Day 1175: Anne of Avonlea

Cover for Anne of AvonleaA while back, some bloggers were having an Anne of Green Gables reading challenge. That led me to reread Anne of Green Gables, and I was pleasantly surprised to see how well it held up for adults. Other bloggers went ahead and read the entire series.

I don’t think I read the entire series when I was a girl, but I know I read up through the time when Anne married Gilbert, so I’m guessing I read three or four books back then. When I ran across a copy of Anne of Avonlea, the second book in the series, I decided to give it a try as an adult.

In this book, Anne is sixteen and just about to begin her career as a schoolteacher in Avonlea. Most of her old friends are also teachers at nearby schools. The novel follows her adventures during the next two years as she teaches, makes new friends, and begins to grow up a little. She and Marilla also take on the upbringing of two six-year-old distant cousins of Marilla, Davey and Dora.

I’m afraid I didn’t enjoy this book as much. The dreamy, romantic Anne, with all her comments about fairies and so on isn’t as convincing as an older girl. The novel relies for humor mostly on the comments of Anne’s students and the misbehavior of Davey. I found the first a little cloying, and I couldn’t help comparing the second to a similar situation in A Girl of the Limberlost, which is handled much better. I have to admit to not developing any feelings for any of these children, whereas Anne as a child was very sympathetic.

Finally, there’s not much of a sense of plot to this novel. It is almost as if, in these transitional years, Montgomery didn’t know what to do with Anne. The most dramatic events center around her friend, Miss Lavendar Lewis, but they are predictable. I think this is a book that adolescent or pre-adolescent girls might love, but it holds little attraction for me.

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5 thoughts on “Day 1175: Anne of Avonlea

  1. Naomi February 6, 2018 / 10:31 am

    It’s true that this book isn’t as good as the two on either side of it. And I’m not a big fan of Davy or Paul Irving (is that his name?). But I still loved other aspects of the book. And I always had to remind myself that, even though Anne is teaching school, she’s only 16!
    Don’t let it stop you from reading #3… you might as well continue on. 😉

  2. Helen February 6, 2018 / 3:09 pm

    I loved Anne of Green Gables as a child and I know I read some of the others in the series too, though I can’t remember which ones. The thought of rereading them as an adult has never really appealed to me, but I might do it one day.

    • whatmeread February 6, 2018 / 3:59 pm

      I think I only read it because I remembered that read-along.

  3. Karen K. February 7, 2018 / 3:45 am

    I read it last month and feel exactly the same way. I had just reread AGG in preparation and it felt a little flat. I was expecting more Gilbert Blythe, I guess he has a bigger part in the next book. I’ve also heard good things about the Emily series though I haven’t read any of those either.

  4. Jorie February 22, 2018 / 4:43 am

    Hallo, Hallo Kay,

    Ooh dear my – I had my own Anne journey last year, wherein I had the joy of listening to the series in audiobook, the narrator truly pulled me into the cusp of Anne’s world and life. I couldn’t speak more highly on the experience because it became so very immersive for me. The audios are by Post Hypnotic Press which produces quite a lot of classical lit which I’m thankful for celebrating. I’m going to be listening to two more of their stories this Spring (next month) which are Greenwillow and The Curve of Time.

    I couldn’t remember myself if I had read the whole series or had stopped short in my own childhood years… the journey I took reclaimed a bit of my younger self and merged into a mature perspective on Anne and all the characters. I even found myself relating to Marilla this time round a bit moreso than Anne (initially) which showed my own personal growth and my yearnings to be an adoptive Mum in the future.

    This is one reason I like re-visiting stories – especially those which meet us at different decades of our lives, as sometimes they change / alter in how we synthesise what is to be found inside them.

    We also can’t love all the stories we’d hope too – so I was sorry this one didn’t grasp your attention but perhaps, as you said, it was arriving in the wrong season for you to feel immersed into it’s world. No harm in that!

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