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

29890616. sx318

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
Affiliate Link: Book Depository

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?

Btr.png

Follow me on–

Twitter (2)  Instagram (2)  Goodreads (2)  Pinterest (2) facebook-100x100  bloglovin




The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini

The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini
Publication Date : May 13th 2013 (first published May 29th 2003)
Publisher : Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
Read Date : January 12th 2019 
Genre : Fiction / Historical Fiction
Pages : 344
Stars : 5/5

The Kite Runner of Khaled Hosseini’s deeply moving fiction debut is an illiterate Afghan boy with an uncanny instinct for predicting exactly where a downed kite will land.

Growing up in the city of Kabul in the early 1970s, Hassan was narrator Amir’s closest friend even though the loyal 11-year-old with “a face like a Chinese doll” was the son of Amir’s father’s servant and a member of Afghanistan’s despised Hazara minority.

But in 1975, on the day of Kabul’s annual kite-fighting tournament, something unspeakable happened between the two boys.

The Kite Runner was the story of Amir and Hassan, their childhood, life and complicated relationship; societal issue, selfishness, betrayal; casualty of regime change, insurgency; and kite fighting tournament that changed both boys’ life.

Tw- sexual abuse of minors, selling kids and derogatory behavior towards women and Hazaras.

Hassan was illiterate hazara, a servant’s son but was most modest, clever, so content and happy with himself and whatever Amir and his father provided. He was most brave kid in the book who accepted everything thrown towards him and stood up to defend Amir without thinking of the consequences. But on that dreadful day I really wished he didn’t stand up to defend Amir. Even after what he suffered and faced his heart was so pure that didn’t harbor ill feeling for Amir and I loved him for that. My heart ached whenever I saw him hurt and suffering and even after all he lived fullest leaving past behind.

Amir was rich boy who wanted all attention, respect, and love of his baba. In doing so he lost something precious, a friendship of Hassan, his peace and conscience. I really hated him from running away when Hassan needed him most. It broke my heart and I almost cried for what happened to Hassan. Like him I had that thought throughout the novel, if he reacted on that day, stood up for Hassan and himself the things might have turned out differently. There were many flaws in this character but at the end he learned his lesson and earned his redemption and for that I like him.

Amir’s fatherwas remarkable character but there was a surprising twist in his characterization as well. Ultimately there was a flaw in this idealistic brave man as well but I also admired him for the way he tried to share equal love and kept his corner of heart reserved for his son.

Other secondary characters of the book, Ali, Soraya, Rahim Khan, Farid were great to read. Antagonist of the book was horrendous. Who will you consider the real antagonist, was thought-provoking question.

Book was set in Kabul, Afghanistan. The setting was vivid and bringing the real Afghan and its people alive. The juxtaposed picture of Afghan before and after Russian coup and Taliban insurgency was shocking to read.

The story was first person narrative from Amir’s perspective. It started with a phone call from Rahim Khan that reignited the past forcing Amir back to his life in Kabul until the winter of 1975. Reading Hassan’s description, Hassan’s father Ali and his unfortunate life with his wife, Amir’s beautiful house and Hassan and Amir’s birth story in the beginning, hooked me to writing of author. I knew I’m going to like this book in that first chapter only.

In very early in the book we read about Shia- Sunni differences and conflicts. How religious and societal issue kept Hassan and Amir’s friendship tainted and even Ali and Amir’s father- A relationship with strong brotherly bond still they never called named it friendship.

A question that was raised by narrator in first chapter kept me reading the book to get its answer- What happened on the winter of 1975? And why would he seek atonement? As I dived deep in the book more questions sparked that hooked me to the book till the end- what happened to Hassan after winter of 1975? How and where he lived? Why Amir and his father left Kabul and how they reached American? Why Amir returned to Kabul? Will he find his peace at last?

The book gave answers to all questions. Life of Amir and his father in America was depicted with realistic touch. An immigrant and asylum seeker can relate to their life. The effect of Taliban insurgency on people of Afghan as well as characters’ life was tragic and unfair. It was poignant to see poverty, hunger and homeless on the street of the country.

