I've read this book so many times, it's falling apart. That's how much I love it. Rilla of Ingleside is L.M Montgomery's last book in the Anne of Green Gables series. Anne and Gilbert's children are grown up now: Jem, Walter, Nan and Di are in college and Rilla, the youngest, is looking forward to her first adult party at the lighthouse. Pretty innocuous start to a book that may lull you into believing that it's just another one of those "featherweight" books.
You see, the first rumblings of World War I is sweeping across Canada. In Glen St. Mary, people are brushing it off as "an easy war", one that will never start and if it does, be over in a few weeks. Only as the months go by with no ending in sight do the people start to fear for their enlisted boys and "the old grey mother" (England).
What's so enchanting about the book is we get too see how a great war such as WWI affects the mundane, every day life of the Glen folks. Rilla started out like any of us at 15. Parties, friends, beaux (this was 1914) and clothes were her main concerns. We follow her as she gradually wakes up to the fact that this will not be a short war, and that her enlisted brothers and friends may never return. We see her adopt a "war baby", organise a Junior Red Cross and generally grow up against a backdrop of constant worry for loved ones.
It's a sad book, I think, but one with little nuggets of sunshine in every chapter. The ending when it comes will have you wishing for more, just what every good book should do.
About The Reviewer: Edna is a geologist working and living in KL. This bookworm will apparently happily forego sleep and baths for the sake of a good book! ;D graceshu # 11:15 PM