Unlike the previous books, which generally pick up where the last one left off, there is a gap of about 7-9 years between Anne’s House of Dreams and Anne of Ingleside. In that time, Anne and her growing family have moved from the little white house of dreams in Four Winds Point to Ingleside, “the big house,” in Glen St. Mary. She now has five children, with the sixth (and last!) on the way.
Anne of Ingleside begins and ends with stories about Anne, but the bulk of the book is about her children and the adventures of their young lives. They each have their own lively personalities, and are all blessed with the spark of fancy and faerie from their mother. This is a book about a large, well-to-do, loving family, and the little events that seem so significant and life-changing to little lives. Through everything that occurs, there is one constant: Anne, the caring, understanding mother, who manages to keep a straight face no matter how tempted she may be to laugh at the children’s little dramas. It is family life seen through rose-tinted lenses, but it is consistent with the rest of the series, because that is usually how Anne sees life.
Although there are still two books after this in the series, Anne of Ingleside is the last book that features Anne as a major character. This book serves as a sort of transition from Anne to her children as the driving force of the story. And the children are delightful. Walter is my particular favorite, but more on that later!