Rainbow Valley

Rainbow Valley

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Anne Shirley is grown up, has married her beloved Gilbert, and is now the mother of six mischievous children. These boys and girls discover a special place all their own, but they never dream of what will happen when the strangest family moves into an old nearby mansion.

The Meredith clan is two boys and two girls, with a minister father but no mother-and a runaway girl named Mary Vance. Soon the Meredith kids join Anne's children in their private hideout to carry out their plans to save Mary from the orphanage, to help the lonely minister find happiness, and to keep a pet rooster from the soup pot. There's always an adventure brewing in the sun-dappled world of Rainbow Valley.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781452600932
Publisher: Tantor Media, Inc.
Publication date: 02/17/2011
Series: Anne of Green Gables Series
Edition description: Unabridged CD
Product dimensions: 6.40(w) x 5.30(h) x 1.10(d)
Age Range: 8 - 12 Years

About the Author

Lucy Maud Montgomery was one of the most famous Canadian writers of the twentieth century. She is best known for her books for young adults, particularly Anne of Green Gables and its six sequels.

Pam Ward has performed in dinner theater, summer stock, and Off-Broadway, as well as in commercials, radio, and film. An experienced narrator, Pam has recorded many titles for the Library of Congress Talking Books program. She is the recipient of an AudioFile Earphones Award and the prestigious Alexander Scourby Award.

Read an Excerpt

Rainbow Valley

  • It was a clear, apple-green evening in May, and Four Winds Harbour was mirroring back the clouds of the golden West between its softly dark shores. The sea moaned eerily on the sand-bar, sorrowful even in spring, but a sly, jovial wind came piping down the red harbor road along which Miss Cornelia’s comfortable, matronly figure was making its way towards the village of Glen St. Mary. Miss Cornelia was rightfully Mrs. Marshall Elliott, and had been Mrs. Marshall Elliott for thirteen years, but even yet more people referred to her as Miss Cornelia than as Mrs. Elliott. The old name was dear to her old friends; only one of them contemptuously dropped it. Susan Baker, the gray and grim and faithful handmaiden of the Blythe family at Ingleside, never lost an opportunity of calling her “Mrs. Marshall Elliott,” with the most killing and pointed emphasis, as if to say “You wanted to be Mrs. and Mrs. you shall be with a vengeance as far as I am concerned.”

    Miss Cornelia was going up to Ingleside to see Dr. and Mrs. Blythe, who were just home from Europe. They had been away for three months, having left in February to attend a famous medical congress in London; and certain things, which Miss Cornelia was anxious to discuss, had taken place in the Glen during their absence. For one thing, there was a new family in the manse. And such a family! Miss Cornelia shook her head over them several times as she walked briskly along.

    Susan Baker and the Anne Shirley of other days saw her coming, as they sat on the big veranda at Ingleside, enjoying the charm of the cat’s light, the sweetness of sleepy robins whistling among the twilit maples, and the dance of a gusty group of daffodils blowing against the old, mellow, red brick wall of the lawn.

    Anne was sitting on the steps, her hands clasped over her knee, looking, in the kind dusk, as girlish as a mother of many has any right to be; and the beautiful gray-green eyes, gazing down the harbor road, were as full of unquenchable sparkle and dream as ever. Behind her, in the hammock, Rilla Blythe was curled up, a fat, roly-poly little creature of six years, the youngest of the Ingleside children. She had curly red hair and hazel eyes that were now buttoned up after the funny, wrinkled fashion in which Rilla always went to sleep.

    Shirley, “the little brown boy,” as he was known in the family “Who’s Who,” was asleep in Susan’s arms. He was brown-haired, brown-eyed, and brown-skinned, with very rosy cheeks, and he was Susan’s especial love. After his birth Anne had been very ill for a long time, and Susan “mothered” the baby with a passionate tenderness which none of the other children, dear as they were to her, had ever called out. Dr. Blythe had said that but for her he would never have lived.

    “I gave him life just as much as you did, Mrs. Dr. dear,” Susan was wont to say. “He is just as much my baby as he is yours.” And, indeed, it was always to Susan that Shirley ran, to be kissed for bumps, and rocked to sleep, and protected from well-deserved spankings. Susan had conscientiously spanked all the other Blythe children when she thought they needed it for their souls’ good, but she would not spank Shirley nor allow his mother to do it. Once, Dr. Blythe had spanked him and Susan had been stormily indignant.

    “That man would spank an angel, Mrs. Dr. dear, that he would,” she had declared bitterly; and she would not make the poor doctor a pie for weeks.

