Top positive review
2 people found this helpful
on 6 February 2016
The second in the Anne series, this was written in a hurry because the publishers were clamouring for a sequel to the immensely successful 'Anne of Green Gables.' As a result, LM Montgomery used material she had already written into various short stories and the first chapter opens with such a tale. It is all very charming, if not quite as compelling as the first novel. In the sequel, the Anne is now16 and becomes the teacher at Avonlea school. Many beloved characters from 'Anne of Green Gables' appear again, as well as new ones. Mr. Harrison takes the farm next to Green Gables and his eccentric behaviour enlivens Anne's life. She meets (and loves) middle-aged Miss Lavendar Lewis and becomes deeply interested in her eventual destiny.Paul Irving is her most promising pupil and kindred spirit and twins Dora and Davy enter her life with humorous and heartwarming results. Anne is maturing but still has her great ideals and her innocent appreciation of the simple values of life, of nature and of the power of imagination. She is becoming a beautiful woman, as well as a clever one. During the two years covered by this book, she learns many life lessons, grows wiser and learns how to influence the lives of her pupils for good. Yet she resists full womanhood, preferring to cling to her childhood joys and values. Nevertheless, she is beginning to take her place in the adult world, as village teacher and founding member of the Avonlea Village Improvement Society, which works to improve the way that Avonlea is kept by it occupants, with many setbacks.
There is a delicious, homespun quality to these books. Montgomery writes about her characters with great affection, so that we are inclined to love them too. She herself grew up on Prince Edward island in Canada, in somewhat difficult and emotionally repressive circumstances, and she draws on her experiences in this series. It would be amazing if a child who has been as deprived as Anne in her early years were not emotionally damaged by it. Yet she is as much a lady as if she were brought up in a privileged household. It is all a bit hard to swallow, but if one suspends disbelief on this point, the stories are delightful and unforgettable. They were written in an age when people still believed in moral self-improvement and the moral vision expressed in them is both moving and inspiring. Loved it!