#Review : Anne of Windy Willows (Anne of Green Gables #4) by L.M. Montgomery

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Anne of Windy Willows (Anne of Green Gables #4) by L.M. Montgomery
Publication Date: June 4th 2015 (first published 1936)
Publisher: Puffin Classics Penguin Random House
Genre: Classics / Historical Fiction
Pages: 432
Stars: ★★★★★ (4.5)

The fourth book about the red-haired Anne Shirley from Green Gables.
Now a young woman and her romance with Gilbert Blythe beginning to flourish, Anne Shirley becomes Principal of Summerside High School. But Summerside is virtually ruled by the Pringle family, who don’t want Anne at the school. It takes all of Anne’s courage and tact, and the comfort she draws from the eccentric household at Windy Willows, to overcome local prejudice and confront the dreaded Pringles.

Previous books in the series:

  1. Anne of Green Gables (Anne of Green Gables, #1)
  2. Anne of Avonlea (Anne of Green Gables, #2)
  3. Anne of the Island (Anne of Green Gables, #3)

Anne of Windy Willows was semi epistolary, historical fiction that revolved around Anne’s three years as a Principal of Summerside High School, her sojourn in Summerside, people she met and mini lessons she learned from her experiences- all in letters she wrote to Gilbert. A new place, new stetting and lots of new friends. It was about friendship, helping people of Summerside, and importance of happiness, life, dresses and imagination.

Book was first person narrative. It was divided in 3 years of Anne’s principalship in Summerside, Prince Edward Island. Do I have to tell anything about author’s writing? It was poetic, lyrical, atmospheric, and beautiful. Once again, author added a wonderful book to series. I loved all character’s life story, dresses, setting, and that usual effects of weather and atmosphere that was constant in whole Anne series so far.

It’s been long since I read last book (in January) so I was little clueless when Anne was offered job at Summerside High. But I didn’t dwell on it and plunged into Anne’s beautiful new abode, Windy Willows, its occupants, students of Summerside High, Pringles, impressive people in the town, and gossips.

Throughout the book, one place that I so loved was, Windy Willows and Anne’s Tower room at Windy Willows. I can perfectly imagine each room of the house, every corner and windows of Anne’s room where our kindred spirit resided.

Let me tell about Anne and other characters, because without them you cannot just talk about book.

Anne– If I have commented on your blog or anywhere in more than 2 sentences, it’s purely Anne effect. She was catching. She wrote amazingly long letters, told her stories and experiences in her refreshing, vivacious and infectious voice. It felt so good to see Anne growing into wonderful woman. She was great throughout the book, I cannot imagine from where she got patience! She handled some prickly and temperamental characters so effortlessly. I loved her thoughts about all of them.

She was wise, sensible, lil bit sensitive and as always dreamy. I loved her seeing as teacher in Anne of Avonlea and I loved her even more in this book. But here Anne faced bigger challenge- The Pringles who gave her tough time in her first year. Pringles made her stay so difficult that she couldn’t see her job and stay more than a year. But this is Anne we are talking about and it was certain she was going to win them all sooner or later but what I was curious to know was, how.

Then there was Anne’s Kindred spirit that added mystery to story- Elizabeth. She was just like little Anne we met in first book, living in imaginations, having dreams and giving names to herself. It was kind of creative, you know, giving different names as per moods. She was such an adorable kid, I couldn’t understand why her great-grandmother and the Woman (their maid) treated her so strictly, how they could keep her in house all the time and discourage her, keep her starved from life and happiness! And why he father doesn’t know anything about it. I couldn’t wait to see what Anne would do about it.

I loved widows and Rebecca Dew, occupants of Windy Willows. They were quirky and made fascinating trio. How can the house be complete without ‘The Cat’. I liked the bickering between these ladies. Even though there was generation gap and disagreements they loved and took care of each other. I loved to see Anne becoming integral part of their little cult.

There were all sort of Pringles who were great to read. I liked Jane and her gang. And so many windows, cranky old people in Summerside who were really amusing, specially Mrs. Gibson and what I tell you about twins of Mrs. Raymond! They were naughtiest twin, Davy felt rather gentlemanly after reading them. Miss Minerva’s haunted house and cursed family was nightmarish. I don’t know how Anne spent a night there. I loved Katherine’s development. She turned out totally different person by the end of the book and became Anne’s best friend.

