Anne’s House of Dreams is probably my least favorite in this series. I can’t give it more than three stars; if I’m 100% honest, and it wasn’t an Anne book, I’d probably bump it down to two stars. This is the most self-indulgent book of the series, and there are very few gems in the cast of characters. Plus, and this is completely silly I acknowledge, “the race that knows Joseph” doesn’t have the same ring as “kindred spirits”.
So here we are, Anne is 25 and FINALLY marrying Gilbert. The newly minted Dr. Blythe is taking a position in Four Winds (on the sea side of PEI? Somewhere that isn’t Avonlea at any rate) and so he and Anne get a house there and set up shop. Over there we meet a new cast of characters, the only one I really like being Miss Cornelia Bryant whose opinion on men and Methodists is that they’re both equally useless. Also included are the extremely tragic, pathetic, ill-fated but extremely beautiful Leslie Moore and the story teller Captain Jim.
I think the story that most irked me in this book is Leslie’s story. It is beyond soap-operatic in its ridiculous tragedy. And what irritates me even more, is that she holds herself aloof from the world because she’s so tragic (this doesn’t bother me so much) but when Anne tries to get close her partial failure is justified because she doesn’t really know tragedy. Guys, I’d like to remind you this is the girl who spent the first eleven years of her life unwanted and unloved. And these eleven years are brushed off as being a minor thing compared to the things that Leslie has seen. It is beyond aggravating. But the final capper is when tragedy does strike Anne’s life, and a really sad thing does happen in the book, that’s when Leslie finally thaws completely because now she can really relate to Anne. NOOOOOOPE.
Miss Cornelia is hilarious, and straight out of the Rachel Lynde type of characters. She brightened the book every time she came into it. And her proclamation of “isn’t that just like a man” after some terrible story, was just perfect. Captain Jim is someone I can tell Montgomery wants me to like, but I mostly found him annoying.
I think this book is worth reading if you’re reading all of the Anne books for the first time, but honestly I tend to skip over it when I re-read the series.