Synopsis: Anne Shirley becomes a principal at Summerside High School, and moves to Windy Poplars for three years while she teaches and writes to Gilbert Blythe.
Review: Sweet, enchanting, and a bit random.
Anne of Windy Poplars is book four in the popular classic series Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery. Told mostly in letters from Anne to her fiancé, Gilbert Blythe, Anne of Windy Poplars bounces around between characters within the town of Summerside, and you never know where the story will go next.
If you are familiar with the miniseries Anne of Green Gables and Anne of Green Gables – The Sequel, then some of the events that happen in this entry will not surprise you. I’m talking about the arrival of the Pringle family to the story, and also the entrance of Katherine Brooke, cranky vice principal. This is about where the similarities end, as Anne of Windy Poplars tells various stories, mostly humorous, about Anne’s life in Summerside.
Anne takes on a principal job in Summerside, and boards at the home called “Windy Poplars” that is situated on Spook’s Lane. And of course, as soon as Anne hears what the home is called, she wants to live there. I don’t blame her! It sounds deliciously picturesque, and there’s also an old graveyard nearby as well to wander around in. Windy Poplars belongs to the widows, Aunt Kate and Aunt Chatty, and their live-in help, Rebecca Dew. All three of these characters were delightful, and I hope they appear again in future installments of the series! I just had to laugh when they were each using buttermilk on their face and hiding the fact so the others didn’t notice. And there is also a persnickety cat, named Dusty Miller, who was hilarious to read about as well, especially because Rebecca Dew constantly has to clean up after the cat. Too funny!
Besides the stories of the widows and Rebecca Dew, there is the neighbor girl Elizabeth Grayson, who has a sad story in that she is constantly looking for “Tomorrow”. Left by her father to be raised by her grandmother, she is sheltered and unloved, and lives in a world of make-believe.
There is the Pringle family, who dislikes Anne Shirley, and goes to great lengths to make her leave the school, and also Katherine Brooke, a cranky vice principal that Anne tries to befriend.
My favorites were the love story of Nora and Jim, and also Miss Minerva Tomgallon who lives all alone in a big mansion and has many wild tales to tell of her family. My favorite scene was the dinner scene with Cyrus Taylor. I won’t say anything else about that scene, for spoilers, but it was hilarious and laugh-out-loud!
Not a whole lot of memorable plot happens in this book, but I was okay with that. I took this book to be more of a ramble through Anne Shirley’s world, and I’m always pleased to get back to a simpler, kinder time, where people have the time to look outside and appreciate nature.
Bottom Line: An enchanting visit to the world of Anne Shirley.
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Have you read Anne of Windy Poplars? Which entry in the Anne of Green Gables series is your favorite?