There were all sort of characters with all sort of personalities in this book. Some were lovely, some dreamy, sulky, bad-tempered, nosey, cantankerous, chatty, lonely, romantic, worrier, tyrant, ungrateful, sensitive and mischievous. Just so many characters! They all were given a story even if it was just in one or few lines which was plus point, but the drawback was I felt dizzy reading about them all and trying to remember them. If I dare to list them all, I bet it will fill 2-3 foolscap pages.

Ah and there was wedding and Anne’s part in eloping lovebirds. Some stories were emotional while some were comical. And there was lots of gossips and drama. I didn’t want Anne leaving this amusing community after 3 years but I knew it was not possible. I liked the way things turned out in all stories and things Anne learned throughout the book.

All the previous books were feel good and so was this one. You can enjoy this book in any season. Just relax in sunshine, enjoy the flowery writing, dreamy Anne and warmth of the story.

Why 4.5-

My only teeny weeny issue was there were too many characters. I know I should get used to it by now but this had more than previous books. And as I mentioned, it was overwhelming. But I’m rounding it to 5 star because I just love this series and Anne.

Overall, I just love Anne Shirley, L.M. Montgomery’s writing and her beautiful stories.

Which is your favorite classic book and author?

Book Link: Goodreads |Amazon
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Let’s discuss!

What do you think about the book and review? Have you read this book or any in this series or by other book by the same author? If so which character you loved most apart from Anne in this series? What do you love most about this series and Anne?

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Anne of the Island (Anne of Green Gables #3) by L.M. Montgomery

Anne of the Island (Anne of Green Gables #3) by L.M. Montgomery
Published November 1st 1983 (first published 1915)
Publisher: Bantam Books
Read Date: January 3rd 2019
Genre: Classic / YA / Fiction
Pages: 272
Stars: 5/5

New adventures lie ahead as Anne Shirley packs her bags, waves good-bye to childhood, and heads for Redmond College. With her old friend Prissy Grant waiting in the bustling city of Kingsport and her frivolous new friend Philippa Gordon at her side, Anne tucks her memories of rural Avonlea away and discovers life on her own terms, filled with surprises . . . including a marriage proposal from the worst fellow imaginable, the sale of her very first story, and a tragedy that teaches her a painful lesson. But tears turn to laughter when Anne and her friends move into an old cottage and an ornery black cat steals her heart. Little does Anne know that handsome Gilbert Blythe wants to win her heart, too. Suddenly Anne must decide whether she’s ready for love. 

Anne now grown up has left behind her innocent childhood and has entered the complexity of youth. 20-years-old, Anne is attending Redmond College in the bustling city of Kingsport. She has left behind her country life full of love- her beloved Avonlea, Green Gables, adorable twins, lovely Marilla, best friend Diana, and gossipy Mrs. Rachel – and is going to settle in city life for her college years. The settlement has been sad and homesick process but St. John’s Street and the monumental old St. John’s graveyard has risen her spirits. And her college life is going to be just as adventurous as it was in Avonlea.

What I loved most about Ms. Maud’s writing is, she brought all characters to life. Anne was as cheery and imaginative. She was wise, clever, emotional, sensitive, and sometimes idiotic (of course for turning down my beloved Blyth). I loved to read her thoughts. Her emotions touched my heart on leaving Avonlea, when she attended her sickly dying friend, when she found her house where she was born and when she was left confusing and loneliness near the end of the book. I loved the way she had developed from that wild little girl to wonderful sensible lady with BA in English.

Gilbert was such a gentleman in book. He was a great friend and person. Like whole Avonlea, I cannot see him with anyone but Anne. I loved the way he waited for Anne even after her merciless rejection.

Pricilla, Phillipa, Stella and Aunt Jemesina were the best in the book. Phillipa– new character and new friend of Anne was amusing to read. My heart lighted up on reading her initial description only. Her indecision towards everything in life including what to wear made me chuckle. She was hilarious and fabulous friend. She was truly beauty, brain and heart of gold. I so loved her. She sometimes eclipsed Anne in the book. Pricilla was Anne’s from Green Gable took more notice in this book than the previous ones. Like Anne, she was clever, imaginative and loyal friend. I loved her from the very beginning of the book and loved the way her friendship with Anne and other girls of Patty’s place developed. Aunt Jamesina was sweetest aunt, old in fashion and look but young at heart. Her wisdom and lively nature was great to read.

