Title: Anne of Avonlea.
Author: L.M. Montgomery.
Genre: Fiction, YA, children's lit, teen lit.
Publication Date: 1909.
Summary: At sixteen Anne is grown up... almost. 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 behavior of the very handsome Gilbert Blythe. As Anne enters womanhood, her adventures touch the heart and the funny bone.
My rating: 8.5/10
♥ “Avonlea is a pretty decent place or I wouldn’t have located here; but I suppose even you will admit that it has some faults?”
“I like it all the better for them,” said loyal Anne. “I don’t like places or people either that haven’t any faults. I think a truly perfect person would be very uninteresting.”
♥ “Mrs. Lynde was complaining the other day that it wasn’t much of a world. She said whenever you looked forward to anything pleasant you were sure to be more or less disappointed… that nothing ever came up to your expectations. Well, perhaps that is true. But there is a good side to it too. The bad things don’t always come up to your expectations either… they nearly always turn out ever so much better than you think.”
♥ “There is some good in every person if you can find it. It is a teacher’s duty to find a develop it.”
♥ “Have you ever noticed,” asked Anne reflectively, “that when people say it is their duty to tell you a certain thing you may prepare for something disagreeable? Why is it that they never seem to think it a duty to tell you the pleasant things they hear about you?”
♥ Gilbert had finally made up his mind that he was going to be a doctor.
“It’s a splendid profession,” he said enthusiastically. “A fellow has to fight something all through life… didn’t somebody once define man as a fighting animal?... and I want to fight disease and pain and ignorance… which are all members one of another. I want to do my share of honest, real work in the world, Anne… add a little to the sum of human knowledge that all the good men have been accumulating since it began. The folks that lived before me have done so much for me that I want to show my gratitude by doing something for the folks who will live after me. It seems to me that is the only way a fellow can get square with his obligations to the race.”
“I’d like to add some beauty to life,” said Anne dreamily. “I don’t exactly want to make people know more… though I know that is the noblest ambition… but I’d love to make them have a pleasanter time because of me… to have some little joy or happy thought that would never have existed had I never been born.”
♥ “It does people good to have to do things they don’t like… in moderation.”
♥ “You’re never safe from being surprised till you’re dead.”
♥ “The trouble is, you and Mrs. Lynde do not understand one another,” she explained. “That is always what is wrong when people don’t like each other.”
♥ “Can’t you suggest something else, Anne? I should think you ought to be able to, with that imagination you’re always talking of.”
“But punishments are so horrid and I like to imagine only pleasant things,” said Anne, cuddling Davy. “There are so many unpleasant things in the world already that there is no use in imagining any more.”
♥ “Dora is too good,” said Anne. “She’d behave just as well if there wasn’t a soul to tell her what to do. She was born already brought up, so she doesn’t need us; and I think,” concluded Anne, hitting on a very vital truth, “that we always love best the people who need us. Davy needs us badly.”
♥ “I’m so glad you spoke that thought, Priscilla, instead of just thinking it and keeping it to yourself. This world would be a much more interesting place… although it is very interesting anyhow… if people spoke out their real thoughts.”
“It would be too hot to hold some folks,” quoted Jane sagely.
♥ “I should rather call it a picture,” said Jane. “A poem is lines and verses.”
“Oh dear me, no.” Anne shook her head with its fluffy white cherry coronal positively. “The lines and verses are only the outward garments of the poem and are no more really it than your ruffles and flounces are you, Jane. The real poem is the soul within them… and that beautiful bit is the soul of an unwritten poem. It is not every day one sees a soul… even of a poem.”
♥ Anne and Paul both knew
“How fair the realm
Imagination opens to the view,”
and both knew the way to that happy land. There the rose of joy bloomed immortal by dale and stream; clouds never darkened the sunny sky; sweet bells never jangled out of tune; and kindred spirits abounded. The knowledge of that land’s geography… “east o’ the sun, west o’ the moon” … is priceless lore, not to be bought in any market place. It must be the gift of the good fairies at birth, and the years can never deface it or take it away. It is better to possess it, living in a garret, than to be inhabitant of palaces without it.
♥ “True friendship is a very helpful thing indeed,” said Mrs. Allan, “and we should have a very high ideal of it, and never sully it by any failure in truth and sincerity. I fear the name of friendship is often degraded to a kind of intimacy that has nothing of real friendship in it.”
♥ “I don’t like picking fowls,” she told Marilla, “but isn’t it fortunate we don’t have to put our souls into what our hands may be doing? I’ve been picking chickens with my hands but in imagination I’ve been roaming the Milky Way.”
“I thought you’d scattered more feathers over the floor than usual,” remarked Marilla.
