I read Anne of Green Gables last month, and it turned into a quick favorite. My wife let me know there were 8 total books in the series, but I’m not really the type of person to read every book in a series consecutively. After finishing one book in a series, I enjoy reading something else for a while before sitting down to the next book in the series.
Some might say that ruins the experience, but it’s how I like to read books. Maybe someday I’ll stick with a series from start to finish without taking breaks, but it is not this day (which reminds me, I still have to read The Return of the King).
Sadly, even though Anne of Green Gables was a 5-star book for me, Anne of Avonlea didn’t live up to my expectations.
One of the things that made the first book so entertaining was the way Anne spoke in her early teenage years. Her longwinded stories and expressions – as well as the predicaments she would often find herself in – were so entertaining coming from such a young girl.
However, now that Anne is around 18 years old, her adventures and stories aren’t as entertaining. It’s not as fun to read about a nearly 20-year-old girl on her lighthearted adventures as it was to read about an 11-year-old girl speaking and acting beyond her years.
There was a taste of the earlier writing with the introduction of Davy & Dora Keith, 6-year-old twins who end up living with Anne and Marilla. Davy was a reminder of the Anne I enjoyed reading about in the first book, even though he’s younger and even more rambunctious than she was.
Overall, I felt that this book was an unnecessary detour in the series.
If there hadn’t been a few unexpected plot points at the end of the first book, this book wouldn’t have been needed at all. We’re basically back at the same place at the end of book two as we were at the end of book one.
Sure, the living situation of a few characters is different, and we’ve been introduced to a few new characters. But I don’t feel that warranted an entire book. Especially since this book was supposedly going to focus on Anne’s life as a school teacher in Avonlea, and only a few chapters seemed to be about the school.
And I need more Gilbert! How dare you dangle him in front of the reader like a carrot at the end of Anne of Green Gables, and then stow him away for the majority of Anne of Avonlea only to bring him back in full force at the end.
(If you’re familiar with the first book, that carrot comment is pure gold)