Publisher: Bantam Books
Synopsis: The spectre of the first world war that we saw in Rainbow Valley comes to fruition and the boys of Glen St. Mary go off to war. Left at home is young Rilla and the rest of the women. What follows is four years of joys and sorrows and growing.
My Thoughts: It is possible that this is my favourite book in the Anne series. Anne was more of a heroine for me growing up but this book really captured me in my early teens. I have no idea how many times I read it between the ages of 14-18 but to say that I read it at least twice a year is no understatement. I should add that at the same time I had a bit of a thing for war stories in general.
What I find particularly good about this book is the fact that it shows the home front during the first world war, something I have found relatively little written about. A lot of the focus is usually on the second world war. I also appreciate that the book is about Canada and not one of the usual suspects when it comes to war narratives.
This book has me in floods of tears at times and has the romantic in me going all gooey at other times. Montgomery has somehow managed to balance the lovely with the sad to a perfect mix. And I still love it as much now when I am an adult as I did as a teenager. Strangely enough I can still identify with Rilla as much now as I did then. Although I now lament the fact that we do not get as much Anne as I would have liked. It is fantastic to get a teenaged girls point of view on the events of the war that was to be the war to end all wars, but I would also have liked the views of the mother.
Like the other Anne books this book is told in an episodic fashion but because of the war there is more of cohesive theme and a feeling for time. It isn’t quite as jumpy and not all the stories are events. The narrator also switches at times. Mostly it is an omniscient narrator but occasionally it is Rilla who tells the story, primarily through her diary entries. The switching is never a problem but rather it feels very organic.
My love for this book has put me in a bit of a predicament. The ending is somehow both satisfying and unsatisfying. I’ve always wished that there was one more book so that I could find out what happens to, primarily, Rilla. Now I’ve found out that there is another volume that at least could answer some questions. You’d think I would pounce on it. But part of me is scared that it won’t end the way I want it to. I’ve had my mouse hovering over the click to buy button several times. I’m just scared. Should I buy it? Has anyone read The Blythes Are Quoted? Will it make me happy?