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 behaviour of the very handsome Gilbert Blythe. As Anne enters womanhood, her adventures touch the heart and the funny bone (from Goodreads)
I read the first Anne book last year and liked it a lot! Anne of Avonlea, the second book, was a pretty good read, too– though not AS good as Anne of Green Gables.
For some reason it seemed less adventurous than the first book? Maybe because Anne herself is growing up; she’s a Young Adult in this book, not a kid,1 and so though she still gets herself into trouble she handles it like an ideal almost-adult would. Which is great for character development! But it’s slightly less exciting to read about someone handling problems with dignity and decorum than about that same someone causing a ruckus. Watching someone throwing a tantrum in real life is scary, but in a book it makes for good reading! Although, now that I think about it, if she HAD acted exactly like she did in the first book, I’d be complaining about THAT instead. Can’t win either way!
I was also disappointed that the romance aspect wasn’t much dealt with. There were some lovely bits near the end, but mostly this book is “Anne grows up a little more and everyone loves her (Gilbert more romantically than most).” Not MUCH romance, not MUCH excitement, just a lot of pretty descriptions of Avonlea and slow development of just about everything, and a happy ending.
Yay for happy endings! Slight spoiler: Anne’s adopted mother is NOT going to go blind! (Right? RIGHT?!) As someone who gets freaked out about her own eyesight, that plotpoint was giving me grief. Yay for not having to worry anymore!
Also, yay for SOME development plot and character-wise. And yay for not being a total boring mess, I guess? Anne of Avonlea is one of those books that’s like sinking into a hot bath– either you’re in the mood for a long relaxing soak, or you’re not. I’ve never been a bath person, unfortunately, and though I don’t expect every book to be action-packed I do generally prefer them to have some sort of OOMPH. This one doesn’t really have any oomph. There’s no real tension, no drama, no firecracker sizzle. It’s cozy! Sometimes I like cozy– sometimes I don’t. I didn’t like the cozy this time around, but I’m not going to give up on the series, either.
Here’s hoping the third book, Anne of the Island, has got something sparkling to it!
Read: January 8-9, 2013
Download it for free at Project Gutenberg!
- though if this were a modern book she’d totally still be considered a kid. Tricky! ↩