As a child, I loved ANNE OF GREEN GABLES and its sequels, ANNE OF AVONLEA and ANNE OF THE ISLAND. I was an avid fan of the Canadian TV Show Road To Avonlea. I didn't read the rest of the series until much later. The last book RILLA OF INGLESIDE, feature's Anne and Gilbert's youngest daughter. Rilla starts the book an immature teenager anticipating her first adult party. When war breaks out, Rilla steps up, taking on work for the red cross, raising a war orphan, and anxiously awaiting news of her brothers and friends on the front.
One of the only novels about life in Canada during WWI by someone who actually lived through it, RILLA is a coming-of-age story in more ways than one. If ANNE OF GREEN GABLES is a charming portrayal of a simpler time, RILLA is a moving, heartfelt story of a town coming into the modern era. The previous book in the series, RAINBOW VALLEY, foreshadows the coming of a pied piper who will summon the Blythe boys away from Ingleside. In RILLA, we see that promise fulfilled, as the boys of Glen Saint Mary and Four Winds are piped across the sea to war. This is the story of the women they leave behind.
As fond as I am of Anne's story, RILLA is my favorite book in the series.