Monday, February 08, 2010

Anne of Windy Poplars

Ahhh, I finally made it through Anne of Windy Poplars which I confess I had to lay aside for about a week simply because the book was getting on my nerves and I lacked the will power to finish it immediately.

I have always had a hard time with this particular title because you can tell that Montgomery was just flat out bored with Anne and didn't want to be writing about her - again. To give you a quick summary of the story: Anne is off to teach at Summerside High School (which, those of you who have watched Anne of Green Gables - The Sequel will recognize as Kingsport Ladies' College.) Kevin Sullivan pulled a lot from Windy Poplars and plugged it into the movie sequel. This book is about Anne's time among the Pringles. Instead of being written in the third person, it is mostly comprised of letters which Anne is writing to Gilbert. She "dear-ed" and "darling-ed" and "beloved" him to the very death of all of us in this book and it begins to grate on one's nerves after a bit!

Anyway, this book is all about Anne's time teaching and I would suggest that there's not very much that is remarkable about this particular story. Yes, there are some new characters, some more compelling than others. However, the bottom line is that Montgomery was bored and it's easy to tell. Diana is pushed aside almost completely, now just having had a daughter that MOTNGOMERY DOESN'T EVEN NAME! (I find that unconscionable.) Ok, but before you start thinking I don't like Montgomery, I should stop. I'm just miffed at her for this particular book. That said, I shall summarize my few favorite lines from this book in participation with Melissa's carnival:

In writing to Gilbert about her feelings relating to the Pringles she says:

"There go more italics! But a few italics really do relieve your feelings." (Chapter 2)

I agree, Anne. I agree!

Moving on . . . although this book is mostly comprised of letters, Montgomery intersperses the letters with some prose from time to time - seemingly whenever the whim struck her fancy. She is explaining how Anne felt when conversing with a rather high strung individual in this next excerpt from the book:

"You can't have many exclamation points left," thought Anne, "but no doubt the supply of italics is inexhaustible." (Chapter 11)

Ever feel like you are dealing with someone with the highs of exclamation points and the lows of italics? I thought this was kind of clever on the part of Montgomery.

At the same time - that's all I've got from this book: her way of explaining personalities through punctuation and grammar. Ah well! I'm grateful that in the next book Anne and Gilbert get married and, as Anne describes with wonder near the end of Windy Poplars - there will be no more need for any letters between them.



Quick final note:

If you'd like to learn more about Montgomery and her works, visit Ingleside Impressions to learn more about the L.M. Montgomery Literary Society. This literary society was formed in 1991 by Carolyn Strom Collins and Christina Wyss Eriksson whose names you might recognize as having authored The Anne of Green Gables Treasury. (You can click on that title to read my review of it.)

Ingleside Impressions is offering a "free e-sample" of The Anne of Green Gables Treasury (26 pages) at the time of this posting. You can request this sample by emailing inglesideimpressions (at) gmail (dot) com

Go forth! Have fun!


Barbara H. said...

I've known of people who seem to talk all in exclamation points, and I've wondered what they do when they're really excited.

I also wonder how they wrote in italics when writing by hand. More of a slant, I guess.

aspiritofsimplicity said...

I admit that I do love italics. But, I tire of them and sometimes just do this....which in my own mind means the same thing.
I carry on more than one conversation at a time also and the italics are like doing that in print.

Brooke from The Bluestocking Guide said...

You have to admit though, what Gerald and Geraldine did to Pamela Drake was amusing.

Janet said...

I love these quotes. And I like to use italics too... They're friendlier than ALL CAPS, which can look angry. :-)

This reminds me of a Stephen Wright joke where he talks about days where he feels very quiet as days when he's in parentheses.

Becky said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Becky said...

I always found it interesting--though I missed it the first time around as a teen--that the Anne books are written all out of order. Anne of Windy Poplars and Anne of Ingleside are both written after all the other Anne books. Anne's House of Dreams, Rainbow Valley, and Rilla of Ingleside all were written and published before this one.

Karyn said...

I love Anne and I even enjoyed this book, although I think it would have been better without the letters.

I wondered, like Barbara H, how Anne would write in italics since she was using pen and ink.

Amy @ Hope Is the Word said...

I've always liked this book, believe it or not. Something about all the minor characters (although I guess in this book they're actually major characters, huh?).

Love the quotes!

Susanne said...

I wonder if the Pringles would annoy me as much in the book as they did in the series. LOL. I've been know to use a few too many exclamation points myself.

Melissa said...

I haven't gotten to this one, yet. Up next for me is Island. I'm surprised you didn't like a book of letters, since you adore Guernsey as much as I do. ;-) Then again, that's an exceptional book!!!!!

Framed said...

This was one of my least favorite Anne books also. I didn't remember that it was written in letters to Gilbert which could explain why I didn't love it as much. Mostly I found the characters less likeable. Those Pringles!!

Lisa Spence said...

Nope, Windy Poplars was not my favorite Anne. Actually, if truth be told, the older Anne got, the less I liked the novels. Do love the italics quotes!

Barbara H. said...

Once again checking your review after posting mine. I hadn't caught that LMM didn't name Diana's baby -- that's sad. And I just saw somewhere that this was written after the other books? I wonder why -- just to fill in the time gap? Or to make a place for characters in her head that she had no other place for? This wasn't my favorite as well.

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