Book 2 promptly picks up where book 1 left off. Matthew Cuthbert passed away, and Anne decided to stay in Avonlea to teach at the local school as well as to stay with Marilla at Green Gables. During her years at Green Gables as schoolteacher, Anne matured, and had a greater impact on Avonlea and its residents than before. Particularly with the help of her newly founded Avonlea Improvement Society.
This book was considerably different from the PBS series, which I really should stop referring to. I liked the book a lot, but I am glad for the changes that were made for the mini-series. I was sad to see the story of Paul Irving disappear, as well as Mr. Harrison. Almost all the new characters introduced in Anne of Avonlea disappeared from the mini-series. Likewise, Anne’s experiences a teacher all happened in Avonlea and not at a stuffy prep-school of rich kids.
I liked the story of Miss Lavender the best. It was a very sweet story, and I thought she and Anne were perhaps the best of kindred spirit pairings throughout the first two books. It took me a while longer to get through this book than the first. Montgomery’s floral and descriptive writing got to a little too sugary with all the “my dears” and “darlings.” Anne is an amazing woman though, full of life, enthusiasm, energy and determination. She’s incredibly smart, and a fantastic role model for young girl reading the series today. She’s impulse, loving, generous, and pragmatic. She can connect to people in unique ways, break through tough exteriors and find the vulnerable & sensitive side of each person she comes across, well except for the Pyes of course. No one can get along with a Pye.
I wasn’t a big fan of the Davy & Dora storyline. I’m really glad this pair was cut out of the mini-series completely. Davy was annoying for being such a bratty little kid, and Dora was more annoying for being so plain and boring. I didn’t really care for either of them, although I felt that I should care more for Davy because of his wild spirit. But I didn’t want to care more for him, so I ended up disliking those chapters and episodes the most. I hope they won’t have too large a role in the remaining books.
As much as I want to keep reading the series, I think I’ll have to take a break before delving into book 3.