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Green Gables Reading #2: Anne of Avonlea by L.M. Montgomery

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20312871In the years since she arrived at Green Gables, Anne has earned the love and respect of the people of Avonlea–as well as a reputation for getting herself into predicaments. Now sixteen years old–and bound and determined to look after Marilla in the wake of Matthew’s death–she’s about to begin her job as the town’s new schoolteacher. Soon enough she is the one learning lessons, however, as she starts to realize how complicated life can be. In her usual well-intentioned but meddlesome way, Anne is quickly interfering in a new friend’s thwarted romance, coping with two new orphans at Green Gables, and getting drawn into the lives of her mostly charming and occasionally exasperating students at Avonlea school.

The once awkward, freckle-faced little girl is now a mature and responsible young woman, but Anne’s imaginative spirit is as strong as ever in this sequel to the much-loved Anne of Green Gables.

Please note: this is the second in the Anne of Green Gables series to be discussed on this blog. If you missed part 1, please click here to catch up. 

This is the book where Anne begins to really leave behind her childhood and to assume some of the responsibilities of adulthood. She’s a teacher now, in charge of a classroom that she was part of not so long ago – and she’s sixteen! I can’t even imagine… 

This is also the book where we are introduced to Hester Grey’s garden, and to Miss Lavender and Charlotta the Fourth. How much did I love small Paul and his father with the dark eyes, and how the book ended with a romance and a new beginning for both the newly married couple and for Anne? To me, this was the book that I now realize that Anne needed; she wasn’t ready to head to Redmond yet, as she needed this time to come into her own. She is truly moving beyond Green Gables, and as the title suggests, she is a vibrant member of her community now.

The AVIS was a wonderful project, and apparently one that was quite common for the time. It was good old fashioned canvassing that financed the projects, and since you got to know your neighbours, you would have a pretty good idea of who would – and would not – contribute. (It did make me giggle a little to realize that “Pye-ness” was considered an adjective, and that the small-town determinations could linger so long.) It was an approved social occasion for young people that allowed them to meet and socialize, all in the name of “doing good”, and I liked that it brought people together, such as Diana and Fred. I had forgotten just how much more romantic Anne’s feelings were towards Gilbert Blythe in this book, and just how much he pursues her. There is a lot of blossoming romance, fitting for the age. I wonder if this could be considered an early YA book?

I have more appreciating for the changes afoot for Marilla and Mrs. Lynde; for all her harshness, Mrs. Lynde is that town busybody who may gossip her heart out but who is also the first in with a covered dish and a hand-made blanket when needed. I was sad for her loss, but I’m happy that she and Marilla will be together to support each other. As for the twins … I’ve always appreciated Davy’s spunk and sass, but now I have a little more sympathy for Dora – he never lets up on her! Poor Dora may be boring, but she doesn’t deserve as much flack as Davy gives her.

A shout-out here to the delicious new cover designs by Elly McKay: I’ve loved her shadow-box multimedia pictures for a while now, but this cover is brilliant. I can just hear the squelch of the mud under Anne’s feet, and love the sense of movement in her hair. Beautiful.

Are you joining the readalong? Join Lindsey at Reeder Reads and the rest of us as we read (or re-read) the Anne series over the first eight months of the year.

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2 Responses »

  1. Like you, I loved the new characters and Pye-ness…and Paul. Who couldn’t love Paul. He and Anne were definitely soul-mates, in my opinion. And her Walter reminds me of Paul. I am loving this series!

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