Sunday, March 23, 2008

Anne of Avonlea

by L.M. Montgomery

What a delightful book. I was a bit worried that after Anne finished school (in Anne of Green Gables) the series would loose some of its magic. Not so. Although I missed Matthew, the addition of the twins was fun. Davy is definitely a kindred spirit for Anne.

I used lots of bookdarts in this book. I'll probably use a dozen more when I reread it. Here are some of the ones I marked:
"We make our own lives wherever we are, after all. They are broad or narrow according to what we put into them, not what we get out." --Mrs. Allan

"I wish you could think first and do things afterwards, 'cause then you wouldn't do them." --Davy

"I believe the nicest and sweetest days are not those on which anything very splendid or wonderful or exciting happens but just those that bring simple little pleasures, following one another softly, like pearls slipping off a string." --Anne

"That is one good thing about this world . . . there are always sure to be more springs." --Anne

Charlotta the Fourth admired Anne wholeheartedly. It was not that she though her so very handsom. Diana Barry's beauty of crimson cheek and black curls was much more to Charlotta the Fourth's taste than moonshine charm of luminous gray eyes and the pale, ever changing roses of her cheeks.
"But I'd rather look like you than be pretty," she told Anne sincerely.
Anne laughed, sipped the honey from the tribute and cast away the sting. She was used to taking her compliments mixed. . . . Anne herself would never believe that she had any claim to beauty. When she looked in the glass all she saw was a little pale face with seven freckles on the nose thereof. Her mirror never revealed to her the elusive, ever-varying play of feeling that came and went over her features like a rosy illuminating flame, or the charm of dream and laughter alternating in her big eyes.

"Now where is the romance in all that?" asked Marilla.
"Oh, there isn't any, when you put it that way," gasped Anne, rather as if somebody had thrown cold water over her. "I suppose that's how it looks in prose. But it's very different if you look at it through poetry . . . and I think it's nicer."
Marilla glanced at the radiant young face and refrained from further sarcastic comments. Perhaps some realization came to her that after all it was better to have, like Anne, "the vision and the faculty divine" . . . that gift which the world cannot bestow or take away, of looking at life through some transfiguring . . . or revealing? . . . medium, whereby everything seemed appareled in celestial light, wearing a glory and a freshness not visible to those who, like herself and Charlotta the Fourth, looked at things only through prose.
Anne of Avonlea was published in 1909 - the year my grandmother would have turned ten, almost 100 years ago! It's story is still as fresh and mood-altering today.

A big THANK-YOU to Raidergirl3 who presented me with my copy of Anne of Avonlea when we visited last summer in the PEI. Every I picked up or laid the book down I would be flooded by those memories in the Pub, our good visit, and the bagpipes marching by. Delightful evening!


Chrisbookarama said...

The Anne books are so much fun, aren't they?

Kailana said...

I have the biggest urge to reread this series now. I spent one summer reading all eight of them, but that was when I used to be able to read one author right in a row. I am not so good at that anymore. Some of the books I have read more than once, but I have never reread all 8 of them... I think I might have to do that soon because I love them. I am a huge Anne of Green Gables fan, and I have been since I was really little. I also want to read her diaries, but still haven't done that either.

jenclair said...

I've re-read some of them, too, but not all of them. I hope these books continue to gain more generations of readers!

Cath said...

I've just reread Anne of Green Gables so I didn't read too much of your review (just the bit where you said how much you enjoyed it) because my copy of Anne of Avonlea is on the way and I don't want to know too much about it. I adored the first one with a passion.

Jill said...

Have you read Emily of New Moon? That was always my favorite series growing up (probably because I wanted to be a writer, too). I think you'd enjoy those books (it's a trilogy). In fact, I may have to reread them one of these days. It's been a while!

Les said...

Oh, I should re-read this series! I loved the books when I was a young girl, but have never gone back to read them again. Of all the quotes you noted, this is my favorite:

"I believe the nicest and sweetest days are not those on which anything very splendid or wonderful or exciting happens but just those that bring simple little pleasures, following one another softly, like pearls slipping off a string." --Anne

Thanks for the lovely blog entry. I may just pack one or two of these Anne books for my trip next month. I need to plan on something light and comforting.

Jill ONeill said...

You have selected such wonderful quotes. I do love the book.

DesLily said...

I never read this series. Between you and Cath though I'm beginning to wonder ..gawd, I'm going to wind up with a 10 page wish list in amazon I just know it!

Bookfool said...

I still haven't read Anne of Green Gables, but I hope to do so this year. It's been on my shelf for eons.

raidergirl3 said...

your welcome. I am so glad you are enjoying the books, and remembering PEI as well. You'll have to come back to get the next few books!
I forgot about Cahrlotta the 4th, and I like Marilla more in every book. As Anne settled down, she seemed to attract other waifs, like Davey and Dora. She knew the people who needed a lot of love.

I was sure I wrote a comment yesterday on this post, but I don't see it. Maybe I hit delete instead of post - one of those days.

Framed said...

Someday, I will reread this series. It's one that can be read several times and it's been years since the last reading. I can't think of book by L M Montgomery that I haven't thoroughly enjoyed. Her descriptions are breathtaking and I love her humor.

Anonymous said...

Oooh, there are SO MANY wonderful quotes from the Anne books, aren't there?? :) You've picked a lot of the really good ones in this book.

Paula said...

I only have the very last book in the series to read. Aren't they delightful?! Don't forget L.M. Montgomery's other books. Just as good!