Anne of Avonlea

Anne of Avonlea
© 1909 Lucy Maud Montgomery
366 pages

I recently took my niece to see a production of “Annie” at the Alabama Shakespeare Festival, and it put me in a mood to revisit Anne of Green Gables, another red-headed heroine I’d first encountered at the theater.  When I read the actual novel a couple of years ago, I found Anne an utterly charming character,  a match for America’s Tom Sawyer.  That novel ended with a young orphan reaching the cusp of adulthood, finishing her education and preparing to take her place in the community.  Thus Anne of Green Gables (the verdant name of her home) becomes Anne of Avonlea, a woman of her town. Anne of Avonlea follows the course of Anne’s transition from teen to adult,  as she launches a teaching career and sees her theories put to the test against real live children  — and  invests herself more deeply in the village by creating a society for its improvement.  Anne’s increasing maturity also displays itself when she faces dilemmas square in the face, and refuses to quit believing that even schoolroom hellions and village cranks can be reached.  Anne’s sweet spirit and the air of possibility around her make her a popular figure in the village, which is good because she still tends to get into scrapes.  (Most memorably, she climbs on top of a neighbor’s roof to investigate dishes in their pantry for sale during their absence, and plunges midway through, getting thoroughly stuck.)   After two years, however, greater challenges — college and real adulthood — await.  That’s a story for Anne of the Island, however!

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Citizen, librarian, reader with a boundless wonder for the world and a curiosity about all the beings inside it.
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6 Responses to Anne of Avonlea

  1. Marian H says:

    It heartens me to see others reading these “books for girls” which really aren't – they have a certain universal appeal, just like “boys' own” books. I can't remember the Anne series very well (it's been too long!) but I was a big fan of the Megan Follows series as a kid. Looking forward to your thoughts on the rest of the series.

  2. Mudpuddle says:

    my daughter loved these… maybe i'll give one a try… tx….

  3. Stephen says:

    One nice thing about childhood is that books like the Hardy Boys or Nancy Drew, even if they were explicitly about boys or a girl, could be appreciated by either. Of course, as we get older it's much easier to see sex-segregated fiction. I daresay most men wouldn't go near Harlequin bodice-rippers, nor would women find most of interest in Duke-Nukem-like fiction. (Brad Thor and Vince Flynn are two fun ones in that category. Lot of explosions, shooting, and patriotic lines, sometimes with a Sexy Female Action Hero to fight alongside. )

  4. Stephen says:

    I described the first one as chicken noddle soup in book form, so it may be just the thing. 🙂

  5. I love love love the Anne of Green Gables series So MUCH. The first book was my most favorite, but the entire series is so wonderful and has a special place in my heart. My elementary best friend and I would play Anne of Green gables at recess. I would be Anne, and she would be Diana, and we would act out scenes from the book. Never could get any of the boys to be Gilbert though, so we had to improvise with the boat scene. Good memories. I can't wait until Eleanor is old enough to read them.

  6. Loni says:

    So glad you read this! I did love how she still got into scrapes. Anne of the Island is scratching at my bookish door. Are you going to read it soon?

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