    She had taken Shirley with her to her brother’s home during his parents’ absence, while all the other children had gone to Avonlea, and she had three blessed months of him all to herself. Nevertheless, Susan was very glad to find herself back at Ingleside, with all her darlings around her again. Ingleside was her world and in it she reigned supreme. Even Anne seldom questioned her decisions, much to the disgust of Mrs. Rachel Lynde of Green Gables, who gloomily told Anne, whenever she visited Four Winds, that she was letting Susan get to be entirely too much of a boss and would live to rue it.

    “Here is Cornelia Bryant coming up the harbor road, Mrs. Dr. dear,” said Susan. “She will be coming up to unload three months’ gossip on us.”

    “I hope so,” said Anne, hugging her knees. “I’m starving for Glen St. Mary gossip, Susan. I hope Miss Cornelia can tell me everything that has happened while we’ve been away—everything—who has got born, or married, or drunk; who has died, or gone away, or come, or fought, or lost a cow, or found a beau. It’s so delightful to be home again with all the dear Glen folks, and I want to know all about them. Why, I remember wondering, as I walked through Westminster Abbey, which of her two especial beaux Millicent Drew would finally marry. Do you know, Susan, I have a dreadful suspicion that I love gossip.”

    “Well, of course, Mrs. Dr. dear,” admitted Susan, “every proper woman likes to hear the news. I am rather interested in Millicent Drew’s case myself. I never had a beau, much less two, and I do not mind now, for being an old maid does not hurt when you get used to it. Millicent’s hair always looks to me as if she had swept it up with a broom. But the men do not seem to mind that.”

    “They see only her pretty, piquant, mocking, little face, Susan.”

    “That may very well be, Mrs. Dr. dear. The Good Book says that favor is deceitful and beauty is vain, but I should not have minded finding that out for myself, if it had been so ordained. I have no doubt we will all be beautiful when we are angels, but what good will it do us then? Speaking of gossip, however, they do say that poor Mrs. Harrison Miller over harbor tried to hang herself last week.”

    “Oh, Susan!”

    “Calm yourself, Mrs. Dr. dear. She did not succeed. But I really do not blame her for trying, for her husband is a terrible man. But she was very foolish to think of hanging herself and leaving the way clear for him to marry some other woman. If I had been in her shoes, Mrs. Dr. dear, I would have gone to work to worry him so that he would try to hang himself instead of me. Not that I hold with people hanging themselves under any circumstances, Mrs. Dr. dear.”

    “What is the matter with Harrison Miller, anyway?” said Anne impatiently. “He is always driving some one to extremes.”

    “Well, some people call it religion and some call it cussedness, begging your pardon, Mrs. Dr. dear, for using such a word. It seems they cannot make out which it is in Harrison’s case. There are days when he growls at everybody because he thinks he is fore-ordained to eternal punishment. And then there are days when he says he does not care and goes and gets drunk. My own opinion is that he is not sound in his intellect, for none of that branch of the Millers were. His grandfather went out of his mind. He thought he was surrounded by big black spiders. They crawled over him and floated in the air about him. I hope I shall never go insane, Mrs. Dr. dear, and I do not think I will, because it is not a habit of the Bakers. But, if an all-wise Providence should decree it, I hope it will not take the form of big black spiders, for I loathe the animals. As for Mrs. Miller, I do not know whether she really deserves pity or not. There are some who say she just married Harrison to spite Richard Taylor, which seems to me a very peculiar reason for getting married. But then, of course, I am no judge of things matrimonial, Mrs. Dr. dear. And there is Cornelia Bryant at the gate, so I will put this blessed brown baby on his bed and get my knitting.”

