Welcome to my July review of Anne of the Island as part of the #AnneReadAlong2017!
**I use more spoilers than usual in this review because I just want to talk about this ending in a bit more detail. So skip my last few paragraphs if you still need to experience it for yourself! 🙂
I am having so much fun co-hosting this event with Jackie @ Death by Tsundoku. We’d love to have you join us for any part of the read along. We are writing reviews, posting Top 5 Lists, hosting giveaways, and more! Check out my info page here.
I am writing this review early because baby girl can be here any day! So if I don’t respond to your comment or post your link to my review right away, I’m focusing on our new baby 🙂
I again was drawn to the next Anne book right after I finished Anne of Avonlea. I enjoy how much detail we get about Anne’s life and the way the books connect quite seamlessly together.
- I love getting more of Anne’s story in this novel. It was so fun to read about Anne’s college years in this book. Sometimes I wanted more details of her time there, and other time I would have preferred less.
- I want to live at Patty’s Place! How adorable is that little home in it’s gorgeous location and the sweet college memories that are made there.
- I love Anne’s new friend Phil. She is so outspoken and ridiculous and hilarious. And I love that she marries for love and is perfectly happy in the end.
- How does Anne keep visiting all her sick/dying friends and not getting gravely ill herself? It made me so nervous how much time she spent with potentially contagious people. Perhaps it’s simply the overprotective mother in me, but I was so nervous for her health!
Anne of the Island by L. M. Montgomery continues Anne’s story as she attends college and grows into adulthood. Goodreads summarizes, “New adventures lie ahead as Anne Shirley packs her bags, waves good-bye to childhood, and heads for Redmond College. With old friend Prissy Grant waiting in the bustling city of Kingsport and frivolous new pal Philippa Gordon at her side, Anne tucks her memories of rural Avonlea away and discovers life on her own terms, filled with surprises…including a marriage proposal from the worst fellow imaginable, the sale of her very first story, and a tragedy that teaches her a painful lesson. But tears turn to laughter when Anne and her friends move into an old cottage and an ornery black cat steals her heart. Little does Anne know that handsome Gilbert Blythe wants to win her heart, too. Suddenly Anne must decide if she’s ready for love…”
I was glad to see more of the original characters in this novel. The characters are the center of this story for me so it was good to see so many a bit more. We get great moments with Mrs. Lynde now that she has moved into Green Gables. Diana’s wedding is just as simple and lovely as it should be. Marilla’s love for and stubbornness towards Anne continue to flourish. I also enjoyed seeing glimpses of Miss Lavendar and Paul Irving, my favorite characters from book 2. And, of course, we get to see Gilbert throughout as he attends Redmond with Anne and wins all our hearts over again.
I will always love Anne, especially in the first novel because of her incredible imagination and genuine zest for life. Her childhood years at Green Gables are idyllic and timeless. But Anne in book 3 was not my favorite character. In fact, sometimes she drove me crazy! She was a bit ridiculous for me. Although, I love the way she holds onto her ideals and the girl can still express herself in the most gorgeous, poignant ways. At times, she was holding on so desperately to the way things used to be even as she moved forward in life. Yes, friends get married. That’s okay! And her constant belief that Gilbert wasn’t the one for her was just too much (come on, Anne, it’s so obvious to the rest of us!). Towards the end, it was just silly how many times she was proposed to by all these different boys. And how ridiculous those proposals were! I was glad that Anne ends the novel in a good place, but her journey to get there was frustrating for me.
Some favorite Anne quotes from this novel:
“There’ll be love there…faithful, tender love, such as I’ll never find anywhere else in the world–love that’s waiting for me. That makes my picture a masterpiece, doesn’t it, even if the colors are not very brilliant.”
“This has been the most beautiful day of my life…I’ve found my father and mother. Those letters have made them real to me. I’m not an orphan any longer. I feel as if I had opened a book and found roses of yesterday, sweet and beloved, between its leaves.”
“I think that a room where one dreams and grieves and rejoices and lives becomes inseparably connected with those processes and acquires a personality of its own.”
Anne of the Island, pages 52, 148, & 223
My favorite elements of this novel are the new locations. We get to see Anne in the new town of Kingsport, visiting friends in various locations, and still home at Green Gables. Like I mentioned above, I loved Patty’s Place. Wish I lived in such a darling house in college! I fell in love with Patty’s Place nearly as much as with Green Gables itself. I also loved the visit Anne makes to visit Phil where she gets to see the home she was born in and inherits the letters written by her parents. That was such a tender experience. And I really related with Anne’s changing opinions of her home at Green Gables. It will always be special to her, but she can feel the changes even before she goes away the first time.
Montgomery continues to amaze me with her beautiful language and writing style. In each of the books so far, I find myself pausing to write down too many quotes just because they are so beautifully worded. What is also impressive is how the language enhances the story rather than hinders it. This was another quick read for me and I think the languages helps it read so quickly.
A few favorite quotes, especially with beautiful language:
“Life held a different meaning, a deeper purpose. …the little things of life, sweet and excellent in their place, must not be the things lived for; the highest must be be sought and followed; the life of heaven must be begun here on Earth.”
“Words aren’t made–they grow.”
Anne of the Island, pages 109 & 216
**More spoilers than usual ahead!!
My absolute favorite part of this book is the ending. It makes my heart so happy to see Anne and Gilbert finally end up together. Anne’s bitter night when she (FINALLY) discovers her love for Gilbert is just heart breaking. I love their sweet reunion and his proposal in the garden. Can’t wait to read how their relationship and love continue to grow and develop.
A few favorite quotes from this lovely ending:
“There is a book of Revelation in everyone’s life, as there is in the Bible. Anne read hers that bitter night . . . . She loved Gilbert–had always loved him! She knew that now. She knew that she could no more cast him out of her life without agony than she could have cut off her right hand and cast it from her. And the knowledge had come too late–too late even for the bitter solace of being with him at the last. . . . . If Gilbert went away from her, without one word or sign or message, she could not live. Nothing was of any value without him. She belonged to him and he to her. “
Anne of the Island, page 237
Overall, another fun novel in the Anne series. I love how much detail we get about Anne’s life at every stage. For me, this one was not as magical in the middle as Anne was stubborn and avoiding change. And I would have preferred more details about her experiences at Redmond. But the ending is just perfect.
Have I mentioned how much fun I’m having co-hosting this read along? It’s been so great thus far. Thanks for participating with us!
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See you in August for Anne of Windy Poplars!