Having never read a book written by Lucy Maud Montgomery before, I was delighted by Anne of Windy Poplars. I read this book out of sequence. I should have read Anne of Green Gables first but my wife was reading it so I picked up Windy Poplars which I believe is the fourth in the Anne Shirley series of novels. I am an unlikely candidate to like a book like this. I am a fifty seven year old man and a fan of the Oakland Raiders. I usually read theology, philosophy or gore soaked books about Stalingrad. But I was thoroughly charmed by the character of Anne Shirley and her three years as principal of a school on Prince Edward Island. Lucy Maud Montgomery is edwardian Canada's answer to Jane Austen but her heroine and supporting cast are more ordinary people. The character of Anne Shirley is like a catalyst that goes from relationship to relationship, managing to intuitively know how to bring out the best in everyone, from the vindictive Pringles to the isolated and anti-social Katherine Brooke and the elfin Elizabeth. You will feel sad when Anne Shirley's three years on Spook Lane are over but you, like me, will be glad there are other books to discover. I loved Anne of Windy Poplars and I hope you will too.
Honestly, I did not care for this book in the series. I found out it was written many years after the 7 other books in the series. For some reason, the author went back and decided to fill in a gap in the series -- and I feel you can tell that the author has been away from these characters for a long time. I didn't get the same feeling from this book as I did from the other books in the Anne of Green Gables series. There is barely any dialogue between Anne and her family & friends back at Green Gables. Whenever she goes back to visit, it focuses more on her new friends from Windy Poplars who come and visit. There is absolutely no dialgue between Anne ans Gilbert. She does write him letters, but there are none from him. And whenever they are in Green Gables together, he acts as a driver or stops by -- but no interaction at all!! What a let down for the reader since they just become engaged at the end of the last book!!
This book does nothing to develop or enhance the Green Gables series. I have read the next book, (Anne of House of Dreams #5), and it is wonderful. I would suggest that you skip book #4 altogether and go right to book #5 after you read Anne of the Island.
Very entertaining and highly amusing.