“Rainbow Valley” is a novel by L.M. Montgomery, published in 1935. It is the seventh book in the Anne of Green Gables series, but it focuses on a new set of characters, rather than Anne Shirley.
The story is set in the fictional community of Rainbow Valley, which is located near the town of Glen St. Mary on Prince Edward Island, Canada. The main characters are the four children of the new minister in town, John Meredith. They are 10-year-old Jerry, 9-year-old Faith, 8-year-old Una, and 7-year-old Carl. They are motherless and their father, who is very absent-minded, is often preoccupied with his work and writing a history of the town.
The children are mischievous and often get into trouble, but they are also kind-hearted and always looking for ways to help others. They befriend the children of the town’s strict and judgmental Presbyterian minister, Mr. and Mrs. Meredith, who disapprove of the children’s father and his more liberal beliefs.
Jerry also develops a close friendship with a poor orphan boy named Mary Vance, who has a sharp tongue but a good heart. Mary is taken in by the local shopkeeper, Miss Cornelia, who also becomes a close friend to the Meredith family.
Throughout the novel, the children get into various scrapes and adventures, such as trying to find a way to make money for a poor family, organizing a concert to raise funds for the local church, and trying to bring a feud between two families to an end. Meanwhile, John Meredith struggles with his own feelings for the town’s schoolteacher, Rosemary West, who is also the daughter of the town’s wealthiest family.
In the end, the children’s good deeds and kind hearts bring the town together and help to bridge the gap between the different factions. John Meredith also finds the courage to declare his love for Rosemary, and they are married. The novel ends on a note of hope and community, with the children of Rainbow Valley continuing to spread joy and kindness wherever they go.
Robert N. Bradbury
John Wayne, Lucile Browne, George ‘Gabby’ Hayes