What’s it all about?:
At sixteen, Anne is grown up…almost. Her gray eyes shine like evening stars, but her red hair is still as peppery as her temper. In the years since she arrived at Green Gables as a freckle-faced orphan, she has earned the love of the people of Avonlea and a reputation for getting into scrapes. But when Anne begins her job as the new schoolteacher, the real test of her character begins. Along with teaching the three Rs, she is learning how complicated life can be when she meddles in someone else’s romance, finds two new orphans at Green Gables, and wonders about the strange behaviour of the very handsome Gilbert Blythe. As Anne enters womanhood, her adventures touch the heart and the funny bone.
What did I think?:
The first book in this series, Anne of Green Gables, was one of my favourite books as a child and I remember reading it countless times. However, it is strange that I have never read any of the follow-up novels until now! As we meet Anne again, she is sixteen years old and beginning to work as a teacher in the village school. She is the same old Anne, a little bit older, a little bit wiser, but still getting into scrapes and awkward situations which makes for a heart-warming read. There is an incident with a wandering cow which is hilarious, a scene where she loses her (famous) temper with shaming results, and an accidental application of what she thinks is face cream in order to impress some important guests. All of these incidents and much more is what makes reading this book and re-visiting old characters feel like you’re under a comfy duvet with a big cup of tea.
I gave an inaudible cheer for the return of the familiar Green Gable folk – we have Marilla, Anne’s adoptive mother, quietly stern and fiercely protective of her young charge, as usual. Anne is also still close to her “kindred spirit” Diana Barry, and I enjoyed how the sensibility and down-to earth elements of Diana pulled Anne back down to earth, when required! Anne and Diana are also friends with Anne’s once nemesis, Gilbert Blythe, who is still enamoured with Anne, and I am hoping for hints of a romance in the future for these two. And of course, the inimitable Rachel Lynde, the local gossip and busybody, that Anne had such an altercation with in the first book, pops up to dabble a bit in people’s affairs, but with a heart of gold, that excuses much of her meddling. I did miss the steadiness of the lovely Matthew Cuthbert but I loved the introduction of the new and in some cases, very entertaining characters, the twins Davy and Dora whom Marilla takes on after the death of their mother who are as different as night and day, but make great reading, and Mr Harrison and his foul-mouthed parrot were some of my particular favourites. The book finishes as Anne is about to realise her dream of going to college, and we get the sense that her childhood is slipping away and the next book will show a more adult, but hopefully still adventurous and loveable Anne Shirley.
Would I recommend it?:
But of course!
Star rating (out of 5):