Last week I finished Anne’s House of Dreams. Cried twice, BTW. There is a common thread throughout all the Anne books (currently I’m reading Anne of Ingleside) of change and turning chapters in one’s life. Every life chapter is represented by a place, ie. Green Gables, Peggy’s Place, Windy Poplars, House of Dreams, and now Ingleside.
There’s a haunting thread of nostalgia whenever Anne revisits these places, especially Avonlea. Lost girlhood? Lost Dreams? Yet, Anne seems to be happy in her present. I thought HoD much better than Anne of Windy Poplars which seemed to drag in sections.
Here’s my selection from Anne’s House of Dreams:
The Green Gables folk went home after Christmas. Marilla under solemn covenant to return for a month in the spring. More snow came before New Year’s, and the harbour froze over, but the gulf still was free, beyond the white, imprisoned fields. The last day of the year was one of those bright, cold dazzling winter days, which bombard us with their brilliancy, and command our admiration but never our love.
“The old year is going away beautifully,” said Anne. She and Leslie and Gilbert were on their way to the Four Winds Point, having plotted with Captain Jim to watch the New Year in at the light. The sun had set and in the southwestern sky hung Venus, glorious and golden, having drawn as near to her earth-sister as is possible for her. For the first time Anne and Gilbert saw the shadow cast by that brilliant star of evening, that faint, mysterious shadow, never seen save when there is white snow to reveal it, and then only with averted vision, vanishing when you gaze at it directly.
“It’s like the spirit of a shadow, isn’t it?” whispered Anne. “You can see it so plainly haunting your side when you look ahead; but when you turn and look at it – it’s gone.”