There are a multitude of reasons that students recommend a specific book. Frequently the plot speaks to them, the message is important, it’s a great theme, or some variation. Less often because it brings back a certain memory, i.e. their father read it to them when they were a child, their mother gave them the book, etc. When I grab a book from the list, I usually try not to look at why the person recommended it, so I can get a fresh sense of the book. But in certain circumstances, I look at what the student said beforehand.
I preface my review because I did just that for this book. I have never read Anne of Green Gables, nor any of the sequels, and this book seemed like the recommendation wasn’t going to be “it’s got a great plot.” What the student noted were the lush descriptions of the scenery, and the simplicity of the stories and the peacefulness.
With those pieces in mind, I absolutely agree. I mean, I’m not going to pick up Anne of Green Gables, or in this case, Anne’s House of Dreams, because I’m going on vacation and need something for the plane. Or I want something while I’m on-line at the store. But this book makes it easy to read. When you open it up, L.M. Montgomery presents a slowed-down version of the world. Anne and her husband are enjoying their new home, sitting back and sipping tea with their neighbors. As a reader, your heart isn’t pumping fast through the thriller. You don’t have to turn on all the lights for a horror. And you’re not learning new things about faraway lands or faraway times. You’re just easing into a comfortable pair of slippers and a soft chair and letting the breeze trickle through the windows. Anne’s House of Dreams will lull you safely into a softer, gentler spot.
The book doesn’t pretend to be any more than it is - a place to go when you want to hit the “pause” button on life.