House of Dreams. Anne Shirley had one. It was safe, happy, filled with love and laughter, heartache, Jesus and joy. I have spent a lot of time with her there in her House of Dreams. The Anne of Green Gables series has been one of my all-time favorites since I was 8, I believe. It has never failed to shock me when I meet someone who has never read them. (But it’s becoming more and more common that people have no idea what I am talking about here!)
We all have a House of Dreams, real or imagined. Maud’s imagination is such that we can easily enter her home of Dreams with her!
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House of Dreams, a Biography
? Recently I was given the opportunity to review an advanced copy of House of Dreams, a biography of the author who gave life to the little red-headed orphan with a vivid imagination. I’ve never been big on biographies but I couldn’t pass up this one.
Let me just say that I was not disappointed in the slightest. I felt like I was on a roller coaster of emotions as I was reading. Until the last few years I’ve never really considered the author of any of the books that I read. Unless it was an incomplete series, of course. ???? ?
Maud (without an E, please) is now a very real person to me. Her joys and triumphs are encouraging bright spots in the middle of many sorrows and hardships. They say that you should write about what you know. Maud took what she knew and made it beautiful. We all have a house of Dreams, real or imagined. Maud’s imagination is such that we can easily enter her home of Dreams with her.
When I want to escape reality for a while, I read. Which means I will always be grateful for authors who, like Maud, escape their reality by writing. There was much in her life that she would choose to escape. Most of her closest relationships were extremely complicated and less than supportive.
Maud was a fighter. She fought for the chance to be a teacher, and through the legal battles with extremely unfair treatment by her publisher, to name a few battles. Her perseverance is something that inspires me to keep fighting for what I believe in. I hope you will too!
Mark Twain was a fan, too!
One fan letter Maud especially treasured came from the seventy-three-year-old Mark Twain — one of her own favorite childhood authors — praising Anne as “the dearest, most lovable child in fiction since the immortal Alice.”
Reading House of Dreams, I had so many “Oh, So THAT’S what really happened!” moments. Maud did not Make the liniment cake, it was served to her, in case you were wondering!
Her House of Dreams
I was in my 20s when I discovered Kilmeny of the Orchard, the Story Girl, and some of L. M. Montgomery’s other books. Captivating, all of them!
Here are links to some of Maud’s books, I hope you will find a new friend here! (I haven’t read all of them but from reading House of Dreams, I fully intend to and have purchased a few!)
Before Green Gables
We can’t talk about Anne of Green Gables without mentioning the new Prequel. Budge Wilson took all of the snatches of history, and wrote a prequel for Anne, covering everything from before her birth to Katie Maurice, to Anne’s Plan to climb up and sleep in the Cherry Tree if Matthew didn’t pick her up at the train station! (I linked the Audible version for you, but there are several other options!)
And while gathering the links for you, I discovered another new prequel: Marilla of Green Gables. Releasing this October, Sarah McCoy tells of Marilla’s childhood, love, and history! I added it to my wishlist, and will be buying it!! I’ve always wondered, and now I will know all about Marilla (and Matthew’s) history.
Behind the Scenes in Marilla’s Dreams
OK. Wow! Sarah Mccoy did a great job here. Shaping the main cast of grown-ups just so, was hard work, I’m sure, but well done!
Green Gables really is a House of Dreams. Dreams that were pleasant and nightmares both.
Crafting a truly believable backstory for not just Marilla (and Matthew, of course!), but also Rachel Lynde, John Blythe, Dr Spencer, is quite an accomplishment! Even Miss Lavender Lewis and the Keith family have a brief appearance!
I definitely recommend this book to anyone who loves the Anne world!