Last week I finished reading Anne of Avonlea and was just about to start watching the corresponding film when Jean, a good bloggy friend of mine, warned me that the film combines books two and three. So even though I had just begun to read another book, I quickly set said book aside and returned to my Kindle and the world of Avonlea in Montgomery’s third Anne novel, Anne of the Island, which chronicles Anne’s formative years in college at Redmond in Kingsport.
I really do feel like this series gets better and better with each installment. I adored this book and how timelessly Montgomery describes the college experience, from those first nervous days in a new place, to gradually forming a new group of friends and way of life, the trials and tribulations and exciting times.
Then comes the experience of returning home after having been away. Sometimes it’s a welcome relief and other times, just strange as you realize the things which have changed and the things which haven’t and you gradually come to realize how you never really can go home again to that idealized version of the home in your mind at least. The whole thing was just perfect, the new characters wonderful (even when they were terrible).
This is also the book where That Love Story finally comes to a head. Declarations are made, love stories unfold and it’s not an easy road for Anne, that’s for sure. It’s not easy growing up and seeing friendships change for better or for worse and it takes Anne awhile to decide what she wants in life truly and what ideals of hers are really just old fancies with no foothold in reality when all is said and done.
So now I have finished the book, loved the book, swooned and sighed and even cried a bit with this book – and now I can watch the film (finally!) in peace with no fear of spoilers. I also feel as though Book Three manages to leave the story at a point of contentment. The story is not finished but the waters are calm and I feel like I can move onto the many other books on my shelves to be read without feeling impatient to rush back to Prince Edward Island. I know I will go on to finish the series, but there is no longer an urgent rush to do so, rather I can save them for a treat later on in between reads.
I read this book in part for my participation in Carrie @ Reading To Know’s L.M. Montgomery Reading Challenge this month and coincidentally it also happens to be regarded as a classic work of literature making it count in my 2011 Classics Challenge as well.