In reading the Anne of Green Gables series, for the L.M. Montgomery Reading Challenge, at Reading to Know, I decided to skip over Anne of Windy Poplars, which is the fourth book in the boxed set I own, in favor of reading the series in the order in which it was written, making Anne of Windy Poplars last. Instead, I moved right on to Anne's House of Dreams, which begins with Anne's wedding, and follows the young couple through life in their first home.
Let me say right up front, that I enjoyed the book. It's quite different from the first three books in the series, except for it's happy conclusion, but it grew on my as I was reading it. At first, I was a little disturbed by a change in writing style. It felt as if Montgomery were telling me about the story, instead of telling me the story. I missed all the little details of action she included in her earlier works.
And, I think if I were to read it again, I might skip the first four chapters altogether. They read very much like a script for a reunion episode of an old television series, which has been off the air for several years. Anne sits enthroned, in preparation for her wedding, as all of the characters from the previous three stories parade past in person, or in letter, to update Anne, and the reader, on their lives, and quickly reminisce about some amusing happening from the earlier stories.
Once, the couple is settled into their "house of dreams", in the island community of Four Winds Harbour, the story begins to move forward though, with a Bronte like sense of mystery, and tragedy, toward the tidy, happy conclusions one expects from Montgomery. New characters are introduced, and developed in a way that begs a second reading.
Although, I cannot say this is my favorite of the series, I can say I enjoyed reading it, and will return to it again in the future.
It's great to be a homeschooler.