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4.7 out of 5 stars39
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on 23 November 1998
Anne Shirley (soon to become Blythe) has left Redmond and has become the principal of a school in a strange new place, Summerside. Here she faces a new challenge: the Pringles. Anne is determined to win over this stubborn clan and succeeds. This book is humourous, yet not stupid. It has just the right amount of everything.
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"Anne of Windy Poplars" is definitely the most atypical book in the Anne of Green Gables Series by Lucy Maud Montgomery. Although it is sold as the fourth book in the series it was actually one of the last one written, originally being published in 1936. Anne Shirley, B.A., has taken a job away from Green Gables and as Principal of Summerside High School for three years while she waits for Gilbert Blythe to finish medical school so they can get married. So Gilbert is only present when Anne writes to him as Redmond College in Kingsport (although Montgomery tactfully omits the romantic part of her letters). However, despite these oddities, "Anne of Windy Poplars" has sort of become the second most significant novel in the series since it provides the foundation for both sequels to the "Anne of Green Gables" movies, both the 1940's "Anne of Windy Poplars" (with Anne Shirley playing Anne Shirley) and the 1987 "Anne of Avonlea." The latter purports to cover the second through fourth volumes in the Green Gables series, but clearly it is this one that readers will most recognize when they watch.
Anne's adventures as a teacher in a town where the haughty Pringle family aligns against her is but one of the three major plotlines in the novel. There are also Anne's experiences at Windy Poplars on Spook's Lane, where the figure of Rebecca Drew figures largely in Anne's correspondence, along with Aunt Chatty and Aunt Kate. Then there is the mystery of little Elizabeth Grayson, who has been looking forward to Tomorrow as long as she can remember. You see, her mother died when she was born and her heartbroken father has gone off in search of Yesterday. Of course, Anne Shirley is no more likely to put up with something so wrong any more than she would Jen Pringle's fake illness or Katharine Brooke's sourness. There are also visits home each summer to visit Marilla and Mrs. Rachel back at Green Gables. Consequently, "Anne of Windy Poplars" is not just an afterthought from Montgomery, who manages to make it fit into the grand scheme of Anne Shirley's life. But let's face the truth here: Anne Shirley as a mother is not the "real" Anne, so going back and reading about her continued misadventures before she married Gilbert is just fine.
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on 19 May 2010
I remember first reading this book at the age of 11 and not enjoying it as much as the first three 'Anne' books, so I wasn't sure quite what to expect when I reread it as an adult. I was pleasantly surprised to discover that I loved this little book! Every chapter was a new story or adventure and everything worked out happily in the end. Sure, that doesn't happen in real life but it would surely make life far more enjoyable. At times it did seem like Anne was always saving the day and telling people how to act, but on several occasions things didn't turn out brilliantly for her; proof that even Anne Shirely isn't perfect. I'm now going to start the fifth book about Anne and I'm sure I'll enjoy it if it is anything like it predecessor.
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on 15 January 1998
"What would you think of a man..." Can anyone who has read "Anne of Windy Poplars" possibly forget the dinner scene at Trix's house? L.M. Montgomery peppers this novel with dozens of characters and situations like that one. Fifth in the "Anne" series, this book is packed with entertaining personalities like Aunts Chatty and Kate, Hazel, Trix, Katherine Brooke (spelled with a K!), Miss Valentine, Jen Pringle (and all her clan), and let's not forget Rebecca Dew. This book will lift your spirits high and banish even the deepest blues. The perfect cure for a depressing day.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 10 February 2016
None of the subsequent Anne books have QUITE the same delightful charm as the first one, Anne of Green Gables, but for all that they are lovely books to read and I could not give them less than five stars. In this fourth book, Anne is finally engaged to Gilbert but, for all that, he does not figure much in the book except as the recipient of her letters. Anne is very much the central character as she takes up her post as a school principal and negotiates the many obstacles and encounters of the next three years of her life. LM Montgomery has the knack of feeling affection for her characters, which makes us love them too, even the more unsympathetic of them. She has recurring themes - idealism, the beauty of nature, moral aspirations versus hard reality and emotionally deprived children and others who begin to find happiness and meaning in life. Her love of Canada, especially Prince Edward Island, is very evident; she makes us feel how delightful it is - or was, in that nineteenth century era. She herself grew up there, brought up by grandparents in an emotionally repressive atmosphere and taking refuge in dreams and hopes, very much like Anne and there must be a lot of her in her heroine, except that LM Montgomery never married. Like her other books, it is not so much a sustained story with a strong climax as a series of delightful incidents. A lovely book for children, this is also wonderful for adults.
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on 28 December 2012
This is very good, with each book you wonder how Montgomery can maintain the excellent standard of the previous book, and each time she succeeds.
This book comes after Ann of the Island and deals with her first year as a teacher. At this time Gilbert is training to be a doctor and a lot of the interaction is by letter with Ann describing her various adventures.
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on 24 June 2012
Always wanted to read the whole set and never got chance - had a great holiday and caught up with some favourite stories.
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on 6 October 2013
It was great but..... where are all the letters from Gilbert!!!!???? however if you have read all of the anne books you would find this enjoyable because it's like a secret extra to see what she was doing during those 3 years
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on 28 November 2013
I had a nostalgic moment and decided I wanted to read all of my old childhood books again. Also collected Anne of Green Gables, Anne of Avonlea . So nice to read a good book which I thoroughly enjoyed the second time around.
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on 16 July 1998
I am not going to make as scathing a remark as the reader from Hong Kong-either she is too young too appreciate this book or has poor taste. The FAIR(and I don't mean pale-skinned) reviewer would admit that "Anne of Windy Poplars" is not as romantic as "Anne of the Island," nor is it as funny and heart-warming as "Anne of Green Gables," but at least it is'nt as bad as some books (I won't mention any names, fill in the blanks yourself.) I liked it, and if you intend to read any of this book's 4 sucessors, they won't make as much sense as they would don't if you read this book.
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