  • Customer Reviews

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    Rainbow Valley 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 55 reviews.
    susanbevans on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
    Rainbow Valley is the seventh book in L.M. Montgomery's Anne of Green Gables series. It could almost be a stand-alone novel as there is very little of Anne, Gilbert, or their children. If you can get past the disappointment of not seeing very much of the Blythe's then you might enjoy Rainbow Valley. The story revolves around the Meredith's, the four children of a widowed Presbyterian minister. Anne and Gilbert's children play small parts, mostly in the background of the story.Although the Meredith children certainly can be described as unusual, I didn't find anything particularly interesting about them. I'm afraid that L.M. Montgomery simply ran out of unique characters by the seventh book. I feel let down that the series has turned so far away from Anne. It makes me wonder if Montgomery believed that our adventures end when we grow up and get married. A spirited woman like Anne would definitely continue to grow and evolve as a person. Taken outside of the series, Rainbow Valley is a beautifully written story - with the same graceful turns of phrase as the rest of the series, and full of drama and comedy. But when judged against it's predecessors it is a disappointment - with lackluster characters and a flat plot line. Quite uninteresting.
    savageknight on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
    After that disappointing 6th book, I was a little worried about what this 7th would be like. Although, again, the main action has little or no to do with Anne, this time it felt like a book-length story as opposed to mini character profiles. Anne's children make friends with the new Minister's children and there are plenty of tales and wild antics that ensue. The Minister and his kids really do take center stage but Anne's presence is still felt and the book is quite an enjoyable, leisurely read.
    Stewartry on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
    After having read through the trials and tribulations of Anne as she grew up, married, had children, made a life and a home, Rainbow Valley was a little startling in its pure concentration on the kids. Suddenly it was all nightmares and bosom friends and school tribulations again, with only glances at Anne. I missed her. Again, it was all dear and sweet, never sticky-icky ¿ those children were not all angels, though the Blythes and their friends the Merediths were uniformly good-hearted ¿ but ¿ I wanted Anne, I guess.
    bookworm12 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
    This is the seventh book in the Anne of Green Gables series, but the Blythes are actually minor characters in this novel. The story focuses more on the widowed minister, John Meredith, and his children, especially Faith and Una. They girls are friends with the Blythe children and they all play together in a place they call Rainbow Valley. There were so many funny misunderstandings in this one. At one point, Faith and Una get mixed up about what day of the week it is and they miss church, which causes a big scandal in the little community. Every time they try to stand up for their father they end up making things worse. There¿s also a pair of older, unmarried sisters they find themselves with unexpected suitors. The first chapter of the book had me laughing out loud. Anne and her house keeper Susan are talking about gossip and their back and forth banter is just hilarious. There¿s also a little orphaned girl named Mary who¿s quite a pip. She was abused in her foster homes and is on the run. Her bad language and general worldview seem to get everyone in trouble. This one was much funnier than some of the other books in the series, but it¿s not my favorite. I missed Anne, Gilbert, and some of the other characters I¿ve grown to love so dearly. This one felt like it wasn¿t really part of the series, but I still enjoyed the story. Even when Anne isn¿t the central figure of the story, Montgomery has a way of making you love the characters in her books. ¿When that over-harbour doctor married the undertaker¿s daughter at Lowbridge people felt suspicious of him. It didn¿t look well.¿¿We miss so much out of life if we don¿t love.¿
    Magadri on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
    This book focuses more on the children and their neighbors than on Anne. Drudged through this one.
    tjsjohanna on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
    One of the best bits of this book is that while there are plenty of little stories along the way, there is an overarching storyline that is so satisfying. The Meredith family is mourning the loss of their mother & wife - but all is resolved in the end. The Meredith children are enjoyable - particularly the girls - and there is a scene at the end of the novel that never fails to bring me to tears. There isn't much in this book of Anne - I suppose it would be difficult to say much of life as a wife and mother that would be interesting to children - the main audience for these books. But Anne continues to be a sympathetic ear to children - both her own and the Merediths.
    ThorneStaff on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
    I must confess to being a little disappointed when I realized that this book primarily concerns the Blythes' new neighbors, the widowed Rev. Meredith's children. Of course the Blythes are their playmates in idyllic Rainbow Valley, but I didn't take to them nearly as much because they're too far removed from Anne. Nevertheless, they have some riotous adventures, often inadvertantly at their father's expense, and the horror of the community seems to be directly in inverse proportion to their good intentions. The adventures snowball until the denoument, when all the situations are smoothed out in a satisfactory way. But the happy ending is bittersweet, especially as dark foreshadowing crops up more and more as the book progresses.
    atimco on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
    Rainbow Valley completes the shift started in Anne of Ingleside, moving the story away from Anne and her family and focusing instead on the new minister's family, the motherless Merediths. Mr. Meredith is a wonderful preacher, but very absent minded in everyday life. The four Meredith children, Jerry, Faith, Una, and Carl, are at the mercy of their doddering Aunt Margaret, who is really too old and blind to run the manse properly. The Meredith children often go without rather than ask their beloved father for anything, and after their doings scandalize the Glen they form a club for bringing themselves up, "since there is no one else to do it." Mary Vance is also introduced in this story, and she quickly becomes with the reader what she is to her set: a habit we can't get along without. She is an abused orphan who runs away from her mistress and lands in the manse with the Merediths. Her spicy tongue soon leads to trouble, as little Una believes everything Mary says... even regarding ghost stories and the inevitable cruelty of stepmothers. Throughout the story Mary voices a lot of stark theological misconceptions common to unloved, unwanted children. The children, left to figure out