Anne of Avonlea

Published June 2, 2012 by myliteraryleanings

Review of Anne of Avonlea by L.M. Montgomery

Overview from www.bn.com: Ann (sic) of Avonlea is the same winsome, charming, delightfully lovable girl character that she was as Anne of Green Gables, with the additional charm of growing womanhood. New and pleasing characters are presented in this volume. Among them is a most fascinating little child whose quaint sayings give a delicious touch of pleasantry and brightness to the story.

My Review:

Anne of Avonlea picks up where Anne of Green Gables leaves off. The author however, introduced her for new readers to the series as “a tall, slim girl, ‘half-past sixteen,’ with serious gray eyes and hair which her friends called auburn.” And this from the very first sentence.

We read that she is distracted in her futile attempt to read a little Virgil. In this instance, she anticipates the class she is to teach in the fall, which is just around the corner, at the Avonlea School.

As a new teacher, who is not yet an adult herself, she is filled with high ideals about how she will conduct her class and how she will teach her students. She is determined to live up to them in spite of the misgivings of her friends and most of the Avonlea population who think that her ideas won’t work in a real classroom.

She seems to be not only on a quest of self-improvement but also the improvement of the community at large. She has also coerced the help of some of her old friends including Gilbert Blythe and Diana Berry. Together they have started a group they refer to as the Village Improvement Society whose aim it is to clean up the more run-down parts of Avonlea. The older residents don’t seem to think much will change and are surprised when the group actually does accomplish many of its goals, even after getting off to a rocky start.

But Anne has even more things on her plate than teaching and the Improvement Society. She must also help Marilla raise twins who had been left to her temporarily by the death of a cousin. Marilla’s eyesight is failing so she can’t do many of the things that she once did but Anne doesn’t seem to mind. She is happy to give these orphans the same love she lacked many years ago as an orphan herself, even if it is tiring sometimes.

Along the way she becomes acquainted with several new characters. Some, like dear little Paul Irving and his father, are among those who have recently returned to Avonlea after having lived somewhere else for a time. Others have lived in Avonlea all their lives but Anne had not had the opportunity to meet them before. And then there are new people such as the Harrisons who move very close to Green Gables.

Through it all, Anne matures but keeps her imagination intact still. Though she has no romance in her own life, she manages to create some for others. And in doing so, she makes a little boy very happy.

This book is still written in the style of a children’s book which surprised me some since Anne is clearly entering into adulthood now. I suppose though that since the intended audience was still younger readers, it shouldn’t have surprised me all that much. Still, it was a good story and it warmed my heart, as did the first one. In a way, it is good to see that the essence of Anne’s personality has not changed that much.

Contains: nothing objectionable that I could find.

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