Saturday, August 27, 2011

Book Review: Anne of the Island by L.M. Montgomery

Anne goes to college! And this is treated as fairly normal (although of course there are girls, such as Anne's best friend Diana still get married right after high school) which impresses me for a book 100 years old! Now the girls who do take this course are referred to as "B.A.s" which I find pretty funny. Some people who call them that do mean to be demeaning by it, as they think that much education is just silly and unnecessary, but most of the people in Anne's life understand her thirst for knowledge and for more than can be found on Prince Edward Island alone, as much as she adores it.

So she heads off to Redmond College with Priscilla, and Gilbert is going there too. They meet up with a vivacious girl named Philippa, and have loads of fun, while also getting good grades. Anne meets a tall, dark, handsome stranger, Roy, who is soon sending her flowers and poetry. Is he the one?

This book is less a collection of sequential short stories than the previous two books. And while it took me a while to figure out what it was, there's certainly an overarching theme to the book: what is love? Anne, a lover of literature, has learned about love solely through romantic books, and she thinks it must be mysterious and magical, with poems and flowers and flights of fancy. When Gilbert actually proposes, she tells him (to everyone's surprise I believe) that she doesn't love him! She thinks of him only as a friend. As you and I, dear reader, perhaps already know, friendship of course is another form of love, and perhaps an even stronger one. Will Anne keep Gilbert as a friend while marrying Roy? Will Gilbert, hurt by her rejection, leave Anne's life forever? Will sense win out in the end over superficial fripperies? It's very funny to see Anne (an English major, by the way), learning that perhaps lessons learned in books need to be tempered with real-life lessons.

I am really looking forward to book 4! I think I liked this book best of the first three. As sweet a character as Anne was as a young girl, she was also a bit exhausting which I don't find her anymore. I also prefer the overarching storyline, as opposed to multiple short stories. I hope they continue to improve with each book!

This review is a part of Kid Konnection, hosted by Booking Mama, a collection of children's book-related posts over the weekend.

I borrowed this book from a friend.


Julie P. said...

I have wanted to read these books forever, but it became even more urgent when I read the Mother Daughter Book Club book that is based on Anne of Green Gables.

Caroline Starr Rose said...

I love all the Annes, but if I had to pick my least favorite, it would be #4. It is still lovley, though.