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Rainbow Valley Hardcover – Jul 1975

4.5 out of 5 stars 23 customer reviews

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Hardcover, Jul 1975

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Chambers; New edition edition (July 1975)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0245527982
  • ISBN-13: 978-0245527982
  • Product Dimensions: 18.4 x 13 x 3.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,431,659 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

About the Author

Lucy Maud Montgomery OBE (November 30, 1874 – April 24, 1942), called "Maud" by family and friends and publicly known as L. M. Montgomery, was a Canadian author best known for a series of novels beginning with Anne of Green Gables, published in 1908. Anne of Green Gables was an immediate success. The central character, Anne, an orphaned girl, made Montgomery famous in her lifetime and gave her an international following. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

Rainbow Valley


It was a clear, apple-green evening in May, and Four Winds Harbour was mirroring back the clouds of the golden West between its softly dark shores. The sea moaned eerily on the sand-bar, sorrowful even in spring, but a sly, jovial wind came piping down the red harbor road along which Miss Cornelia’s comfortable, matronly figure was making its way towards the village of Glen St. Mary. Miss Cornelia was rightfully Mrs. Marshall Elliott, and had been Mrs. Marshall Elliott for thirteen years, but even yet more people referred to her as Miss Cornelia than as Mrs. Elliott. The old name was dear to her old friends; only one of them contemptuously dropped it. Susan Baker, the gray and grim and faithful handmaiden of the Blythe family at Ingleside, never lost an opportunity of calling her “Mrs. Marshall Elliott,” with the most killing and pointed emphasis, as if to say “You wanted to be Mrs. and Mrs. you shall be with a vengeance as far as I am concerned.”

Miss Cornelia was going up to Ingleside to see Dr. and Mrs. Blythe, who were just home from Europe. They had been away for three months, having left in February to attend a famous medical congress in London; and certain things, which Miss Cornelia was anxious to discuss, had taken place in the Glen during their absence. For one thing, there was a new family in the manse. And such a family! Miss Cornelia shook her head over them several times as she walked briskly along.

Susan Baker and the Anne Shirley of other days saw her coming, as they sat on the big veranda at Ingleside, enjoying the charm of the cat’s light, the sweetness of sleepy robins whistling among the twilit maples, and the dance of a gusty group of daffodils blowing against the old, mellow, red brick wall of the lawn.

Anne was sitting on the steps, her hands clasped over her knee, looking, in the kind dusk, as girlish as a mother of many has any right to be; and the beautiful gray-green eyes, gazing down the harbor road, were as full of unquenchable sparkle and dream as ever. Behind her, in the hammock, Rilla Blythe was curled up, a fat, roly-poly little creature of six years, the youngest of the Ingleside children. She had curly red hair and hazel eyes that were now buttoned up after the funny, wrinkled fashion in which Rilla always went to sleep.

Shirley, “the little brown boy,” as he was known in the family “Who’s Who,” was asleep in Susan’s arms. He was brown-haired, brown-eyed, and brown-skinned, with very rosy cheeks, and he was Susan’s especial love. After his birth Anne had been very ill for a long time, and Susan “mothered” the baby with a passionate tenderness which none of the other children, dear as they were to her, had ever called out. Dr. Blythe had said that but for her he would never have lived.

“I gave him life just as much as you did, Mrs. Dr. dear,” Susan was wont to say. “He is just as much my baby as he is yours.” And, indeed, it was always to Susan that Shirley ran, to be kissed for bumps, and rocked to sleep, and protected from well-deserved spankings. Susan had conscientiously spanked all the other Blythe children when she thought they needed it for their souls’ good, but she would not spank Shirley nor allow his mother to do it. Once, Dr. Blythe had spanked him and Susan had been stormily indignant.

“That man would spank an angel, Mrs. Dr. dear, that he would,” she had declared bitterly; and she would not make the poor doctor a pie for weeks.