It shattered my heart reading what happened to Hasan on the winter of 1975. It broke something in me on reading what Rahim Khan delivered to Amir in Pakistan but on reading what happened to Hassan’s son and how he was treated made me cry. And chapters after climax were soul shattering. I almost wished to enter in the novel and do sometimes to make Hassan’s son feel better.

Relationship between Hassan and Amir, Amit and his father, Amir and Rahim Khan, Hassan and Ali, Amir and Hassan’s son was perfectly portrayed. Each relationship had something good to teach. Each will hold you to the pages of the book and ponder about it until you feel it in the heart.

End of the book was bittersweet. I wish it had turned out all right, but such shattering story takes longer than 344 pages to be completely all right. The afterward of the book just great.

This was utterly intense, poignant, soul-stirring and thought-provoking very original fiction that I highly recommend to fiction and classic lovers.

Author: Khaled Hosseini 

Buy Link : Amazon.in / Amazon.com

divider_edited

What do you think about the book and my review?
Have you read this book already or other book by Khaled Hosseini?  
Have read something similar to this before?

Share your thoughts in the comment-box below.

Btr.png

FOLLOW ME ON–

Twitter (2)  Instagram (2)  Goodreads (2)  Pinterest (2)  Google+ (2)  facebook-100x100  bloglovin


“Words aren’t made — they grow,’ said Anne.” 

“You must pay the penalty of growing-up, Paul. You must leave fairyland behind you.” 

“Those who can soar to the highest heights can also plunge to the deepest depths and the natures which enjoy most keenly are those which also suffer most sharply.” 

“That’s one of the things we learn as we grow older — how to forgive. It comes easier at forty than it did at twenty.” 

“Humor is the spiciest condiment in the feast of existence. Laugh at your mistakes but learn from them, joke over your troubles but gather strength from them, make a jest of your difficulties but overcome them.” 

“Thank goodness air and salvation are still free…and so is laughter.”

“There’s magic in the words ‘silk’ and ‘lace’, isn’t there?”
“The very sound of them makes me feel like skipping off to dance.”

“Exaggeration is merely a flight of poetic fancy.”

“You don’t know love when you see it. You’ve tricked something out with your imagination that you think love, and you expect the real thing to look like that.” 

“All life lessons are not learned at college,’
‘Life teaches them everywhere.” 

“When you’ve learned to laugh at the things that should be laughed at, and not to laugh at those that shouldn’t, you’ve got wisdom and understanding.” 

“The little things of life, sweet and excellent in their place, must not be the things lived for; the highest must be sought and followed; the life of heaven must be begun here on earth.”

divider_edited

Aren’t they all so beautiful?
What are your favorite quotes from this book or from this series?

Share your thoughts in the comment-box below.

Btr.png

FOLLOW ME ON–

Twitter (2)  Instagram (2)  Goodreads (2)  Pinterest (2)  Google+ (2)  facebook-100x100  bloglovin

Anne of the Island Quotes


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-

divider_edited

What do you think about the book and my review?
Have you read Anne of Green Gables series?
Which L.M. Montgomery book is your favorite?

Share your thoughts in the comment-box below.

Btr.png

FOLLOW ME ON–

Twitter (2)  Instagram (2)  Goodreads (2)  Pinterest (2)  Google+ (2)  facebook-100x100  bloglovin


The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank

IMG_20180927_121841601~2.jpg

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

IMG_20180927_121902221~2.jpg

reviews.png

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.

what i liked.png

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!

why not 5 stars.png

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

conclusion.png

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


0c8a5-addtogoodreads

About Author: Anne Frank

Buy Link: Amazon.in / Amazon.com


What do you think about the book and my review?
Have you read this book already and planning to read in future?

Share your thoughts in the comment-box below.

Btr.png

FOLLOW ME ON–

Twitter (2)  Instagram (2)  Goodreads (2)  Pinterest (2)  Google+ (2)  facebook-100x100  bloglovin