Monday, 15 March 2010

Book Review: Anne of Avonlea

Anne of Avonlea

Anne of Avonlea by L.M. Montgomery

Category: Classic (Children’s)

Challenges: Flashback Challenge, Childhood Favourites, 2010 Challenge,

Synopsis: This book sees 16 year old Anne teaching the Avonlea school, help bring up twins (again) and make new friends. As with Anne of Green Gables Anne is full of imagination and fun.

My Thoughts: I loved this book as a teenager and if possible I loved it even more now. I also realised that Anne (or Montgomery really) is completely responsible for my inability to punctuate and my rather flowery prose (see my Teaser Tuesday for an example). I can write pretty good descriptions of places (if I do say so myself) but I struggle with the voices of individual characters and dialogue in general. Anyway that is beside the point really. Back to my love of Anne.

As I am currently studying to be a teacher I particularly loved Anne’s thoughts and feelings regarding teaching. She, like me, wants to teach a love of learning. She is earnest and endearing in her efforts. I loved how she took a stance on corporal punishment (I know that she goes against her convictions later but still). For me the question of corporal punishment is such an important issues (and relevant this month with the Social Justice Challenge). For me it is interesting that Montgomery even discussed the issue in her book.

Montgomery has a way of making the characters very real. The dialect which annoyed me in The Commitments the other week here helped separate the characters. Davey with his way of speaking became more real. She manages to perfectly capture a young boy (I, like Anne and Marilla, have a soft spot for mischievous little boys).

Anne’s imagination is something I admire. When I first read these books I had Anne’s romantic view on life. I too wanted a prince charming who was handsome and dark (actually Gilbert was my dream man, I’m sure I’m not alone). I could (well still can) wander around the woods and see magic and beauty in everything. I wanted to BE Anne. To write like her. To imagine like her.

I took my time with reading Anne this time and I am so glad. A chapter or two each evening really made me focus and I think. I realised that I didn’t remember as much of the book as I thought. There were small surprises throughout because it has been several years and because I took my time to read each word. Montgomery has, as mentioned, a rather flowery prose and this style lends itself to reading slowly. By reading the book deliberately I really got the feeling of the small Canadian village where it was set. It allowed me to catch my breath and really “go there”. I could see the kitchen at Green Gable. I could see the small one room schoolhouse where Anne teaches. And I could see the nature surrounding them.  After some quite upsetting reads recently this was something that I really needed. It really was the antidote I wanted it to be. I am so glad I read this again.

Copyright ©2010 Zee from Notes from the North.clip_image001This post was originally posted by Zee from Notes from the North. It should not be reproduced without express written permission.


Nymeth said...

I loved this book too. Anne's passion, her commitment, her imagination, her's all so wonderful. And like you said, the characters feel so real. Infinite hearts for Anne.

Aarti said...

Ohmigosh, I COMPLETELY forgot about Davey and Dora! How could I? Now I feel I must go back and read this book, too. Good heavens.

I know what you mean about revisiting a book you read so long ago and getting so much more out of it. That happened with me on my re-read of To Kill a Mockingbird, too. I love it just as much- if not more- as I did before.