Book Review: Anne of Avonlea


It’s hard not to fall in love with this endearing girl, Anne Shirley. There were times when I rolled my eyes at some of the things she would do or say, especially in her early teens, but as Anne matured in this book, I started to admire her for her strong-willed nature, her wisdom, her way with words, her hopes and dreams, the way she romanticised about everything and made everything seem better, more beautiful than they really were. Sometimes Marilla spoke pessimistically, trying to show the more realistic side of the situations but Anne always had a way of bringing out the good and positive.

I enjoyed the storyline about Miss Lavender and Mr Irving that came in the second half of the book. However the first half was a bit slow in the storytelling. And too many events happened that it as hard to follow at times.

Davy was quite an annoying little child and I didn’t really see why Anne and Marilla seemed to like him over his sister. It seemed to say that she was too good a child and that made her less interesting and lovable. So even though Davy constantly got into trouble, they still liked him more.

I did, however, wanted to read more about Gilbert and how her friendship with him grew. But that didn’t seem to be in the story very much after the first few chapters. He didn’t appear much until the end where he vaguely expressed some interest in Anne in the most romantic way, saying of Miss Lavender and Mr Irving’s romance, “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?” This made my heart skip a beat! But it was still not anything that directly revealed their feelings for each other that could spark a more-than-friends relationship in that moment. That really frustrated me! Normally, when I read romance novels, this kind of stuff doesn’t really have much of an effect on me, but this part really got to me! Perhaps it has something to do with my own experience (or lack thereof) in love (often unrequited; ‘friend-zoned’).

It took me quite a long time to finish this book for some reason. I am always simultaneously reading several books at the same time but this book was in rotation for lot longer than I had anticipated. It takes quite of lot of patience to read to appreciate it fully. Being such an old classic, it was not easy to understand some of the language and structures used in the sentences. Some of words were also deliberately misspelled in quotations to let us know how they were being mispronounced by the characters, especially by the young children and Charlotta the Fourth. I sometimes had to reread and even read it out loud to guess what the intended word was. This was a nice touch though, even though it caused some confusion.

I am now going to continue on with Anne of the Island!

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