In this third installment Anne made new friends, found a grand house to rent with her chums on Millionaire Street, faced rejection of her first story and also earned from it that wounded her ethics, she got feisty cat who adore the ground she walked, attended 3 wedding and a dreadful funeral of her childhood friend.

I’m so in love with author’s writing. The flowery poetical writing describing wonderful and colorful characters, picturesque vivid description of Prince Edward Island, Green Gables, Kingsport, St. John’s graveyard and park. It was mesmerizing to picture characters and places of the book. In this book as well all the months has its own mood and nature and it awed me to read their description and how they created dramatic effect in the book. I lost the count of how many times and differently author has depicted all the months in year from Anne’s perspective in all three books.

There were many golden moments in book. Rusty cat and his fights with other cats, his love for Anne; Love story of Janet; Davy’s letters; Letter of Phil from Prospect Point; Averil’s Atonement; and climax of the book.

This book should be titled ‘Anne’s Refusal to all Proposals’. Seriously, she turned down 5 proposals in one book mercilessly. I admit some were horrible and humorous. But I’m glad she finally could separate reality of true love from her imagination. At last, her head started working in right direction. The proposal from the one she truly loved wasn’t that romantic as she had imagined and nor the hero looked like the one she sought after, but it brought back the charm and happiness she always has imagined.

The anticlimactic climax of looming death and that feeling of losing everything along with the one she loved turned toward very sweet and joyful end of the book.

Overall, it was lovely entertaining YA classic fiction with lively animated protagonist and characters, some hilarious and some sad moments that anyone can enjoy.

I don’t like mass market paperback, but the best thing about this collector’s edition I bought was, short autobiography of L.M.Montgomery and map of Prince Edward Island.

Author: L.M. Montgomery

Buy Link : Amazon.com / Amazon.in

Previous books i read in series-

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Have you read Anne of Green Gables series?
Which L.M. Montgomery book is your favorite?

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The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank

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The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank; Otto H. Frank (Editor), Mirjam Pressler (Editor), Susan Massotty (Translation)

Publication Date: July 31st 2017(first published 1947)
Publisher: Amazing Reads
Genre: Autobiography / Classic / Non-Fiction / WWII
Pages: 328

Stars: 4.5/5

4.5 Stars

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This is first autobiography I read and to my surprise I loved it more than I expected. It’s a written account of life of Jews in hiding during the WWII from a 15 year old young girl’s perspective. The story was about the struggle of Jews, impact of WWII on their living, human nature and feelings in war time, lots of family drama, and a speck of innocent romance between two young hearts.

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Foreword in book was great. It mentioned key points about the book that I didn’t know before. I didn’t know there were so many versions of this book. The pace was bit slow as it took me a time to get to know characters and what was going on in Anne’s life.

Anne was observant, smart, chatty, outspoken, rebellious, but lonely vulnerable young girl who craved for person who could understand or at least listen to her. Outside diary, with other residents of annex, she had different persona than she had in diary. She was modest, kind and never answered back until it was unbearable, helped in all chores and tried to fit in as much as possible- I liked her these qualities. Her dual persona was wisely described by Anne in second half of the book. (I loved those last few entries.)

Book started with Anne’s normal life, her friends at school, family and how they came to live in Holland. When Anne and her family went into hiding, to live in secret Annex, she started to pour out her real feelings for her family and other residents of Annex, her experience with each member and how her views changed towards them eventually was skillfully narrated in a diary.

I can’t find better words to describe other member of Annex. They were best written by Anne. I didn’t like the way Anne was treated by her mother, Mrs. Van Daan and Mr. Dussel. It felt really unfair and their behavior was literally childish. I couldn’t understand her mother’s partiality at first but as I read more from Anne’s view I felt it was both because of situation and Anne’s nature.