She had taken Shirley with her to her brother’s home during his parents’ absence, while all the other children had gone to Avonlea, and she had three blessed months of him all to herself. Nevertheless, Susan was very glad to find herself back at Ingleside, with all her darlings around her again. Ingleside was her world and in it she reigned supreme. Even Anne seldom questioned her decisions, much to the disgust of Mrs. Rachel Lynde of Green Gables, who gloomily told Anne, whenever she visited Four Winds, that she was letting Susan get to be entirely too much of a boss and would live to rue it.

“Here is Cornelia Bryant coming up the harbor road, Mrs. Dr. dear,” said Susan. “She will be coming up to unload three months’ gossip on us.”

“I hope so,” said Anne, hugging her knees. “I’m starving for Glen St. Mary gossip, Susan. I hope Miss Cornelia can tell me everything that has happened while we’ve been away—everything—who has got born, or married, or drunk; who has died, or gone away, or come, or fought, or lost a cow, or found a beau. It’s so delightful to be home again with all the dear Glen folks, and I want to know all about them. Why, I remember wondering, as I walked through Westminster Abbey, which of her two especial beaux Millicent Drew would finally marry. Do you know, Susan, I have a dreadful suspicion that I love gossip.”

“Well, of course, Mrs. Dr. dear,” admitted Susan, “every proper woman likes to hear the news. I am rather interested in Millicent Drew’s case myself. I never had a beau, much less two, and I do not mind now, for being an old maid does not hurt when you get used to it. Millicent’s hair always looks to me as if she had swept it up with a broom. But the men do not seem to mind that.”

“They see only her pretty, piquant, mocking, little face, Susan.”

“That may very well be, Mrs. Dr. dear. The Good Book says that favor is deceitful and beauty is vain, but I should not have minded finding that out for myself, if it had been so ordained. I have no doubt we will all be beautiful when we are angels, but what good will it do us then? Speaking of gossip, however, they do say that poor Mrs. Harrison Miller over harbor tried to hang herself last week.”

“Oh, Susan!”

“Calm yourself, Mrs. Dr. dear. She did not succeed. But I really do not blame her for trying, for her husband is a terrible man. But she was very foolish to think of hanging herself and leaving the way clear for him to marry some other woman. If I had been in her shoes, Mrs. Dr. dear, I would have gone to work to worry him so that he would try to hang himself instead of me. Not that I hold with people hanging themselves under any circumstances, Mrs. Dr. dear.”

“What is the matter with Harrison Miller, anyway?” said Anne impatiently. “He is always driving some one to extremes.”

“Well, some people call it religion and some call it cussedness, begging your pardon, Mrs. Dr. dear, for using such a word. It seems they cannot make out which it is in Harrison’s case. There are days when he growls at everybody because he thinks he is fore-ordained to eternal punishment. And then there are days when he says he does not care and goes and gets drunk. My own opinion is that he is not sound in his intellect, for none of that branch of the Millers were. His grandfather went out of his mind. He thought he was surrounded by big black spiders. They crawled over him and floated in the air about him. I hope I shall never go insane, Mrs. Dr. dear, and I do not think I will, because it is not a habit of the Bakers. But, if an all-wise Providence should decree it, I hope it will not take the form of big black spiders, for I loathe the animals. As for Mrs. Miller, I do not know whether she really deserves pity or not. There are some who say she just married Harrison to spite Richard Taylor, which seems to me a very peculiar reason for getting married. But then, of course, I am no judge of things matrimonial, Mrs. Dr. dear. And there is Cornelia Bryant at the gate, so I will put this blessed brown baby on his bed and get my knitting.” --This text refers to an alternate Hardcover edition.

