What I Read This Week 1.3
Anne of Green Gables is one of my favorite books. I’ve been thinking about the beginning of her story- dropped off at a train station to wait for someone who wants her- finally. The picture on the cover expresses it well- sitting there expectant and hopeful, longing to be wanted. I also just enjoy Anne’s drama. I think it’s fantastic and it never fails to make me smile. What a character for finding creative ways to get into trouble!
I didn’t realize how much Marilla is explained. I don’t think I noticed all the comments about how when she felt especially loving and tender towards Anne she was less expressive of it. Anne’s enthusiasm over becoming friends with Diana is endearing. I especially enjoy Anne’s confessions. What a way to deal with conversation that you don’t want to navigate! Set your mind to it and turn it into a dramatic event. One of my favorite moments in the book is when Anne declares: “My life is a perfect graveyard of buried hopes.” Words fail! Really, Anne sums it up well: “Life is worth living as long as there’s a laugh in it.” That it is, and I thank Montgomery for such a good laugh!
Anne’s story continues as she becomes a schoolteacher in Avonlea. Marilla adopts two more orphans who add considerable spark to Anne’s life. Davy and Dora are quite the pair. Dora is “too good” and Davy will never be in danger of that. Davy is a loveable imp and is constantly asking Anne “why? I want to know!” Anne’s first year of teaching puts her ideals against reality in a couple of situations.
This book is full of new characters. Mr. Harrison and Miss Lavender are two of my favorites. I really enjoy the story of Miss Lavender’s lost love. Paul Irving is another fantastic character. It’s fun to meet a child whose imagination rival’s Anne’s. It did bother me that Anne used Davy’s jealousy of Paul to try and manipulate Davy into better behavior. Anne’s teaching struggles, and the cares of her various students were humorous and touching. Yep, I like that Anne-girl.
This was my first time reading Chronicles of Avonlea and it was fun to put it in the middle of the series. My first or overwhelming impression was: Wow, Montgomery really likes loves stories! Most of these stories were love stories, and most of them were on the theme of an old quarrel that neither character cared about anymore. So many stories of lost love and pride getting in the way of happiness. It was fun to learn more about several characters you meet in Avonlea and some who were just mentioned.
I think my favorite story from this collection was The Quarantine at Alexander Abraham’s. What happens when an old spinster who cannot stand men and an old bachelor who cannot stand women get quarantined in the same house? Haha, I just can’t ruin this one. Read it!
Anne of the Island might be my favorite Anne book. Maybe. It’s fun to read about Anne’s college experience after having my own. As I have come to expect from Anne books, it’s a fun combination of dear old friends and new kindred spirits. Phil is a fun new character. It’s good to see Anne with enough imagination and silliness to understand Phil but acting much more sensibly… well, most of the time.
Patty’s Place sounds so cozy and homey! Anne’s friends gather there and navigate their academic and romantic lives. Anne sure is one for receiving marriage proposals. As usual I read and laughed. It is good to see Anne finally meet her ideal and then realize that humor and friendship actually matter more to her than recitations of poetry. I think Anne does love her fleeting moments of serious romance but really she loves laughing more.
Anne of Windy Poplars is apparently many people’s least favorite Anne book. I’m a little confused. I think it is completely marvelous. It is sort of in the form of letters- from Anne to Gilbert. However, I don’t think it reads like letters most of the time. It seems just like the others with some added asides to
Gilbert and some letters Anne received included as well.
The story of the Pringles is yet another chance to laugh. I never realized before that Emmaline from the Anne movies (I saw these movies before I read the books… as a small child) is a combination of characters from this book. Little Elizabeth is quite taking. This book is the three years Anne teaches in between college and marriage. Katherine Brook’s freedom and discovery of life illustrates how rich Anne really is, with her Green Gables to go home to. I like this book a lot, in part because it shows that people move in and out of each other’s lives.
So I needed some history thrown into the Anne mania mix. I’m not quite sure that Ten Tea Parties really fits the bill. This is a book I received from goodreads.com in exchange for reviewing it. A fuller, more thought out review will follow, but for now I have to say… really?!? The author even admits that one of the tea parties was not really known and some of it was speculation.
It seems like it should fall into the category of politics, not history. Some of it certainly seemed historical, but some of it did not. The Epilogue made comparisons to the present day political movement with the same name. It just seemed a little too much of a promotion for the political party under the guise of history to me. Again, this is just my first impression and I’ll post a much more thoughtful review at another point.
Anne’s House of Dreams begins with Anne’s happily-ever-after. This book is one of the many reasons that I still love this series. It seems like so many good romances end with engagement or a wedding. In this book, we actually get to see Anne move and adjust to married life. She misses Avonlea and her friends there but embraces her new life as well.
There are new characters again who become beloved parts of the Anne story. Captain Jim, Leslie, and Miss Cornelia among others. Anne deals with sorrow in this book and something is “added to her smile that was never there before, but it was never without after.” We get to see how Anne’s own experience with sadness enables her to relate to others pain, without so much imagination needed to fill the gap.
It’s been a fun week of reading about Anne. It’s wonderful to come back to a childhood favorite and find that I still love it. I think one of my favorite things about re-reading this series is how well Anne illustrates the way awesome people come in and out of our lives. There are different seasons, and some dear friends are present through all of them, but many friends are only there for a season. It is good to watch Anne embrace the people and places of each season, and miss them when she moves on, but embrace the next place and set of people as well.