Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Anne Of Avonlea - L.M. Montgomery (Canadian Book Challenge)

I didn't think it would really happen; I'm actually getting addicted to this series! The rest of the "Anne" books will figure prominently into my list for the Second Canadian Book Challenge. I've spotted the whole series both at What The Book? and Kyobo bookstore. Aaron and I were discussing this book before he left Korea, and it sounded exactly like we were talking about our favo(u)rite soap opera.

In Anne Of Avonlea, Anne is back in her hometown and teaching school. She's also getting the chance to try out her parenting skills when Marilla takes charge of a distant cousin's twin children, Davy and Dora. Davy is a little too sweet, naughty and adorable. Dora may or may not have a pulse, she's so good and quiet.

One of Anne's students, Paul, recently lost his mother. Anne is drawn to him because he's got a vivid imagination like hers, but he's living with his stern, literal-minded grandparents who think he's a little weird. His dialogue was a little cringe worthy -- he sort of reminded me of Little Lord Fauntleroy, but I was genuinely glad that things worked out so well for him when his father finally got to town.

Anne and Marilla have also picked up a new neighbor, Mr. Harrison. Freshly arrived from New Brunswick, he's a little crusty at first, but of course Anne wins him over. (I sort of got a sedate middle-aged crush on Mr. Harrison, and was a little miffed but grudgingly happy at how things worked out for him.) It is plain-spoken characters like Mr. Harrison, Mrs. Rachel Lynde, Diana and of course Marilla, (who remains the perfect straight man for Anne's loquacious, often fanciful dialogues) that give this book its perfect balance when the prose gets a little purplish.

Gilbert is also teaching school in a town nearby, and seems to be patiently waiting in the wings until Anne is ready for romance, which may not be far off since she's eighteen when this book ends.

L.M. Montgomery seems hell-bent on convincing readers that PEI is the most perfect spot in the world, body-slamming the reader again and again with descriptions of nature, but try as I might, I can't get irritated. Instead, I want to vacation there.

I'm hoping to get to Ontario (reading-wise) before this challenge ends, but don't know if I will. Still, 6 provinces is better than I thought I'd do. Not terribly shabby for an American, eh?


Eva said...

Yay for the whole series!! Although Rilla of Ingleside (the last one) is really sad...WWI breaks out.

Rebecca Reid said...

Yes, Montgomery convinced me to go to PEI when I read these books as a kid but also last year. When I returned to them, I was so surprised by how "rose-colored" Anne's world was. I forgot how romantic she made everything. I agree Rilla of Ingleside is sad. It has a different feeling to it, but I think it is the most realistic.

raidergirl3 said...

Yay, other convert to the Anne series. Rilla is one of my favorite of the books, but they all have such great characters. I am teaching a Rilla right now, only on PEI!

Mr Harrison! Get used to everything turning out well on the land of Montgomery. If you want a slightly different flavor of LM, try The Blue Castle, a stand alone. It's excellent.
I am getting tickets to see Anne and Gilbert: the Musical for this summer. I can't wait.

I get to live on PEI! (I'm all 'exclamation mark Anne' here tonight.)

Anonymous said...

I love this series! I read it quite a bit when I was a kid and read through most of the series as an adult. I don't think I got to the last two though because I was missing one. I shall have to find it and reread the entire thing.

Clare - The Super Mommy Club said...

I love this series and read it at least twice as a kid - I'm planning on reading them again this year as I found that I'd never actually read the final two and they are now sitting on my TBR shelf!

Bookfool said...

6 provinces is definitely none too shabby. I've got Anne of Green Gables sitting beside my bed. When I'll get to it is anyone's guess, but I keep looking at it longingly.

Nyssaneala said...

Anne's irresistible, isn't she?

Bybee said...

I'll probably weaken at the bookstore and buy the rest of the series.

I definitely want to read Rilla...is she Anne's daughter?

I remember hearing about The Blue Castle and wanting to try it. How did you get so lucky to live on PEI?

I don't know how I missed this as a kid...it's right up my alley...don't think it has anything to do with being American.

Mrs. S,
Happy rereading and happy reading for the last two.

Enough longing looks...go for it already.

Yeah, the little redhead just crawls right up your heartstrings, doesn't she? Ooops...I mean "auburn".

Rebecca Reid said...

Yes, Rilla is her daughter--and read the others first...although Rilla was written before Anne of Ingleside, I'd say read Anne of Ingleside first becuase that's chronological.