Rainbow Valley by L.M. Montgomery

Rainbow Valley

L.M. Montgomery

Anne Shirley is grown up, has married her beloved Gilbert, and is 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 a strange family moves into an old mansion nearby.

The Meredith clan is two boys and two girls—and a runaway named Mary Vance. Soon the Merediths join Anne’s children in their private hideout, intent on carrying 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.


Rainbow Valley is the seventh book in the Anne of Green Gables series and was published in 1919. The focus of the story is once again on Anne’s children and the adventures they have with the Meredith children who move into the manse with their widowed father.

The Meredith children are a wild bunch as their absent-minded father is too easily preoccupied by matters of theology to parent his children and their misadventures soon outrage the residents of Glen St. Mary. Of course, Anne adores the spirited children and has no qualms about allowing her own children to play with them while she busies herself with the task of finding a new wife for the minister.

The Blyth and Meredith children play in a hollow named Rainbow Valley where they form the Good-Conduct Club to help the Merediths learn how to behave by imposing punishments on themselves for bad behaviour. The punishments backfire though as the youngest, Carl, almost dies of pneumonia after spending hours in a graveyard on a wet night but it provides a wake up call to their father who is wracked with guilt over his perceived negligence. Anxious to provide his children with a new mother, John Meredith begins courting Rosemary West much to the delight of Anne Blythe.

Rainbow Valley pushes the Blythes into the background as the Merediths take centre stage but their antics soon become tedious. As well as the Merediths, we are also introduced to Mary Vance, an orphan, who runs away from her foster family and hides in the barn. Mary Vance has a similar background to Anne Shirley but she is nowhere near as charming and is very critical of the others.

The book ends on a dark note though as it foreshadows the arrival of the First World War and tragedy for at least one of Anne and Gilbert’s sons.