After many years of medical school, Gilbert Blythe is a doctor, and he has found a practice away from Avonlea. Taking his new bride, Anne Shirley Blythe, he moves and settles down in a new house, which Anne immediately sets about making their very own. She loves being a doctor’s wife, but more importantly, she loves being Gilbert’s wife, and they quickly adapt to their new life together.
While out taking a walk one night, Anne spies a beautiful young woman out driving her geese, and becomes curious who she is. She finds out that the woman is Leslie Moore, a kindred spirit trapped in a loveless marriage to a man who has been mentally incapacitated by an accident. Leslie is doomed to spend the rest of her life caring for Dick, her husband, and can see no way out. Her future seems bleak and she can find no joy in her days.
It’s not too long before Anne finds herself pregnant, and looks forward to the birth with great anticipation. In true Victorian style, however, L.M. Montgomery only hints at Anne’s condition and we have to guess at what’s going on. Unfortunately, for the second time in the series (the first being the death of Matthew) true tragedy strikes Anne as her baby doesn’t live. They do eventually have a healthy son, but Anne is forever marked by that first loss.
Gilbert comes to Anne and tells her that he thinks there is a way to operate on Dick and bring him back to his former mental state. Ordinarily this would be good news, but Dick was an abusive husband before his accident, and while his mental disability makes him hard to care for, Leslie is certainly safer than she was in the past. She finally decides that it’s not fair to him to allow him to go on this way, and agrees to the surgery. Anne is upset with Gilbert, but not for long.
Two wonderful new characters are introduced in the forms of Captain Jim and Miss Cornelia. Both are brimming with life and you would swear that they were real people trapped on a page of written word. Also included is a sweet romance that will fill your eyes with tears. Get a box of tissue ready!
We discover that this is the only book in the Anne of Green Gables series to contain a mystery. I’m not going to tell you what that mystery is or how it’s resolved, however – I want you to read the book, easily one of my very favorites in the series, and allow me to share the joy of Anne.
(This book was first published in 1917.)