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Once Upon A Bookshelf

Where Fiction and Reality Meet

Anne of Avonlea

Title: Anne of Avonlea
Series: Anne of Green Gables
Genre: Children’s

Originally Published: 1909
Edition Courtney Read Published: 1992
Format: Paperback
Publisher: Seal Books, an imprint of Random House of Canada
ISBN: 0770422063

The Story

Anne of AvonleaFrom the back of the book:

At sixteen Anne is grown up… almost. Her gray eyes shine like evening stars, but her red hair is still as peppery as her temper. In the years since she arrived at Green Gables as a freckle-faced orphan, she has earned the love of the people of Avonlea and a reputation for getting into scrapes. But when Anne begins her job as the new schoolteacher, the real test of her character begins. Along with teaching the three Rs, she is learning how complicated life can be when she meddles in someone else’s romance, finds two new orphans at Green Gables, and wonders about the strange behavior of the very handsome Gilbert Blythe. As Anne enters womanhood, her adventures touch the heart and the funny bone.

The Response

Anne of Avonlea is second book both in chronological and written order of Montgomery’s Anne of Green Gables series. I am reading this as a part of the Green Gables Readalong, and as I haven’t read this in years and years I am glad that I finally revisited this story.

It’s been so long that other than a few items, there had been a lot that I had forgotten. Not Miss Lavendar, of course. Never Miss Lavendar. I still absolutely love her. In each of Montgomery’s books, there seems to be a secondary character that is such a kindred spirit that you can’t help but falling in love with. In this book, it’s definitely Miss Lavendar. Montgomery has such a wonderful way of creating such colourful characters that positively come to life. Even when they don’t have much time in the book, you end up feeling like you know them intimately.

The main characters that we met in the past book have all grown so beautifully – not just Anne, but also Marilla, Diana and Miss Rachel Lynde (have you ever noticed that some characters simply MUST be called by their full name?). They’re still the characters we knew previously, but so much more developed. It’s wonderful.

Gilbert is still… well, a little vanilla. Sweet and kind and so devoted to Anne… but in Anne of Avonlea he again seems to be very much not colourful enough for our Anne. Perhaps she just needs that ‐ someone to tether her? I don’t know. I’m still not fully convinced that he is The One for her.

I have always hated reading anything that mentioned Ruby Gillis; this time is no different. Everything I read about her is tinted through knowing what will end up turning out for her. Yes, she’s a horribly shallow character who only cares about having as many beaus as possible, but she still breaks my heart because I feel like if she were given a little bit more time she could’ve actually grown well.

On a tangent – when I was growing up, I had Kate McDonald’s Anne of Green Gables Cookbook. All of the recipes that I remember are ones inspired by Anne of Avonlea – the poetical egg salad sandwiches, the cowcumber boats, the pudding… I don’t even know if I actually made any of the recipes, but these are the ones that stuck out in my mind. Especially because they were accompanied by quotes from the books, and I always agreed with Davy’s questioning as to why people couldn’t live off of pudding.

The Bottom Line

It was beautifully wonderful to revisit Avonlea through this book again. It’s such a beautiful series that embodies all of the wonderfulness of childhood and innocence. Love.

Posted by Courtney Wilson @ 7:13 am February 24, 2015.
Category: Children's
Book Author(s):

  • Kailana

    Oh, shoot. I forgot about my plans to read this until right now. Maybe I can get to it and the next book in March…

  • Jenn vanOosten

    Do you know, I have read almost every piece of literature to be published on the east coast, but I have NEVER read any Anne?? I should go do that. Now.

  • Courtney Wilson

    Hahaha. I hope you can get to both this and the next on in March. :)

  • Courtney Wilson

    You should definitely go do that. They’re utterly charming. Have you read any of Montgomery’s other books?

  • Eva @ The Paperback Princess

    For the life of me, I cannot remember what happens to Ruby Gillis!
    As for Gilbert, he is absolutely the one for Anne – I think you put it perfectly, that she needs him to tether her to real life. But I think too, that Anne needs to be able to live her own life a little more, that she needs to chase her own dreams before she’s ready for him.

  • Kyla @ Mommy’s Weird

    I have never heard of a read along. But, I am obsessed with ANNE. I keep telling ZED that is our next family vacay. But, maybe I should wait until our daughter can read the books. Right now we are obsessed with Matilda.

  • Lynn @ Smoke & Mirrors

    Davy always just wants to know! :)