Monday, February 5, 2018

Anne of Avonlea by L.M. Montgomery

Title: Anne of Avonlea
Author: L.M. Montgomery
Read by: Mary Sarah
Publisher: Trout Lake Media
Length: Approximately 9 hours and 1 minute
Source: Purchased from Audible

I recently finished listening to an audiobook version of Anne of Green Gables and I knew I needed to continue listening to the adventures of Anne. Listening to the Anne books is like listening to the story of an old friend. I love her adventures and scrapes. It’s a nice way to relax and have a chuckle in my day.

Anne of Avonlea is the story of Anne Shirley from the ages of 16 to 18. Anne is an adult now and is teaching the school in Avonlea and helping Marilla to keep Green Gables. Marilla becomes the foster mother to two young children, Davy and Dora, after the death of a distance cousin and Anne helps with their care. Dora is a saintly child, but Davy is constantly getting into scrapes that reminded me of my son Daniel. They were a great source of humor in the book. Although I did feel sad that poor Dora is given not much of a personality and is not loved as much as mischievous Davy. Poor Dora.

Anne and her friends also start a society to help with the aesthetics of their town with sometimes hilarious results. Anne also finds herself the talk of the town as everyone is sure that Gilbert Blythe is sweet on her, but Anne seems unsure herself and focused on preparing for college.

Anne of Avonlea is also the story of Avonlea and we meet some great new characters in this story. One is Miss Lavender Lewis who lives in a lovely stone cottage. She is kindred spirits with Anne who soon discovers that Miss Lavender had a long-lost love that she quarreled with right before their wedding. Will Anne be able to reunite the lovers? Anne also meets her neighbor Mr. Harrison who has a parrot that loves to rib her and a secret of his own.

I liked the theme of two people separated from a quarrel that should have been together. Gilbert makes use of this telling Anne:

“Yes, it's beautiful,' said Gilbert, looking steadily down into Anne's uplifted face, 'but wouldn't it have been more beautiful still, Anne, if there had been no separation or misunderstanding . . . if they had come hand in hand all the way through life, with no memories behind them but those which belonged to each other?”

I loved the romance in the story and the start of a romance between Gilbert and Anne. I can’t wait to read again through the series how their romance develops.

Mary Sarah was a fine narrator and I enjoyed listening to the audio version. I also was amazed at how much I didn’t remember from the novel. It’s been awhile since I read it (my teenage years) and the 1980’s mini-series Anne of Avonlea had replaced it in my memory. I was glad to rediscover the original story.

Favorite Quotes:

“Well, we all make mistakes, dear, so just put it behind you. We should regret our mistakes and learn from them, but never carry them forward into the future with us.”

“After all," Anne had said to Marilla once, "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.”

“That is one good thing about this world...there are always sure to be more springs.”

Overall, Anne of Avonlea is a beautiful and delightful story and it translates well to audiobook. I will be listening to the next in the series, Anne of the Island and continue Anne’s adventures in college.