Saturday, July 12, 2008

Anne of the Island - Book Review

This year, 2008, is the 100th anniversary of the very first Anne Shirley (Anne of Green Gables) book being published. I decided it might be nice to read some of the later Anne Shirley books, because for some reason in all the 40+ years of my life, I have never read them.

I chose the following four books
Anne of the Island
Anne's House of Dreams
Anne of Ingleside
Rilla of Ingleside

These are all for the second Canadian Book Challenge.

Anne of the Island
By L.M.Montgomery
originally published 1915

I actually read Anne of the Island online at Gutenberg, (see link above) because it was not on the shelf at the local library. This is the story of Anne Shirley while she is a student at College.

At age 18 Anne leaves Prince Edward Island and travels to Kingsport in Nova Scotia where she attends Redmond College. Gilbert Blythe also attends Redmond College as well.

During Anne's 4 years at Redmond, she makes a new friend with Phil Gordon who becomes a roommmate along with Priscilla, Stella and Aunt Jamesina in a small house called Patty's Place.

Anne recives four proposals while at college. The first one is from Jane Andrews' brother Billy - submitted to Anne via Jane herself. Ann turns him down. The second proposal comes from Samuel, a local farmer.

Halfway through their studies, Gilbert proposes to Anne. Anne turns him down saying that she would prefer to be just friends. Gilbert then stays away from Anne while he finishes his studies. Anne hears rumours that Gilbert is going out with Christina Stuart.

That summer Diana Barry gets married to Fred Wright. Anne is the bridesmaid and Gilbert is the best man. Thus an awkward situation ensues, but the wedding goes off without a hitch.

Back at College Anne meets Royal Gardner (aka Roy) who begins to court her. Near the end of Anne's final year at Redmond, Roy proposes to her, and just when Anne is about to say yes, she realises that she does not want to spend the rest of her life with him, so she refuses him. Roy gets very upset with her for leading him on all this time.

After Anne graduates from College,(now 22 years old) Anne visits the Irvings at Echo Lodge for a few weeks. When she arrives back at Avonlea, she hears that Gilbert is very ill with Typhoid fever, and Anne spends the night in her window bay praying that she does not lose the man she truely loves.

Gilbert survives and within days he proposes to Anne again. This time she says yes. But their wedding will have to wait because Gilbert has been accepted to medical school,and that will mean another 3 years of study. Anne spends those 3 years as the principal at Summerside High school. That story is told in the next book Anne of Windy Poplars.

An Excellent novel. Finally Anne and Gilbert are together. Gilbert says he has been in love with her ever since that day at school when Anne broke her slate over Gilbert's head.


Anonymous said...

Hi there :)
I have never read any of Anne Shirley Books.
I guess her books are some sort of autobiography?

Great Blog :) Keep it up.

Francesca Thomas said...

As far as I know, none of the Anne Shirley books are autobiographical. L.M.Montgomery was never an orphan and never lived in an orphanage. She did write an autobiography - a series of essays called "The Alpine Path: The Story of My Career".

You can read it at the below link. And yes there were some things in her life that inspired events in Anne's life (such as having a still born child) but Anne was her own invention.

The Alpine Path