Title: Anne’s House of Dreams
Author: L.M. Montgomery
Read by: Justine Eyre
Publisher: Tantor Media
Length: Approximately 7 hours and 50 minutes
Source: From the Kewaunee Public Library through the Overdrive System
The fifth novel of the series, Anne’s House of Dreams starts with Anne and Gilbert finally having their dream wedding. Times were different back then – Anne couldn’t have Diana as a bridesmaid as she is already married. The happy couple set off for their new home near the village of Glen St. Mary where Gilbert will be helping his Uncle with his medical practice with the goal of eventually taking over. There they settle into their little “house of dreams” with Anne starting the role of keeping house for Gilbert.
This novel doesn’t focus solely on their new marriage, but it is more about the neighbors and friends that they make while in their house of dreams. There are great characters and side stories. Leslie Moore is a beautiful and tragic neighbor. She was married young at 16 to the odious Dick Moore under pressure from her mother to keep the family home. An accident while on a trip to the Caribbean renders Dick brain damaged and handicapped. While he is easier to handle, Leslie is unable to have a family or great love in her life. What will happen to Leslie?
Captain Jim is an elderly neighbor who watches the light house with his cat and tells fantastic stories of his adventurous youth. Miss Cornelia Bryant does not have a great fondness for men, but she knows that Anne is one of the “race that knows Joseph” which seems akin to “kindred spirits”.
I always think of the Anne of Green Gables series as a happy story, but there is a dark chapter of loss in this book as Anne and Gilbert lose their first child. Anne is not strong after this and maid Susan Baker comes to live with the Blythes to help them out. It’s hard to think of strong vivacious Anne losing a child and being in such a weakened state. Listening to my own family stories, this happened to my own Great-Grandmother in the 1920s and a nurse was brought in to take care of her.
Anne’s House of Dreams was delightful to listen to on audiobook. Justine Eyre is a great narrator and have good voices for the various characters. It is an enjoyable tale to listen to, although I did feel emotional during a few moments. Hopefully no one was looking into my car to see my tears dripping down my cheeks.
“My library isn't very extensive but every book in it is a friend.”
“I'd like to add some beauty to life," said Anne dreamily. "I don't exactly want to make people KNOW more... though I know that IS the noblest ambition... but I'd love to make them have a pleasanter time because of me... to have some little joy or happy thought that would never have existed if I hadn't been born.”
Overall, Anne’s House of Dreams is a wonderful story full of unforgettable characters and showcases the early years of Anne and Gilbert’s marriage. It is wonderful as an audiobook.