♥ “It seems to me, Anne, that you are never going to outgrow your fashion of setting your heart so on things and then crashing down into despair because you don’t get them.”
“I know I’m too much inclined that way,” agreed Anne ruefully. “When I think something nice is going to happen I seem to fly right up on the wings of anticipation; and then first thing I realize I drop down to earth with a thud. But really, Marilla, the flying part is glorious as long as it lasts… it’s like soaring through a sunset. I think it almost pays for the thud.”
♥ “Anne, I believe you’re just talking nonsense.”
“Of course I was, dear boy. Don’t you know that it is only very foolish folk who talk sense all the time?”
♥ Anne went upstairs with Dora and sat by her until she fell asleep. The next day Mirabel Cotton was kept in at recess and “gently but firmly” given to understand that when you were so unfortunate as to possess an uncle who persisted in walking about houses after he had been decently interred it was not in good taste to talk about that eccentric gentleman to your deskmate of tender years. Mirabel thought this very harsh. The Cottons had not much to boast of. How was she to keep up her prestige among her schoolmates if she were forbidden to make capital out of the family ghost?
♥ “If they had been so blind as to name her Elizabeth or Nellie or Muriel she must have been called Lavendar just the same, I think. It’s so suggestive of sweetness and old-fashioned graces and ‘silk attire.’ Now, my name just smacks of bread and butter, patchwork and chores.”
“Oh, I don’t think so,” said Diana. “Anne seems to me real stately and like a queen. But I’d like Kerrenhappuch if it happened to be your name. I think people make their names nice or ugly just by what they are themselves. I can’t bear Josie or Gertie for names now but before I knew the Pye girls I thought them real pretty.”
“That’s a lovely idea, Diana,” said Anne enthusiastically. “Living so that you beautify your name, even if it wasn’t beautiful to begin with… making it stand in people's thoughts for something so lovely and pleasant that they never think of it by itself. Thank you, Diana.”
♥ “They were certainly engaged twenty-five years ago and then all at once it was broken off. I don’t know what the trouble was but it must have been something terrible, for he went away to the States and never come home since.”
“Perhaps it was nothing very dreadful after all. I think the little things in life often make more trouble than the big things,” said Anne, with one of those flashes of insight which experience could not have bettered.
♥ “But you aren’t an old maid,” said Anne, smiling into Miss Lavendar’s wistful wood-brown eyes. “Old maids are born... they don’t become.”
♥ “How sympathetic you look, Anne… as sympathetic as only seventeen can look. But don’t overdo it. I’m really a very happy, contented little person in spite of my broken heart. My heart did break, if ever a heart did, when I realized that Stephen Irving was not coming back. But, Anne, a broken heart in real life isn't half as dreadful as it is in books. It's a good deal like a bad tooth… though you won’t think that a very romantic simile. It takes spells of aching and gives you a sleepless night now and then, but between times it lets you enjoy life and dreams and echoes and peanut candy as if there were nothing the matter with it. And now you’re looking disappointed. You don’t think I’m half as interesting a person as you did five minutes ago when you believed I was always the prey of a tragic memory bravely hidden beneath external smiles. That’s the worst… or the best… of real life, Anne. It won’t let you be miserable. It keeps on trying to make you comfortable… and succeeding… even when you’re determined to be unhappy and romantic.”
♥ “That is one good thing about the world… there are always sure to be more springs.”
♥ Anne had a long meditation at her window that night. Joy and regret struggled together in her heart. She had come at last… suddenly and unexpectedly… to the bend in the road; and college was around it, with a hundred rainbow hopes and visions; but Anne realized as well that when she rounded that curve she must leave many sweet things behind… all the little simple duties and interests which had grown so dear to her in the last two years and which she had glorified into beauty and delight by the enthusiasm she had put into them. She must give up her school… and she loved every one of her pupils, even the stupid and naughty ones. The mere thought of Paul Irving made her wonder if Redmond were such a name to conjure with after all.
“I’ve put out a lot of little roots these two years,” Anne told the moon, “and when I’m pulled up they’re going to hurt a great deal. But it’s best to go, I think, and, as Marilla says, there’s no good reason why I shouldn’t. I must get out all my ambitions and dust them.”
♥ “I hope I shall make new friends,” said Anne thoughtfully. “The possibilities of making new friends help to make life very fascinating.”
♥ Perhaps, after all, romance did not come into one's life with pomp and blare, like a gay knight riding down; perhaps it crept to one's side like an old friend through quiet ways; perhaps it revealed itself in seeming prose, until some sudden shaft of illumination flung athwart its pages betrayed the rhythm and the music; perhaps... perhaps... love unfolded naturally out of a beautiful friendship, as a golden-hearted rose slipping from its green sheath.