Title: Anne of Avonlea
Series: Anne of Green Gables, #2
Author: L.M. Montgomery
Genre: Young Adult, Classic
Story Perspective: Third-Person Omniscient
Themes: Imagination, Friendship, Responsibility, Loyalty
Publication Date: First published in 1909
Instead of being a student, now Anne of Green Gables is a teacher herself. Entering this new chapter her life, she and Marilla also end up taking in twin orphans. Learning how to manage the twins, Anne helps two neighbors with their romances while perhaps finally noticing a certain young man!
Since I enjoyed the first in the series, I decided to go ahead and continue with the second one. Though it wasn’t as endearing as the first, I still enjoyed this read.
One of the interesting parts of this book to read about was Anne’s teaching. I remember my first time teaching and being in front of a group of students. It was an exciting and nerve-wracking experience. However, I was a bit older than Anne is – 16 years old! I did have to remind myself that this was set in the past and that a sixteen-year-old can totally be a teacher! Anne does seem to be a fairly decent teacher. For one, she doesn’t believe laying a hand on a child is the right way to go about disciplining him/her (of course, it’s illegal today, but it wasn’t back then). For another, though we don’t see her actual teaching very much, the children absolutely adore her, which says a lot about her kind and sweet nature. Lastly, Anne always seemed to encourage to use the imagination, which I can imagine for many children would be a blessing.
This particular book has a bit more of a flowing plot than its previous book. In the first book, there were just a bunch of mini-stories compiled into one book, following Anne. In this one, there are still several mini-stories, but the reader ends up going back to the same characters and continues their stories. In fact, a couple of the secondary characters are given some background and a good conclusion to their stories.
I will say there was one point when I simply did not want to continue reading the book because of my fascination (and the book’s lack) of Gilbert Blythe. Reading the summary gave me some excitement that perhaps we’ll get more Gilbert in the second book. We get some snippets of him and a somewhat cliffhanger at the end, but it just wasn’t enough. Again, I was spoiled from the Netflix show, where Gilbert had a bigger role, and it seems like in the first novels he doesn’t. Let’s just hope there’s more of him in the next one!
One of my favorites parts of the book is when Anne and Marilla take care of young twins. The mischievous Davy was always up to something and was always good for a smile or chuckle. Then, to see Marilla take the role of a parent again was certainly nice to see. Unfortunately, Davy’s twin sister, Dora, was very one-dimensional. I felt bad on how much attention Davy always seemed to get while Dora was pushed aside because she was always compliant and quiet while Davy was the opposite.
One of my least favorite aspects was when the author stepped away from her characters and talked to her audience. This only happened a few times, and they were brief, but I would prefer to stay in the characters’ thoughts rather than the author talking to me. I actually ended up reading those sentences more than once to make sure that I was reading them correctly and the author was trying to talk to me.
Overall, this was a novel I enjoyed for the most part. It lacked Gilbert and Dora was one-dimensional, but I do plan on continuing the series since I do enjoy Anne as a person, in general, and would like to see where her life takes her.
I recommend Anne of Avonlea to those who enjoyed the first in the series, Anne of Green Gables.