my first son James Matthew, too.

Bonus Factor: Wedded Bliss

So it was actually awesome to read of Anne and Gilbert’s daily lives and fun and so forth. But. But, you guys.

One of our awesome readers, Alix, sent us an email to discuss this (along with ALSO mentioning the strange language Montgomery used to describe Anne when she had a bun in the oven).

Anne and Gilbert move to Four Winds. On their wedding day. And when they arrive at their new little house of dreams? The neighbors are waiting to greet them! And they stay for dinner! And then they stay, like, all shizzing night, just chatting away, telling stories. These two kids just got hitched!!!! You don’t have to tell us about it, but geez! Leave them to it!

So I’ve rewritten that passage, with all honor and homage intended, and dedicate it to you, Alix:

After dinner, Captain Jim regaled the young doctor and his bride with some stories of Four Winds through the years, when Gilbert abruptly stood, opening the front door.

“Well, it’s been lovely to see you all. Thank you for the welcome, the company and the sup, but I fear we must bid you goodnight.”

“Oh, well…”

“Yes, yes, of course…”

“You jes’ come on down to the lighthouse soon’s you get a chance. Them that knows Joseph must stick together.”

When the door was closed behind the last of their company, Anne and Gilbert turned to each other, blissfully tired and thoroughly in love. Gilbert took Anne in his arms and kissed her –soundly.

“Hello, Anne-girl.” And she took him up to bed.

Relationship Status: The Great Influence

In my life, I have been very fortunate. Things always seem to work out for the best. It’s not that there aren’t any hardships, it’s just that there is more joy and ease of life. I firmly believe that a person’s expectation of a situation has a hand in how said situation turns out. I realized while reading this book that Lucy Maud Montgomery’s writing instilled in me an expectation for the fantastical. Call it misguided, call it whimsy, hell, call it ridiculous, but I do like to believe in good things. And (knock on wood) it seems to be working.

FTC Full Disclosure: I received neither money nor cocktails for writing this review (dammit!). Anne’s House of Dreams is available now.

Jenny grew up on a steady diet of Piers Anthony, Isaac Asimov and Star Wars novels. She has now expanded her tastes to include television, movies, and YA fiction.