Anne of Ingleside
A book review for parents
This historical romance is the sixth book in the "Anne of Green Gables" series by L. M. Montgomery and is published by Starfire, an imprint of Random House Children's Books.
Anne of Ingleside is written for kids ages 12 and up. The age range reflects readability and not necessarily content appropriateness.
Anne is married to Dr. Gilbert Blythe and lives in Ingleside. The book consists of a series of adventures that Anne and her children have, rather than an actual plot. Walter is dropped off at a neighbor's home when Anne is ready to give birth. He thinks his mother is ill and might die, so he runs home during the night to be reunited with her and find his new sister, Rilla. Gilbert's elderly Aunt Mary Maria overstays her visit and dampens the happy home with her sour attitude and criticisms. She leaves in a huff after Anne gives her a surprise birthday party because Anne announced her age. Nan and Di make friends with girls who fabricate lies and disillusion them about other friends. Jem's puppy dies, and he adopts a dog that misses his original owner and is finally returned to the owner. Anne attempts to be a matchmaker, but she looks foolish when she discovers the young couple that she is trying to get together has already been secretly engaged. Anne gives up her writing, except when she writes an obituary for an acquaintance. Anne worries that Gilbert has forgotten their anniversary and no longer loves her. She envies his former girlfriend when they meet at a party. Anne later discovers Gilbert still loves her and has been waiting to celebrate their anniversary until his gift for her arrives.
Little Nan decides that she can bargain with God and seems to be good at it until she believes she has caused her mother to be ill. She can't keep her part of the bargain and walk through a cemetery so God will heal her mother. Anne comforts Nan and explains that God gives without asking, is so much kinder than people and knows how to give good things. Susan, the Blythe's housekeeper, declares that Providence ordained that she should remain an old maid.
Anne, Gilbert and Susan are in authority over the children. They listen to them and are devoted to training them up. The children learn to listen to their elders and to apologize when they have been naughty.
Other Belief Systems
Two of Anne's friends briefly argue about evolution with Miss Elliot. One declares that science proves evolution, and the other states that evolution is nonsense.
Di disobeys her mother and stays overnight with her friend Jenny Penny. At Jenny's home, Di trembles with fear when one of Jenny's brothers tries to kiss her. She backs away, hits her head and falls. The children think she has died. Di pretends to be dead so they will carry her home. They deposit her body on her porch and run away.
If your children have read this book or someone has read it to them, consider these discussion topics:
- What are some of the lies told in this novel?
How do people react to those lies?
How do you react when you discover someone has lied to you?
How was the truth discovered in this book?
What helps you discern truth?
- Why does Nan bargain with God?
Why is bargaining with God not a good way to pray?
What does Nan learn about bargaining with God?
How should you pray?
- What are some of Aunt Mary's critical ways?
How can you be kind when someone is mean or critical?
- Why is Anne concerned about her relationship with Gilbert?
What does she do?
What should she have done?
How can you approach someone when you are concerned about a relationship?
- How does Anne learn to be grateful for her life?
What are you grateful for in your own life?
How can you find something kind to say about other people even if they have not acted kindly?
Book reviews cover the content, themes and worldviews of fiction books, not their literary merit, and equip parents to decide whether a book is appropriate for their children. A book's inclusion does not constitute an endorsement by Focus on the Family.