#AnneReadalong2017: Anne of Avonlea (Book 3 of #20BooksofSummer)

Note: Jane at Greenish Bookshelf and Jackie at Death By Tsundoku are co-hosting an Anne of Green Gables series readalong for the remainder of the year.  Check out their blogs for more info on how to join the fun!

“Having adventures comes natural to some people,” said Anne serenely.  “You just have a gift for them or you haven’t.”

My reading of the second book in L.M. Montgomery’s classic series was a bit more of a chore than my experience of the first one, I have to admit.  I did enjoy it, but I found it all too easy to set the book aside when I’d finished a chapter.  It consisted of vignettes about people in Anne’s life and Anne herself, just like the first.  But I felt that there was less forward momentum in the narrative, almost as if each chapter was a short story rather than part of a novel.

9780770420208-us-300Anne is 16 now and a teacher of some of the very children who were recently her schoolmates.  She still lives with Marilla, who is still experiencing poor eyesight and can’t do any close up sewing or crafting or reading.  However, they are soon joined by twins Davy and Dora, six years old, distant relations who are orphaned and need a temporary place to stay. Davy is a deliberately mischievous “handful” and Dora is… well… boring. Dora might as well not exist, in my opinion.  She’s only referenced in contrast to Davy’s behavior, and Anne and Marilla both admit to liking Davy more.  Poor Dora!  I wondered why Montgomery even introduced her in the first place.  Why not just have little Davy come to stay at Green Gables?  But I’ve not read the rest of the series – perhaps Dora has a meatier role to play in the future?

In any case, Anne is busy with teaching and with the newly formed Avonlea Village Improvement Society, in addition to her adventures with the twins and assorted neighbors and friends.  My favorite part of the book came towards the end, when we meet the “old maid” (“forty-five and quite gray”) Miss Lavendar Lewis.  Miss Lavendar is as romantic and imaginative as Anne is, and they become fast friends.

“But what is the use of being an independent old maid if you can’t be silly when you want to, and when it doesn’t hurt anybody?”

I very much enjoyed the whimsical Miss Lavendar, and was quite moved by her affection for Anne’s favorite pupil, sweet, sensitive Paul Irving.  The plotline involving Lavendar and Paul’s father, Stephen, felt romantic and satisfying.  Anne herself has just a taste of romance, her first conscious thought of what may lie ahead with Gilbert, in the book’s last pages.

Favorite line:  “… Mrs. Lynde says that when a man has to eat sour bread two weeks out of three his theology is bound to get a kink in it somewhere.”

Rating:  Three stars.  We got to meet some fun characters, but overall it felt lacking compared to the richness of the first.  Davy was a big drag for me, quite frankly. However, the book had a sweet spirit and Anne still exhibited her trademark appreciation for nature and creative daydreaming, which I enjoyed.  I do look forward to reading more about Anne’s adventures as she heads to Redmond College.  I’m hoping the change of scenery will add more momentum to the story!

20-books(This was book 3 of my #20BooksofSummer list.  Combining reading challenges!  Yes!) 


21 thoughts on “#AnneReadalong2017: Anne of Avonlea (Book 3 of #20BooksofSummer)

  1. Reading your thoughts on this book made me smile, because it’s so similar to the way I felt about it the first couple of times I read it. I didn’t like Davy, I felt like it didn’t have the same appeal as the first book, I loved the story of Miss lavender (isn’t it crazy that she’s considered old at 45?). I still love the story of Miss Lavender, but I now also like Davy and Dora more than I first did. Partly because it makes me glad that Marilla will have them around after Anne leaves. But the biggest difference was that Paul Irving was the one who really got on my nerves the last time I read it. He was *too* sweet.
    Anyway, I have a feeling you’ll like the next book better. It’s wonderful!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I agree with Naomi. Not only will college be a lot of fun, but there will be some Gilbert drama and Anne will make some new best friends, whom I loved. I really like Diana, but I think a big part of that was that I saw the movie with Megan Follows first and loved the film version of Diana. In the book, though she’s wonderful, she’s also very simple and vain (oh, how fat she’s getting!).

      Liked by 2 people

      1. I think I saw the film with Megan Follows because my grandma had it. Maybe it’s a grandma movie? 🙂 Anyway, there is the first film with Megan Follows, which is wonderful and follows the first two books for the most part. There are other films after that, but the diverge quite a bit from the books, so most fans hate them, which is the #1 reason why I’ve avoided them! I’ve heard some Anne fans say they gave the new Netflix series, Anne WIth An E, a try but feel disappointed.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Great review! I enjoyed reading your thoughts. You make a great point about Dora–why is she in there? Perhaps to allow for Davy’s ridiculous antics like locking her up in Mr Harrison’s shed and pretending she fell down the well which I have to laugh a bit at. Haha

    I loved Miss Lavendar too. And her beautiful imagination and home!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I agree, this book pales in comparison to the first, but I really wasn’t expecting it to be better… I totally agree with everything you said. I will say that I just finished the 3rd book, and enjoyed it much more than the 2nd. I’ve hear the odd number books in the series are the best, whereas the even books feel just like fillers… I guess I’ll report back after I read the 4th lol

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I’ve been following your reading and reviews of the Anne books with interest. I don’t have the bandwidth right now to have joined the challenge, but I read at least a few of these as a girl. I remember that some were better than others. Guess Avonlea was one of the others. Great review–look forward to the next one!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh, thank you. I wondered if these held any interest to people who weren’t participating in the challenge or who maybe hadn’t read it in a while, if ever. Another commenter said that she’d heard that the odd books were better than the even ones in the series – we’ll see!


  5. Just a heads up: in your title you use a hashtag, which is good, but because you include a colon right after it, social media doesn’t recognize it as a hashtag anymore. Also, you still don’t have your Twitter account linked to your blog, so when I go to share your posts, it says that they’re written by @wordpressdotcom

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks. I don’t think I want my blog linked to Twitter – I have a love/hate relationship with Twitter and think about giving it up all the time. Half the time I don’t share my blog posts there – too forgetful or just don’t care that much I guess. But thanks for the tips! And the shares, you’re very kind.

      Liked by 1 person

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