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Anne of Avonlea (LM Montgomery) – Review

Anne of AvonleaAnne of Avonlea (Anne of Green Gables #2) by LM Montgomery
Age: 10+
Source: My copy
Publisher: Penguin Books
Find this book at your local library 

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.

Anne of Green Gables (LM Montgomery) Tween-Teen Book Review

Anne of Green GablesAnne of Green Gables by LM Montgomery
Age: 10 +
Source: My copy
Publisher: Bantam Classics
ISBN: 055321313X / 309 pages
Find this book at your local library

If you haven’t heard of Anne of Green Gables, then what fascinating rock have you been living under? Maybe it was the same rock I lived under, since I have just started reading the 8 book series by LM Montgomery. I have seen the celebrated PBS mini-series, and have most of it memorized to boot. I mentioned in another post, that once a year I sequester myself away from friends and family and have an Anne of Green Gables PBS mini-series marathon. Megan Follows is Anne, from head to toe.

The story, is about a feisty, imaginative red-headed orphan, who is mistakenly brought to Marilla and Matthew Cuthbert’s home, Green Gables, on Prince Edward Island due to a mix-up at the orphanage. Despite having originally requested a boy, Mathew and Marilla are quickly taken with Anne, her rambling tongue, imaginative and friendly nature. It’s not long before Green Gables and all the residents of Avonlea are smitten with Anne and her penchant for getting into trouble.

I think every avid reader can connect to Anne in one way or another. While I was most certainly not outspoken as a child, I did have quite an imagination and a penchant for wandering and daydreaming rather than doing my work. Not to mention I love being in parks, and around nature.  

I think fans of Little Women, Little House on the Prairie, and Sarah Plain and Tall will enjoy this series. It’s a classic, written over a hundred years ago. The stories and the themes of friendship, first crushes, mean girls in school, and family are still themes and concepts that kids deal with today. Likewise for Anne’s insecurities about her looks, which is tied to her quick temper to remarks about her hair. Never call her carrots, as poor Gilbert Blythe learned the hard way.

Ah, Gilbert. The casting for him was spot-on. Dreamy eyes, curly brown hair, friendly smile and brains to beat all the other residents in Avonlea, excepting Anne of course.

The book was different from the PBS series in many ways, and I don’t think its better or worse. I like the changes PBS made, although now I realize on the number of extra characters they cut out of Avonlea. It’s not a different world in the book, but its more populated and more varied. The nosy Mrs. Lynde doesn’t play nearly as a big of a role in the book as she does in the mini-series.

I’m almost done with book two, Anne of Avonlea, so stay tuned for a review of the next title!