Age, anxiety, fear and the overall situation played biggest part on environment of Annex and mood of its members. It was both amusing and pitiful. At one time I was laughing at the silly squabbles and then next I felt sad to read their misery and sometimes I found myself shaking head at their selfish behavior. They were not of the same mind and might not have understand each other the way a family or people living in close quarters should have which caused lot of conflicts, but they were together in ups and downs and supported each other as much as possible, and that only made me admire them.

Most favorite thing about the book was voice of Anne Frank. She wrote it with full heart, blunt truth and emotions. It was touching, humorous, outrageous and sad all at the same time. One thing I noticed was as she wrote more her writing improved a great deal. Her insight on the adult behavior, war, love, feminism was awe-inspiring. Her critical thoughts in second half of the book clearly showed development in her character.

The end and afterward of the diary broke my heart. After reading their pain, hope, fear and suffering, along with them I also had a hope that they will come out of it at the end. It was devastating to read the end of them, I couldn’t believe the words I was reading.

Anne’s diary makes one thing certain- no one deserves this kind of life. Hatred of one person towards a religion and community destroyed so many life and for what? Each and every living being deserves freedom and life regardless of gender, race, color and religion. A 15 year old young girl could understand this much in the most devastating time period then I think, it should not be that difficult for people who now are living in free world. Humanity is all this world needs, and not to mention more books like this!

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It was bit slow and bored me at certain point. It felt like I’m not progressing in the book.

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Overall, it was touching, mesmerizing, insightful account of WWII by a young girl that I recommend to all readers.


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About Author: Anne Frank

Buy Link: Amazon.in / Amazon.com


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Animal Farm by George Orwell

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Animal Farm by George Orwell

Publication Date: 2012 (first published August 1945)
Publisher: Fingerprint
Genre: Classic / Fiction / Literature
Pages: 143
Stars: 5/5

5 star

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Animal farm is allegorical novel that symbolize mainly politics and revolution. Revolution comrades! It’s all about political science and power and corruption. It was written based on the Russian revolution.

Characters represent in Russian revolution like this,
Major- Vladimir Lenin
Snowball- Trotsky
Napoleon- Stalin
Squealer- Vyacheslav Molotov
Dogs- Armed Forces

I honestly didn’t know this before, I did bit Googling! We study different textbooks in India and this, I’m sure, wasn’t anywhere in history lessons. So I saw or analyze them like this,

Mr. Jones – alcoholic owner of Manor farm. Overthrown government. He definitely neglected his duty but I couldn’t help and pity this poor guy.
Snowball- opposing leader, who was also driven out by tactic of Napoleon. He was smart and brilliant and had quite a great ideas for farms and animals. He actually had good intentions. But as it is often said/observed a good person thinking about greater good of the world can’t be a politician as long as cruel and oppressive minds are in opposition who would go at any length to have total control.
Napoleon- existing government who eventually twisted the rules and acted worse than overthrown government.
Squealer- media who speaks for the power to secure their own position by switching the sides.

I liked Benjamin, Clover, and Boxer. But they had their own faults. Clover couldn’t read; Boxer, though inspiration of hardship, was a blind follower; Benjamin who was smart could read and could even see through the deceit, stayed silent and taciturn.

It was amusing to read all animal rising against humans and driving them out of Manor farm and turning it into Animal farm, a farm run by animals and their leader pigs. I liked the way they established commendments and gave importance to education. But as story progresses tricks and misguidance crept in the animal farm and so the dirty politics.

I always believed, those who enters politics are either never are clean or, if they are, they never come out clean.  My father said, the new government/representative that come to power make the previous one look much better. That’s exactly what happened here. The rebellion that started against humans and human nature eventually returned in animal farm and its leaders. They so vaguely turned themselves into humans who used their brain, walked, and ate like human that one couldn’t differentiate them from the other. Such is the quirk and quiddity of politics. Their policies and way were really disturbing to read and I was quite shocked by the stupidity of other animals.

The story delineated the politics, difficulties in forming government, results of revolutions, how the new order set on the name of equality turned to totalitarian and fascism, and how twists in policies, rules, and work structure were made where only leaders were benefited. It also subtly told the importance of education, power of speech, and using one’s conscience and brain. If only all animals were learned the picture might have looked differently.

