Saturday, August 31, 2013
Educate Emma: Anne of Avonlea by Lucy Maud Montgomery
"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 character begins. Along with teaching the three Rs, she is learning ow 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."
Characters: I fell in love with Anne many years ago, when I couldn't help but relate to her wild imagination and fiery temper. In the sequel to Green Gables, Anne has definitely grown up. She's much more objective during conflict, and she assumes responsibility with all the compassion and generosity that's expected of her. She's still Anne, though, with her love for all things romantic and beautiful. Sometimes, this affinity of hers got a little cheesy. I didn't mind too much, as it's what one signs up for when picking up an Anne book.
The side characters are also lovely. I liked watching Marilla soften slightly and adapt to Anne's new maturity. Miss Lavendar Lewis was so much fun to visit, and she was an interesting depiction of what kind of life Anne could lead as an unattached woman. Davy and Dora were an interesting twist, and after working some rowdy boys in my summer job, I totally understand Anne's love for the wild and rambunctious Davy over Dora's boring subservience. Rachel Lynde grew on me, and Gilbert just keeps on getting more and more swoon-worthy. I don't really have any complaints here. 4 and a half flowers.
Writing: I love Montgomery's detailed, clever style. She does a great job of showing Anne's progression, and the dialogue is as smart and amusing as ever. 5 flowers.
Plot: Sometimes it's a little hard to gauge where the point of the book is, as there aren't too many major events in this book. (Okay, maybe I'm just a little impatient for more Anne and Gilbert. Possibly.) It unfolds nicely and has excellent hints of what's to come, but it doesn't have the same impact as Green Gables. I'm excited to read more, with hopefully more relevant bits in the future. 3 and a half flowers.
End: It's very sweet and appropriate, but why is there so little Gilbert? This is my question. 4 and a half flowers.
Dust Jacket Description: It's sentimental and accurate. I approve. 5 flowers.
Cover: It's so Prince Edward Island-ey, and Anne is staring all starry eyed. It definitely has the right tone. 5 flowers.
Overall: It can be corny, overtly sentimental and easy to predict, but Anne is such a beloved character that she just makes those things lovable. While not my favourite in the series, it's a sweet book that helps further the story. It's definitely worth reading if you're an Anne Shirley fan. 4 flowers.