So I finally got the digital edition of this book from the library and it’s super awesome because, drumroll please, it has screenshots from Anne of Avonlea (the made-for-TV-movie, not the book, because that would make zero sense).
The book is set in Summerside which is just Avonlea with strangers and, if possible, more gossip. I realized when I was almost done with this book that it was like an episode of Gilmore Girls. Most of the story comes from the bizarre background characters that pop in and out rambling about their bizarre personal lives. I’ve always thought Stars Hollow seemed like hell but I’m also pretty much a misanthrope.
Katherine Brooke, whether you know it or not, what you want is a good spanking.
Anyway. I really thought Windy Poplars was the town’s name but it’s actually a house. Do people name their houses? Like I get naming an estate or like a manor but a regular house? Really? The town is, as apparently all towns in Prince Edward Island were, populated almost exclusively by one family. That skeeves me out for obvious reasons. Unlike the people in Avonlea and Glen St. Mary, this family is just a bunch of (as my friend says) butt-nuggets. The book is almost exclusively letters from Anne,who apparently has a perfect memory of everything she’s said or heard, to Gilbert, her fiance. There are, however, often omitted pages which I assume are full of Victorian era sexting (smutty letters, maybe sketches. I don’t really know). if that’s not why they’re missing, this quote shouldn’t be the only romance in the whole book:
Are you sure you kiss me in suitable places, Gilbert? I’m afraid Mrs. Gibson would think the nape of the neck, for instance, most unsuitable.
It also gives Anne her second room facing a graveyard. The fact that I can recall that information angers me more than I can say. I’m becoming a repository of Anne Shirley trivia. This book, like Anne’s House of Dreams suffers from busybodying. Anne is engaged so she isn’t getting into romantic situations and she’s grown up so she’s not getting herself into scrapes so she has to deal with everyone else’s problems.
At one point, Anne is assisting with a town history (which is mostly boring) and discovers a grim tale of cannibalism. This reminds me of, spoiler alert, one of my favorite books (in theory, I haven’t read it in a while. It has a lot of stuff I like [cannibalism, made up beasts, shipwrecks, and Newfoundland dogs]): The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym of Nantucket. I want to read about the shipwreck and subsequent suicide & cannibalism but instead I get this nonsense.
One bright spot in this boring collection of vignettes masquerading as a novel was the use of the word Endor, which got my attention… for about 5 seconds before I realized that there would be no forest moon and no Ewoks. Endor is mentioned in the context of some sort of witch or ghost, which just reminded me of the two Ewok spin-off movies that were featured on We Hate Movies episodes 24 & 33 (both are gold). Listen to them both especially the second one because there are a lot of Wilford Brimley impressions.
There used to be a feature on the podcast Doug Loves Movies called “Watch this, not that,” so listen to We Hate Movies or read The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym of Nantucket, not Anne of Windy Poplars.