Anne’s House of Dreams (Lucy Maud Montgomery)

Anne’s House of Dreams is the fifth novel in the Anne of Green Gables series by Lucy Maud Montgomery.
Finished on: 27.9.2022
[Here are my reviews of the other novels in the series.]

Anne and Gilbert are finally getting married, and Gilbert has already found the perfect house for them: a romantic little cabin at Four Winds Point, close to Mary St. Glen where GIlbert can take over as the town doctor. Anne happily settles into the house, married life and into the neighborhood, peopled with loveable characters like the much-traveled yarn-spinner Captain Jim, or Miss Cornelia Bryant who prefers to remain unmarried and helps the poor families around her. But Anne is most intrigued with her neighbor Leslie Moore, the most beautiful woman she has ever seen , and whose tragic life story captures Anne’s attention.

Anne’s House of Dreams is probably the most romantic Anne book so far, filled with love, tragedy and pathos – much like the books Anne herself would love to read. It definitely got me emotionally invested.

The book cover showing a red-headed woman standing in front of a small white house.

When I read the first Anne of Green Gables book, I was struck by how well it lends itself to a queer reading. It seems obvious that Anne is in love with Diana, and maybe more female characters. That feeling disappears for a while from the series, but it is absolutely back in this book: Anne is totally in love with Leslie. I mean, she is also in love with Gilbert and they are very cute together, but the greatest romance in the novel is between Leslie and Anne.

I thought it interesting that Anne has to experience some tragedy to relate better to Leslie (and what a tragedy it is, I cried), because growing up an orphan, even if she had 15 years of love in the meantime, seems like enough tragedy for me. But maybe it wasn’t so much that Anne needed to be reminded of hard times than it was Leslie who needed to be jolted out of seeing Anne’s life as the gold standard.

I was also a bit surprised by how well off Gilbert and Anne are. Not that this happens magically, he is a doctor and everything, but it’s not even a question that Anne might continue to work as a teacher after they get married. And as soon as she’s pregnant, they hire somebody to work in the household. I had to readjust my expectations there, and that was probably the part of the book that showed the most that is over a hundred years old.

I definitely loved Cornelia Bryant and Captain Jim, they were so absolutely lovely. I especially liked in the former that she really is unmarried by choice. No sad old spinster or anything. Her rejection of men, which is a bit of a satire of feminist talking points, but also often simply accurate, is clear and principled, but she allows herself to be happy when it’s time to make a different choice (and that choice is equally clear and principled).

In short, Anne’s House of Dreams continues this wonderful series in a great way.

Summarizing: sweet.

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