Title: Anne of Windy Poplars by
Author: L.M. Montgomery
Read by: Tara Ward
Publisher: Dreamscape Media, LLC
Length: Approximately 9 hours and 7 minutes
Source: From the Kewaunee Public Library through the Overdrive System
While Gilbert is finishing medical school for three years, Anne is the principal of Summerside High School in the town of Summerside. She resides with Aunt Kate, Aunt Chatty, and Rebecca Dew in a rented room at Windy Poplars. Anne has a troublesome time taking over the reins as principal, but as she is Anne Shirley, she preservers.
This book is different than the first three in the series as it is made of up letters that Anne has written to Gilbert about her experiences. It’s also interesting as Anne of Windy Poplars is the fourth book chronologically by Anne’s age, but it was the seventh book written, twenty years after the series was complete. You could tell at times when Anne says things such as good thing Canada is beyond being involved in wars. That was foreshadowing what will happen in the last book of the series, Rilla of Ingleside.
I loved Tara Ward’s narration. She has a wonderfully expressive voice and acted out the parts giving a new voice to each character. It was a very enjoyable listening experience.
LM Montgomery is such a wonderful character writer. I loved the crabby old lady who wouldn’t let her daughter have a day away and the crabby old man that sulked and wouldn’t speak to his family which led to an explosive family dinner that Anne attended. Anne met a lot of new and interesting characters in this book and almost seemed to have a magical way to solve their problems.
This novel does tell Anne’s story of gaining acceptance in Summerside, especially from the Pringle clan and also how she helped out her fellow teacher, the very cranky Katherine Brooke. Anne also spends a lot of time helping a lot of different people around town. The novel seemed more vignettes of their individual stories. I was having a bit of troubles with my audiobook at times and I would miss a minute (the Overdrive audio player wouldn’t pause in the car when someone would call. Aaah!!) and be very confused on where I was as there were all new characters suddenly. I wish the characters would have interacted more so I didn’t learn about them in one section only to never hear about them again for the rest of the book. I am a great fan of LM Montgomery’s short stories so this worked for me thinking of them as short stories.
Dusty Miller is a fabulous name for a cat – it’s the name of the cat that lives at Windy Poplars. I need a new gray cat just so I can name it that. I almost feel like there should be a book called the “Cats of Green Gables” that describes and pictures the different interesting cats that are in the series.
“Gilbert darling, don't let's ever be afraid of things. It's such dreadful slavery. Let's be daring and adventurous and expectant. Let's dance to meet life and all it can bring to us, even if it brings scads of trouble and typhoid and twins!" (Anne to Gilbert)”
“Isn't it queer that the things we writhe over at night are seldom wicked things? Just humiliating ones.”
“It was really dreadful to be so different from other people…and yet rather wonderful, too, as if you were a being strayed from another star.”
“Nothing worthwhile is every easy come by.”
Overall, Anne of Windy Poplars is an interesting part of the series that fills in the three-year gap with Anne’s doings and interesting stories, but it is not as strong a novel as the previous three books. That being said, even a not as strong LM Montgomery book is still a very enjoyable experience, and I loved listening to this audiobook.