You'd think it's because, while the Meredith and Blythe children are fun and charming, after a while, it's just more of the same. The Merediths get into trouble, the Blythes are their loyal chums, and Mary Vance yells at them over it. But that's not what keeps me from liking Rainbow Valley. The blame for that lies solely on the story of Rev. Meredith and Rosemary West's romance, and Rosemary's sister horridly insisting she can't marry him and has to abide by a promise she made years ago. I can't stand it when people deliberately thwart other people's happiness, and Montgomery drags out that misery f-o-r-e-v-e-r. I read the last seventeen chapters all today, just to get them over with so I didn't have to suffer through that dragged out nonsense for days and days. It took me six weeks to get through the first half of the book because as soon as Rosemary West and Rev. John Meredith met up in Rainbow Valley, I remembered how their story went and didn't want to read the rest of the book.
Oh well. I can't love every book.
Particularly Good Bits:
It is never quite safe to think we have done with life. When we imagine we have finished our story fate has a trick of turning the page and showing us yet another chapter (p. 89).
"Anything I can't analyse in the eating line I call macanaccady and anything wet that puzzles me I call shallamagouslem (p. 116).
If This was a Movie, I Would Rate It: G. It's clean and nice, if not wonderful.
This is my 44th book read and reviewed for The Classics Club, and my 13th for the Women's Classic Literature Event.
Now it's time for Elyssa's questions for Rainbow Valley:
Q: This book was totally centered around the Blythe small fry and their friends. Reading about their adventures in Rainbow Valley made me think of Anne’s days with the the Echo Lodge crew in Anne of Avonlea. It also made me think of Camp Laurence from Little Women, as well as sweet Betsy-Tacy moments. The innocence of childhood play is so lovely to read. Do you have any favorite Rainbow Valley moments? Did they remind you of other childhood moments from any other books?
A: Well, whenever I think of this book, I think of the Meredith kids playing in the graveyard. I quite like graveyards myself. I took my own kids to play in a graveyard when we lived in Connecticut simply because it was the only place with lots of green grass and trees that was within walking distance of our apartment.
But no, nothing from this reminds me of other books. At least, not at the moment.
Q: Montgomery likes writing about romance lost (Captain Jim and Lost Margaret) or almost lost forever (Mr. Irving and Miss Lavender). What would you have done in Rosemary’s place? Would you have kept your promise to your sister and refused John Merideth despite loving him?
A: Rather obviously, considering all the ranting I did in my review above, I think that whole thing with the promise to the sister was foolish. I would not have done as she did.
Q: We’ve said goodbye to Anne’s childhood long ago. This book is a farewell to the sweet childhood of the Blythe clan. This always makes me sad. While being an adult is a wonderful thing in so many ways, childhood always calls to us in one way or another. What do you miss about childhood?
A: I hate saying goodbye to childhood, which is another reason this book makes me grumpy. I miss very many things about childhood, especially the freedom to not cram every waking moment with some kind of activity and purpose. I have had to learn to daydream while doing other things at the same time, and it's just not the same.