Thursday, September 03, 2009

Anne's House of Dreams

I haven't read any of the Anne of Green Gables books in a long time. I recently re-watched all of the Kevin Sullivan film versions except for the latest incarnation starring Barbara Hershey. I was perplexed why Kevin Sullivan wrote an entirely new story for the third film, Anne - The Continuing Story. While the movie was ok, it was a huge departure from the original source material. Some might even say Kevin Sullivan went too far.

So I went back to the books. L. M. Montgomery, if I remember right, really didn't want to write anymore Anne books by the time she got to the last three in the series, but she did anyway for the pay check. Those who are more up on their Anne history, pipe in here. Anyway, some say the quality of the stories was lacking. I tend to disagree, especially with this book. If you compare the mood of this book versus the last movie, you will find the book fits right into the Anne universe whereas the movie does not.

In this story Anne and Gilbert are married and they set off to another location on the island, Four Winds,where Gilbert is to take over his uncle's medical practice. They rent a cottage with views of the ocean and meet interesting people while they set out to live their dreams. There is the salty Captain Jack, the sad neighbor Leslie Moore, and the spinster Miss Cornelia. Anne has the unique position to befriend them all and bring some measure of happiness to Four Winds. Anne also has to learn how to deal with the realities of life and not just her dreams. The story is touching and a welcome addition to the series.

I think there was enough fodder for Sullivan to create a screenplay on just this book alone. I am still puzzled why he didn't. Could he not secure the rights? Did he not want to recast Marilla? Was he bored by the material? In any event, read the books - they are enjoyable.

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