Sunday, November 24, 2013

Sunday Salon: Reading Anne of Windy Poplars

Anne of Windy Poplars. L.M. Montgomery. 1936. 288 pages. [Source: Bought]

Anne of Windy Poplars is such a lovely little epistolary novel. Readers are privileged to share in some of Anne's letters to her beloved Gilbert. In these letters there are hundreds (if not thousands) of character sketches sharing details about Anne's life and new experiences as she teaches at a high school in Summerside, Prince Edward Island. (Highlights include Rebecca Dew, "Little Elizabeth" (Grayson), Katherine Brooke, Aunt Chatty and Aunt Kate, Jen Pringle, Mrs. Gibson, Lewis Allen, Teddy Armstrong (Little Fellow), Gerald and Geraldine (the twins she babysits...once), Jarvis Morrow, Dovie Westcott, Miss Minerva Tomgallon, etc.) Some people just get a brief sentence or two, but oh what Montgomery can do with just a few sentences or even a few words! Montgomery, at her very best, can bring more life and humanity to a character than a good many contemporary writers do in an entire novel. Other characters have whole episodes about them. For example, readers really get to spend some time with Katherine Brooke! One of my favorite episodes--if episode is the right word--is Anne and Lewis out canvassing for subscriptions to the drama club. They meet a "little fellow" named Teddy Armstrong. That story just gets me every single time! Montgomery can bring me to near tears and yet not feel manipulative. How does she do that?!

Have you read Anne of Windy Poplars? How do you think it fits in with the rest of the series? Do you have a favorite character?

Favorite quotes:
I have a scratchy pen and I can't write love-letters with a scratchy pen...or a sharp pen...or a stub pen. So you'll only get that kind of letter from me when I have exactly the right kind of pen. 
You know I've always been one to whom adventures come unsought. I just seem to attract them, as it were.  
School begins tomorrow. I shall have to teach geometry! Surely that can't be any worse than learning it. 
Isn't it queer that the things we writhe over at night are seldom wicked things? Just humiliating ones.
I don't like reading about martyrs because they always make me feel petty and ashamed...ashamed to admit I hate to get out of bed on frosty mornings and shrink from a visit to the dentist!
Nobody is ever too old to dream. And dreams never grow old.
I said drenched and I mean drenched.
Oh, no, babies are never common," said Anne, bringing a bowl of water for Mrs. Gibson's roses. "Every one is a miracle."
It seems so strange to read over the stories of those old wars...things that can never happen again. I don't suppose any of us will ever have more than an academic interest in 'battles long ago.' It's impossible to think of Canada ever being at war again. I am so thankful that phase of history is over. 
Nobody is ever too old to wear just what she wants to wear. You wouldn't want to wear it if you were too old. 

© 2013 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

3 comments:

Kailana 9:19 AM  

One of these days I really must reread this series. I have them all and say that every year, I swear!

JaneGS 4:49 PM  

When was young and an ardent Anne fan, I skipped over Windy Poplars because of the epistolary format. I just assumed it wouldn't work. Boy, was I wrong. When I finally made myself read WP so that I could say that I had I discovered that I loved it. It's actually one of my favorite Anne books. I like Anne on her own--not in Avonlea, not in college, not with Gilbert--but figuring out life on her own. I need to reread this! Thanks for the trip down memory lane.

Carol in Oregon 5:35 PM  

I read through most of L.M. Montgomery this summer and I enjoyed something special about each book.

You are so right: the Teddy Armstrong story make me all throat-lumpy.

I would have a hard time designating one title as my favorite. It's usually the one I'm currently reading!

Post a Comment

I'm always happy to hear from you! To help fight spam, comment moderation has been set up for posts older than two days. Feel free to ask me questions or ask for recommendations!

Review Policy

I am interested in reviewing books and audio books. This blog focuses on books written for middle grade on up (essentially 10 to a 110). I review middle grade fiction and young adult fiction (aka tween and teen).

I also review adult books.

I read in a variety of genres including realistic fiction, historical fiction, mystery, romance, science fiction, fantasy, literary fiction, and chick lit. (I've read one western to date.)

I read a few poetry books, a few short story collections, a few graphic novels, a few nonfiction books.

I am especially fond of:

  • Regency romances (including Austen prequels/sequels)
  • Historical fiction set in the Tudor dynasty
  • Historical fiction and nonfiction set during World War II
  • Jewish fiction/nonfiction
  • dystopias
  • apocalyptic fiction
  • science fiction (especially if it involves time travel and alternate realities)
  • fantasy
  • multicultural books and international books

I am not a fan of:

  • sports books
  • horse books
  • dog books if the dog dies (same goes with most pets actually except maybe fish)
  • westerns (if it's a pioneer story with women and children, then maybe)
  • extremely violent books with blood, blood, and more blood

I am more interested in strong characters, well-written, fleshed-out, human characters. Plot is secondary to me in a way. I have to care about the characters in order to care about the plot. That being said, compelling storytelling is something that I love. I love to become absorbed in what I'm reading.

If you're interested in sending me a review copy of your book, I'm happy to hear from you. Email me at laney_po AT yahoo DOT com.

You should know several things before you contact me:

1) I do not guarantee a review of your book. I am just agreeing to consider it for review.
2) I give all books at least fifty pages.
3) I am not promising anyone (author or publisher) a positive review in exchange for a review copy. That's not how I work.
4) In all of my reviews I strive for honesty. My reviews are my opinions--so yes, they are subjective--you should know my blog will feature both negative and positive reviews.
5) I do not guarantee that I will get to your book immediately. I've got so many books I'm trying to read and review, I can't promise to get to any one book in a given time frame.
6) Emailing me every other week to see if I've read your book won't help me get to it any faster. Though if you want to email me to check and see if it arrived safely, then that's fine!

Authors, publishers. I am interested in interviewing authors and participating in blog tours. (All I ask is that I receive a review copy of the author's latest book beforehand so the interview will be productive. If the book is part of a series, I'd like to review the whole series.) Contact me if you're interested.

Unique Visitors and Google PR Rank

Free PageRank Checker

Pageloads Counter

Search Book Blogs Search Engine

The background is based on a background I found here...with some small adjustments on my part so it would work with the template.
Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

  © Blogger template Newspaper III by Ourblogtemplates.com 2008

Back to TOP