Last year I participated in the challenge, too. I read Anne of Windy Poplars and Anne's House of Dreams. (Linked to my reviews.) If you are an Anne fan, you know that the next book is Anne of Ingelside...so of course that was what I needed to read. I found Anne of Ingleside to be about Anne some, but much about her children and community, too.
Photo from www.statesymbolusa.org
Very early in the book I had to learn what a Mayflower (the flower) looked like. Jem, Anne's oldest son, loved giving these flowers to Anne each May. Did you know?
At the beginning of the book Gilbert's Aunt Mary Maria comes to stay for a short visit and stays for longer than she was welcome. She stays on even though Anne is about to have another baby. This particular Aunt Mary Maria is not nice to the family...and yet she stays. She is incredibly aggravating to read about. I can't imagine being a gracious host to her! I actually loved how Anne planned a special birthday party for her, but the results of the party were the best, though I won't spoil it for you!
Anne's children each seem to have one dilemma or another in Anne of Ingelside. Anne is a very understanding mother, and of course she never laughs at her children. I really like Susan, the family cook and housekeeper. She calls Anne "Mrs. Dr. Dear." It's quite sweet and with a great deal of respect.
Something that I really enjoyed was the mention of an onion sandwich! I have never eaten one, nor do I plan to, but onion sandwiches were also a big hit with Maud Hart Lovelace in the Betsy-Tacy books. Maybe I'm wrong, but it seems to reflect the times in the early 1900's.
The focus was certainly not on Anne and Gilbert despite the summary on the back cover indicating marital trouble, or at least Anne's concern that Gilbert doesn't love and adore her as he once did. This concern doesn't really show until nearly the end of the book, though the back cover summary makes it seem like it should be the most of the book.
To be honest, I found this to be a slow read. I actually started it last year...and struggled with it. So when I did not complete it in time for last years LMM Challenge, I figured it would wait until this year. It did wait, but, once again, I had a slow start. (Of course I started over again.) I don't know why the beginning of the book was so hard for me. Despite all of this, I certainly enjoyed it.
Next year I will read the seventh book in the series, Rainbow Valley for the LMM Challenge. I still have a few days to share about Lucy Maud and the Cavendish Cat, a picture book that I shared with my daughter! Thanks, Carrie, for encouraging us to read a great classic! Speaking of classics, I am also linking this up with Reading the Classics Reading Challenge! LMM is definitely a classic!