Thoughts on Anne of the Island by L.M. Montgomery #AnneReadalong2017 (Book 8 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!

“I suppose you’ve gone and refused Gilbert Blythe.  You are an idiot, Anne Shirley!” –Philippa (Phil) Gordon

Anne IslandWell, I’m squeaking in at the last minute with the review of this!  I absolutely loved Anne of the Island.  Hands down it’s my favorite of the series so far.  I could see myself reading this one again in years to come even if I don’t read any of the others.  There is something beguiling about Anne’s experience of college.  Maybe it reminds me of my own wonderful college years – the fun and friendship, the first taste of freedom, the sense that anything could happen on any given day.

The focus of the book returns to Anne herself, rather than Davy and Dora or her neighbors, as was the case in the last book.  We see Anne cementing friendships, fending off marriage proposals right and left, and studying hard.  We see her watch her friends, particularly the ones back home, pair off and begin to get married.  Anne is content to be by herself, and even Gilbert Blythe’s gentle but steady attention is too much for her.  She is afraid to lose the friendship that they have and she’s attached to her romantic ideal, which she thinks Gilbert doesn’t meet.   It’s frustrating watching Anne crush his heart and push him away.  I was so pleased when good old Phil called her an idiot!  I practically pumped my fist in the air in solidarity!  I do understand that she just wasn’t ready to make the commitment to Gilbert, and to the seriousness of those adult emotions.  Still, it was rather maddening when everyone around her could see how perfect they were for one another and she couldn’t.

Speaking of Phil, she’s a great addition to these books, isn’t she? I do hope she turns up in future installments.  Besides calling Anne an idiot, I loved it when she said, early on, “I’ve been feeling a little blue – just a pale, elusive azure.  It isn’t serious enough for anything darker.”  Her own love story arc is sweet as well.

There was that whole unpleasant episode with the cat who wouldn’t die, and the mention of Mr. Harrison’s dog who was hung twice, but I guess times were different when it came to animals, weren’t they?  They didn’t exactly have mobile spay and neuter trucks coming to the local park, or a vet to come to the house with an injection.  Still, that sort of jarred me a bit.

The pace of this book just zipped right along, especially in contrast to the previous book in the series, Anne of Avonlea.  Alternating between visits home and time at Redmond meant that we don’t get bogged down in one place for too long.  There was just enough Marilla, Mrs. Rachel, and Davy and Dora to ground Anne’s story, but not enough to become annoyed with.  I rather enjoyed meeting crotchety old Aunt Atossa!  She was a hoot!  Diana and Anne handled her rudeness perfectly, with a measure of amusement.  It was a most entertaining section, though.

I feel like my “review” of Anne of the Island is rather light, but I don’t have a lot to pick apart about this book!  It was a fast read; I thoroughly enjoyed it and eagerly returned to its pages when I had to put it down.  It made for perfect comfort reading.  I’ve heard from Melanie at Grab the Lapels that the odd numbered books are better than the even ones.  So far she’s right!  Despite that, I am excited to read next month’s book, Anne of Windy Poplars. Reminder:  anyone can join in on this readalong!  It’s going on for the remainder of the year, one book per month.

So, reader, have you read this series more than once?  Which is your favorite book?  Do you have any more suggestions for “comfort reading?”  I’m always looking to add to my list.




25 thoughts on “Thoughts on Anne of the Island by L.M. Montgomery #AnneReadalong2017 (Book 8 of #20BooksofSummer)

  1. Holy I had no idea Anne of Green Gables went to college! I really must read these books. Also, my best suggestion for comfort reading? Murder She Wrote books based on the tv series, hands down the best coziest mysteries ever. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I wouldn’t describe your review as being light! You’ve definitely been sparking my interest in rereading the whole series. But first I think I’m going to try to tackle Emily of New Moon. It’s another LM Montgomery series.. have you read any of them?

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  3. I am SO glad you liked Anne of the Island!
    It is, hands down, one of my favourite Montgomery books!
    It chugs along briskly; the secondary characters are fabulous (Aunt Jamesina!) and the whole thing is just delightful!
    And Aunt Atossa? lol. I love it when Anne says ‘think of living all your life with a name like Atossa! Wouldn’t it sour almost any one?’ And then suggests that if Atossa had thought her name Cordelia…she might not have been quite so horrid (!)

    Such a great book – and a wonderful review!

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  4. I am completely on the same page with you Laila– this is my favorite book so far, too! I love Melanie’s observation about this series might really be on target. I realized last night that my Anne of Green Gables Complete Collection doesn’t include the books Montgomery wrote in the 30s! So, I need to go out and find the next book still. Oops!

    I also adore Phil. I hope we see more and more of her throughout the rest of the series. She’s adorable and so honest. She knows who she is and isn’t always proud of that, but her honesty is so refreshing. I cannot wait to see what else happens with these adventures! A wonderful review– it wasn’t too “light” at all.

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  5. This sounds great, Laila. My comfort reading is Michael Morpurgo’s books. It’s comforting to know that nothing goes wrong. Even if it does, not for a long while. 🙂

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  6. Ahh! Having read the whole series, my heart wants to dump eleventy-billion spoilers on you! But I won’t. *zips lips* Just remember, the next book is an even numbers so….well, here’s some advice to prepare you: pretend like book #4 is a series of interconnected short stories, and that should make you feel better about the content. Otherwise, you may be disappointed that it doesn’t start or go where you want it to.

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  7. I admit I’ve never liked Davy and Dora very much. It feels like Montgomery needed some more children now that Anne was growing up so she shoehorned some in. But they just aren’t that interesting. It’s such a relief to have the series return to Anne!

    The cat incident is troubling, but I would guess wasn’t seen as an issue at the time since I think several of Montgomery’s characters do it (even Cousin Jimmy from the Emily series) and they are often the kindest characters….

    Liked by 1 person

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