Bottom line is Equality doesn’t come by its name, it takes both individual and collective contribution to achieve it. No one is ever free in this world as long as there is a power. Where there is power there is corruption. Where there is corruption there is slavery and hunger for commons full belly for riches, free, peaceful and happy world is just utopia.

This book was written years ago but the same methods are applied in today’s politics and it’s ultimately people who are suffering.

Overall, it was shockingly amazing read. Relevant, thought provoking, just brilliant.

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Author: George Orwell

Buy Link: Amazon.in / Amazon.com


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Heidi by Johanna Spyri

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Publication date: November 25th 2016 (First published 1880)

Publisher: Penguin Classics

Read Date: August 28th 2018

Genre: Children’s Fiction /  Classic

Pages: 240

Stars: 5/5

5 star

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Heidi was a beautiful classic a story of 5-yrs-old young orphan girl, Heidi, who comes to live on Swiss mountain with her grandfather and fall in love with the place, old hut and her new neighbors. It’s a coming of age story about family love, friendship, country life, faith in God, and magic of mountain air that can cure mind and body of kids and adults alike.

Heidi was a thoughtful, good hearted, lively and an apt child who instantly won my heart. She was such an innocent soul who loved mountains, goats, nature and appreciated what little she had hat in her beloved grandfather’s hut. I so adored her for her selflessness and her eagerness to help all who needed it. Her development in the book was gradual and I liked the way she turned out by the end of the book. There was so much to learn from this little girl and the book itself.

Uncle Alp was amazing grandfather that every child wish to have. His old eyes had seen and suffered lot before Heidi and when she entered his life she changed this old man awe-inspiringly. I liked his development in the third part of the book.

Member of Sesemann household were colorful. Grandmamma was my favorite of all who taught many good things Heidi. She was wise old woman who knew her ways to children’s heart and soul. Her lifelong lessons stayed with Heidi till the end of the book.  Peter, the goatherd was hungriest boy I ever seen. I bet, he would do anything for food. He was not bad but was little hard to understand as he didn’t interact much and I honestly didn’t like the way he considered Heidi as his property and was sometimes very ungrateful.

Story was created by four phases in Heidi’s life- Heidi coming to stay with her grandfather, Heidi in Frankfurt at Sessmann household, back to old hut, and visitors from Frankfurt. I was enamored by author’s writing and style and how she portrayed all these phases of Heidi’s life and her development along with it.

In the beginning of the book only author presented the presumptive nature of villagers and picturesque shimmering beauty of mountain and the old cozy hut. All characters were introduced with careful details which gave the feel of knowing them instantly. Goats in the book were so cute, even they were narrated immaculately.

Heidi’s daily visit to valleys over the mountain was most remarkable part of the book that made me fall in love with the place like all other characters in the book. This first phase of Heidi’s life was full of happiness and new discoveries.

Heidi’s life in Frankfurt was written with so much emotion. It broke my heart when Heidi’s aunt, Detie came back and dragged her to Sessmann household against her wish. I felt heavy in heart when Miss Rottenmeier forbidden her to cry and seeing her suffer due to homesickness. Amid all the gloominess, initial innocent mistakes of Heidi, visit of Grandmamma and the ghost in the house made it amusing to read. This phase taught Heidi lot about life- disciplines, gratefulness, forming a bond of friendship, importance of studies, love for book, and faith in God.

Third part of the book, Heidi’s return and visitors from Frankfurt, was my favorite. They were simply heartwarming. New change in Uncle Alp, reading hymns to grannie, Peter’s learning and miraculous recovery of Heidi’s friend was uplifting. I laughed at Peter’s fear and the effect of ABC rhyme had on him.

I liked the way author frequently encouraged characters and so readers to keep faith in God, what good that come from praying and what happens when one don’t trust God or stop praying throughout the book. I also liked the way peter was taught about the consequences of doing wrong to other in rage. Religious messages, forming bonds with other, gratefulness and selflessness, love for nature, vanity of riches and appearance, simple and healthy living – all these can forms strong foundation in children and also had a good life messages for adults.

Overall, it was captivating, charming, delightful, insightful classic with full of emotions. It’s best book for children and I wish to read it again and again. Loved it!


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Author: Johanna Spyri

Buy Link: Amazon.in / Amazon.com


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