A new minister has come to the Glen and taken up residence in the manse. With him he brings his four young and motherless children, their mother having previously departed this world. Mr. Meredith is an absentminded sort, rarely taking notice of the world or the scrapes his children get into, and occassionally dragging their steadfast friends, the Blythe children, along for the ride. It's not uncommon for the four young Merediths to set the whole village to gossip with their carrying on and scandalizing the church ladies. Most outrageous of all they bring a young orphan girl into their home where she lives for a fortnight, without their father even noticing. Just when everything starts to simmer down from that event, they got themselves into another scrape. And so the whole story goes.
I feel that a good portion of this four star rating is sentimental in nature. From the first pages of the book I was entranced, just as I was as a young girl the first time I read an Anne book. However, without that emotional response, it probably would have garnered a mere three stars. Anne and her brood were only secondary characters in a novel in which, the Merediths, new players on the stage, took the starring role. Charming as they were, it just wasn't quite the same to read an Anne novel in which she played only a minor role. Despite that, I would still love to see more of them, and wish that Montgomery had given them their own series.