Monday, July 20, 2020

Anne of the Island L M Montgomery

2017, first published 1915

Anne goes to Redmond and studies there for her B A. Readers get a taste of university life.  This must have been quite innovative at the time it was written and isn’t too old-fashioned even for a 21st century reader.  Anne and three of her friends enjoy an interesting house share.   

We meet several old friends from Avonlea – Gilbert Blyhte, Diana Barry, Marilla and Mrs Rachel Lynde.  

Anne has to face death. One of her best friends from school, Ruby Willis, dies of TB.

There is romance as well. Anne meets handsome Roy Garner, the romantic hero of her dreams. He woos Anne but in the end she tunes him down; she does not love him. At the end of the novel Anne and Gilbert become engaged.     

Childhood friend Diana marries her Fred.  Housemate Phil, who can never make up her mind and waivers for a long time between two suitors until she finds a third in her dear Jo, soon to become a minister. Anne attends this wedding and several others. Anne herself receives three proposals before she accepts Gilbert’s second attempt.  

Typically for this age group, Anne only realises she loves Gilbert after Roy’s proposal but Gilbert seems to be seeing a lot of another girl, Christine.  In the end Anne finds out that Christine was already engaged to someone else, and that Gilbert was just looking out for her; she was the sister of a good friend of his.  

L M Montgomery is a skilled writer. Her characters come alive.  They are rounded and believable. Her smooth prose carries us along. We are given a real sense of time and place.
She portrays a life that will be somewhat alien to the modern teenager.

The book is 306 pages long.  The chapters are of a reasonable length and each has a self-contained story though some longer stories run through the book  

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