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Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
I really think the only reason not to find "Rainbow Valley" one of L. M. Montgomery's better novels in the Anne series is because it has the least to do with Anne or her children. This one is really more about the four Meredith children who belong to Ingleside's new widowed minister, so I can see where some readers would be less than pleased with the direction of the story in which even Anne and Gilbert's children and secondary characeters. However, a scene near the end of the novel where young Una Meredith communes with the mother's wedding dress before going off to secure a new wife for her father is as touching as anything Montgomery ever wrote.
All in all, "Rainbow Valley" reminds me more of "The Story Girl" and "The Golden Road" than any of the other Anne books, with the Meredith children having a series of humorous misadventures. I am also impressed because as you can tell from the ending when Walter Blythe speaks of "The Piper," that Montgomery is already committed to writing about what happens to these children during World War I in her next Anne book, "Rilla of Ingleside." Even though it is atypical "Rainbow Valley" is my second favorite book in the Anne series and I am the proud owner of a first edition copy.
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Format: Paperback
I didn't want to buy this book. For some reason, I had got the impression that it would just be a collection of vignettes strung together, populated by the 'stock characters' of L.M. Montgomery about getting into 'scrapes' and matchmaking; that it wouldn't have the heart or complexity of some of her greater books.

Well, there are scrapes, and there are matches made. There are busybodies, there are plucky kids, there are crotchety old men who are won around by said plucky kids. But somehow, it all seemed fresh. The first couple of chapters introduce the varied Blythe kids and the new Meredith children who live a slightly Pippi Longstocking-esque life with their absent minded widower father and useless old Aunt Martha. Then Mary Vance shows up. I like to think that Mary Vance is what Anne Shirley could have been, had she not had such a fine and fanciful soul. With Mary Vance, L.M. Montgomery gets to have irreverent fun with a salty-tongued orphan used to working from dusk til dawn. Mary is also taken in by a sober old woman and mends her ways somewhat, but unlike Anne, she never 'rounds out' - she'll always be a comic character and a thorn in everybody's side. She's a good balance to the relentless sweetness of characters like Walter and Una. Especially when she's chasing a terrified Rilla through Glen St. Mary with a dried codfish!

Faith Meredith, too, has a bit of Anne about her - her scene with Norman Douglas reminds me of Anne winning over Mr. Harrison in Anne of Avonlea. And I just wanted to shake Mr. Meredith as the little Merediths go about raising themselves by meting out punishments for their 'scrapes' - Una fainting from a self-imposed fast and Carl spending all night in a wet graveyard! Mr.
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Format: Paperback
I don't quite like Anne of Ingleside as I always want to know more about Anne but Montgomery just focused on Anne's children in the book.However,Rainbow Valley turned out to be completely different.It is as funny,delightful as other novels in the Anne series.Now, I love Anne's children and the manse children very much.But I don't like Mary Vance, she just seemed to be wicked though I know she was actually not, she was just brutally frank. The adventures of the children were as exciting as Anne's.They were all nice little souls.They were angels and to be loved by every one in the world.After reading Anne, I am now looking forward to having the chance to play in graveyards.They are no longer dreadful but beautiful places which bring you much joy and fun as soon as you finish Rainbow Valley. Lastly I think Anne Shirley is Anne Shirley. I can never accept Mrs. Doctor dear or Anne Blythe.
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Format: Paperback
I think this book is as worth-reading as the rest of the other Anne books. I think people who love kids will love this book even more because both the children of Ingleside and the Manse are so cute and witty as usual. Like Anne, I myself also take a special liking to Faith. She is so much like Anne when she was in her Green Gables days. It bought back memories of Anne Shirley especially when Faith made those apologizes and explanations...oh..that blessed child is so much like Anne herself. I also like Walter for his courage to fight for both her mother and Faith. But I think this book has put too much focus on the Meredith clan...and that there really aren't much about Shirley and Rilla in this book.
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Format: Paperback
Rainbow Valley (Children's continuous series)

A book it was hard to put down for me. Anne has several children who befriend a family from the manse and this book is about how they all get on as well as the added addition of Mary Vance who adds a different yiew to their lives. You have the ordinary well fed well looked after Christian family of Blythes with Anne as the Mother, the sad lonely life of a vicar and his Mother less poorly fed children who try to bring themselves up and into this is added a even poorer individual called Mary Vance.
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