Whew. Anne of Avonlea had me a little worried, that I'd find the rest of the Anne books disappointing like it was. But nope, Anne of the Island delighted me thoroughly. I read the last six chapters in an impatient fervor.
For the most part, I think the difference is that Island doesn't have any cutesy parts, whereas Avonlea had too many of them. The change of scenery and lots of new characters helped too. And of course, the undercurrent of thwarted romance running through the whole thing helped it sail merrily along.
Anne of the Island picks up at the end of the summer after Anne's last year teaching at the Avonlea school. She's off to college at Redmond, and the next four years spin past in a delightful swirl of friendship, learning, and gentle adventure.
Particularly Good Bits:
The bloom had been brushed from one little maiden dream. Would the painful process go on until everything became prosaic and hum-drum? (p. 62).
For the next fortnight Anne writhed or reveled, according to mood, in her literary pursuits. Now she would be jubilant over a brilliant idea, now despairing because some contrary character would not behave properly. Diana could not understand this (p. 89).
"You must pay the penalty of growing-up, Paul. You must leave fairyland behind you" (p. 155).
But who could expect a melancholy, inscrutable hero to see the humorous side of things? It would be flatly unreasonable (p. 176).
Anne laughed and sighed. She felt very old and mature and wise -- which showed how young she was (p. 184).
If This was a Movie, I Would Rate It: G. Clean and wholesome and delightful.
This is my 35th book read and reviewed for the Classics Club, and my 5th for the Women's Classic Literature Event.
Here are this month's questions from Elyssa at Purple Ink Studios:
Q: There are some great conversations between Anne and Gil in this book. As much as I love the TV series, some of the real essence of their friendship is lost in the film adaptation. They were such buddies! Is there a scene in the book that you wish hadn’t been left out of the film adaptation?
A: I think the moment when Gilbert and Anne go arm-in-arm to Diana's wedding was very poignant, and could have been beautifully done on film.
Q: The proposal. Ah! The proposal! Tell me, which do you like better? The film version or the book version? Mind you, I see Megan Follows and Jonathan Crombie when I read the books so I’m not talking about the acting but rather the the scenes for their own sake.
A: Goodness, I like both! I don't think I could choose, sorry.
Q: Let’s talk about Roy Gardener, the man straight out of Anne’s dreams. Give three reasons why he’s so not the guy for her. And if you’d like, talk a bit about having an ‘dream man’ and whether or not we should hold out for them or eventually let them go.
A: Hmm. He has no imagination, he's got no idea what a kindred spirit is, and he never told Anne about his previous almost-engagements.
I'm not sure I ever had a "dream man." I've definitely always been interested in "manly man" types, like John Wayne and the Lone Ranger, but I never really dreamed up an ideal man for myself -- I confined those to imaginary worlds. I can see how they'd be very dangerous, though, if you thought one real person could ever fulfill all your ideals and refused any man who didn't.