L.M. Montgomery - Anne of Windy Poplars

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Anne of Windy Poplars, Spooks' Lane, Summerside

Feb 19, 2002 (Updated Feb 2, 2009)
Review by  
Rated a Helpful Review

Pros:May inspire some to write; promotes family values

Cons:None; it's "just enough"

The Bottom Line: A favorite "Anne" chapter, full of what's great about that imaginative, verbal, ever-improving auburnhead.


Anne Shirley, newly a Redmond College B.A. and an engaged woman, puts in her last years of singlehood as a teacher in Summerside. She finds the perfect place to board and a few extra-promising students, but half of Summerside is the prickly Pringle tribe, who aren't shy about slinging thorns. But what if the perfect weapon is closer at hand than Anne or the Pringles could ever have thought?

But if the Pringles are out of the way, what then? Oh, there's a special challenge every year. Anne has plenty to report to her future doctor-husband. And when she's in just the right mood and has just the right pen, it's mushy-love-stuff time (["Several paragraphs omitted"] is the coy code. And hey, why not? When you're a bit weary of "Sex and the City," turn it off and cuddle up with real 19th/early-20th?-century R-O-M-A-N-C-E.)

Some chapters are little more than catalogues of names with vignettes of gossip; Anne's last big adventure is an overnight visit with the sole surviving member of a large, tragic clan, and she bends Anne's ear and writer's imagination with stories about who her various relatives were and exactly how they died.

At one point, Anne gives an older friend a seriously-well-deserved day out by taking her place at looking after her elderly, crotchety Ma. (The woman is the youngest of a large family and it becomes obvious why none of her siblings have stayed around to help her out.) Even on the evening she visits them to set it up, she soon realizes how much her friend REQUIRES a holiday from caregiving. This toxic octogenarian ("toxogenarian"?) manages to wear out Anne's patience(!). But mention anyone to this woman and her opinion of him/her will always be preceded or followed by "His/Her mother was a [Surname]." Even her husband and mother-in-law get a mention.

Beginning or more-advanced writers might be inspired to play around with names, foibles, and tragedies of small-town clans. Maybe the next big "unforgettable young hero/ine" is nudging at the brain of one of you! Meanwhile, enjoy ANNE OF WINDY POPLARS, and good reading, writing, and writer's luck!


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