Hear more stories in the Anne of Green Gables series.
(P)1995 Blackstone Audiobooks
While an entertaining and fun book, the core characters in the "Anne" series just make cameo appearances. I think this was one of the books L.M. Montgomery wrote because she was pressured to, so somehow it doesn't quite reach the level of Anne's House of Dreams or Rilla of Ingleside. One can't help being annoyed with a father who is so absent-minded that his children are in constantly in danger of serious harm, but is quite able to pay enough attention to find a wife, who is obviously meant to devote her life to raising his 4 children (dear as they are).
The narrator does not add to the listening experience at all. At least once every five minutes, she emphasizes the wrong word in a sentence, does not bring out the different characters with different voices, and is generally flat. I would have given the book 4 stars otherwise.
Really good children's stories are not about children nor exclusively for children. "Heidi", Joanna Spyri comes to mind. "Heidi" is a story about adults and adult behavior told from a child's point of view. Further I offer: "Pollyanna", Eleanor H Porter; "A Little Princess", Frances Hodgson Burnett; "Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm", Kate Douglas Wiggin; and since we are reviewing Lucy Maude Montgomery, "Anne of Green Gables". In every case, it is the adults who are the central actors and in whom great changes were wrought even while the spotlight follows the child star.
Rainbow Valley certainly is not equal to the above works but it is packed with funny stories and wonderful tiny adventures. In one place, a pompous minister's coat tail caught on fire in the midst of a solemn lecture. Another time a girl wrote a little too truthful letter to the editor which put the town into an uproar. Then there is the pet rooster which gets to participate in Sunday dinner. Besides, every book doesn't have to be the greatest. Pretty darn good is not a bad ranking particularly for the prelude to that really terrific Montgomery work, "Rilla of Ingleside". I have enjoyed a number of Audible titles which are merely pretty darn good, Angela Thirkle and Laurie Viera Rigler come to mind.
Isn't it interesting the difference between how the schoolyard fight was handled and how it would be treated in one of today's schools where typical boy behavior is criminalized? Police, handcuffs, courts, family service...oh, egads! There many other differences which make me think that all our progress is less than stellar;instead is a loss of our humanity. Some progress.
Oh, I almost forgot to mention the narrator, Grace Conlin. She became invisible to the story after a time, which I think is a kind of compliment. I didn't notice her presence except to say I enjoyed the story.
I read this book when I was younger and I remember liking it. So this review is for the narrator and not the book itself. This is the first time I have not finished listening to an audio book. The narrator (in my opinion) was not good at all.
This was a really cut story of Ann's children and neighboring kids getting into mischief.
It did drag on a bit but not to bad.
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