REVIEW: Anne of Avonlea by L.M. Montgomery

REVIEW: Anne of Avonlea by L.M. MontgomeryAnne of Avonlea (Anne of Green Gables #2) by L.M. Montgomery
Published by Girlebooks (1909), eBook, 276pg
Filed under: Fiction, Romance
Got my copy from: Public Domain
Buy your own copy at Amazon or BookDepository (affiliate links | info) or add it to your Goodreads shelf.

two-starstwo-stars

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!

The author

The author

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!

Footnotes

  1. though if this were a modern book she’d totally still be considered a kid. Tricky!
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7 Comments

  1. (Hmm…my original comment doesn’t seem to have gone through–apologies if I’m wrong and have double-commented.) I loved the Anne books when I was little, although this one is probably less memorable than some of the others. If you’re looking for more romance I think you’ll like the third one better, though!

    • I’m definitely looking forward to it! The romance was one of the things I wanted more of most after reading Anne of Green Gables, so if it’s in the next book I’m sure to be happy.

  2. Pingback: Classic Children’s Literature Challenge: Wrap-Up and Links Post 2 | Simpler Pastimes

  3. I read the first few books in this series when I was a teenager. They were sweet, but I agree they don’t have oomph. Then again, not all books need oomph, I guess. The beauty of this book is in the characters not in the plot and action.

  4. As a lifelong fan of the series, I would have to say that Anne of Avonlea is one of the weaker books for all the reasons you point out. Anne is sort of in a holding pattern until the end, with not much drama and not much movement. There are some funny scenes and funny scrapes, and I do like the introduction of the grouchy neighbor and his mystery, but overall not much happens.

    I agree about Marilla’s eyesight. That plot point still gives me the shakes.

    My favorite is Anne of the Island–hope you read that one as it is great to see Anne go off to college.

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