these problems themselves from their innocent observation of the people around them, always do so in a way consistent with their characters. The story is all the stronger for it.Norman Douglas is another favorite character who makes his first blustering appearance in this story. He is absolutely hilarious, the old pagan. The scene where Faith tells him off is so much fun! And I've always liked the love story subplots in this book ¿ so very different, both sweet and hilarious. Ellen is fascinating. It's interesting that she is proven so right about the Kaiser of Germany, when the men in the story disagree with her political opinions on that score. We get hints of what is coming in Rilla of Ingleside with the Great War. The last chapter has the strongest foreshadowing, with Walter seeing a vision of the Piper who will call the boys of his generation and pipe them round the world. Rainbow Valley is one of my favorites among the series, despite the fact that Anne is a minor character. The Merediths are lovable and their adventures fresh and entertaining. I used to think that Anne of Green Gables and Rilla of Ingleside were my top favorites, but I'm not so sure that Rainbow Valley isn't among them after all. Funny, fresh, and written at the top of Montgomery's form, this is a delightful story I love to revisit. Highly recommended!
    milti on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
    Oh my god, so sad, and so grown up somehow. Very different, and a whole world away, from Anne's Avonlea. I cried so much!
    quaintlittlehead on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
    In reading this book, I finally felt like Montgomery had achieved what she set out to accomplish from the first "Anne" book: to weave together a tale of childlike innocence and romantic entanglement. This is done so much better here than it was in the character of young Anne because the two concepts are wisely separated and presented through the story of an endearing young family of children and their absent-minded but easy-to-love widower father. In leaving the romance to the adults and letting the children be children, Montgomery finally achieves what seems like an honest and realistic presentation of hew new characters.On the other hand, Anne herself plays an almost marginal role in the story, being reinjected almost as the presence of the novelist herself, commenting on her sympathies with the other characters. I found her far less likeable in this story than in any of the others, for she seemed largely to have lost her dreaminess in the drudgery of listening to idle adult gossip and engaged in few, if any, other activities throughout the book. It also bothered me that in one scene, she appeared to identify with the imaginative flights of fancy of another character moreso than with her own emotionally wounded daughter.However, Anne's strongest moment in this book is to provide a sense of authorial voice to counter the gossip that so mundanely weighs both the narrative style of this book and the lives of the townspeople down. I was struck over and over in reading this story with the horrifying hypocrisy of the churchgoers and their altogether weak grasp of the theology the Presbyterian church they attended would have, or should have, been teaching. As a mostly life-long Presbyterian myself, I saw the same problems in this turn-of-the-20th-century novel that I see plaguing the mainstream Presbyterian church, and others, today: a sense of tradition, pragmatism, and public opinion prevailing over an actual understanding and practising of Biblical doctrine and wisdom. I felt often in reading this book that if this were meant to be a satire of "the way things are but should not be," the writing was not quite sly enough to pull it off--until Anne made an impassioned speech setting herself apart from such problems. Unfortunately for the characters in the story, her voice of reason didn't really change anything much, a problem that also resonates for many of us who are Christians today. Fortunately, however, Montgomery wraps us ever more fabulously in the cloak of innocence surrounding the Meredith family and how they manage to muddle along just fine, in spite of the ugliness around them.
    puckrobin on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
    Rainbow Valley continues the trend begun in Anne of Ingleside in transferring the focus of attention from Anne Shirley herself to her children. This enables new readers come into the series 'fresh' - Anne of Ingleside, Rainbow Valley and Rilla of Ingleside are almost a sub-trilogy to the entire series of eight Anne novels. In many ways, with more focus on other community members and families, Rainbow Valley is akin to Montgomery's Avonlea books, and allows her the freedom to return to adventures of children in the idealist period of their lives and Montgomery's idealized vision of Canada in her youth.
    mminor1985 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
    This book is more about the new preacher's children than about Anne's and Gilbert's brood of children. The manse children get into all sort of scapes since their father is a widower who easily gets lost into his own world and doesn't pay attention to his children. A new character is introduced who is a little orphan girl who has ran away from the home that she is working for. She is similar to Anne at that age who was also an orphan in a bad situation.
    Wanderlust_Lost on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
    This book has even less to do with Anne than the previous one. It focuses on Anne's six children and their friendship with the four children of the new minister. It's a lovely book, beautifully written and a terrific journey through the same type of idyllic childhood that all of Montgomery's stories have. It makes me want to turn Victorian and move to PE Island. :)
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    Must read!! Not quite so much romance as some of the other books, which i am happy about
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    Great book! Oldfasioned funnyness.
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    L.M Montgomery is such a great writer! She writes with such vibrancy and humour! It is hilarious the scrapes the kids get into!
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    Good book
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    This is one of my favorite anne books: funny and charming yet romantically thrilling at the same time. I couldn' t put it down!!
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    This book is amazing
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    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    This is a good book but it is not about Anne or her kids at all. It's about the Meredith kids-Jerry, Faith, Una, and Carl.
    BookheartLR More than 1 year ago
    This is one of the two books which I refer to as "the secret Anne books". Because my exposure to Anne was my Mom's boxed set from her childhood, I assumed that Anne of Ingleside was the end of the story. But guess what! There are two more, Rainbow Valley & Rilla of Ingleside. I love them both, and they are an absolute must for any Anne fan, young or old.
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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