Anne is finally ready to go to college – and Redmond beckons. Together with Gilbert, Charlie and Priscilla, they go to Nova Scotia to study, while Diana, Marilla and the twins remain back in Avonlea. Many things change for Anne, she makes new friends like Philippa (called Phil) and studies hard, while Gilbert becomes more insistent in his pursuit of Anne – much to her worry.
Reading the Anne of Green Gables series is really wonderful escapism – there is such a warmth and utterly humanistic core to the books, it’s simply a pleasure to fall into Anne’s world.
Anne of the Island shows Anne really growing up and into herself. That doesn’t mean that there aren’t flights of fancy she can still take, but she does seem to settle more in reality now. That is a bittersweet moment, but I appreciated the development she experiences. As I just generally appreciate what an unusual way to look at a girl/woman like Anne Montgomery gives us in the novel: with a wink, but no ridicule, she gets to be fanciful and naive and it’s never belittled, but seen as the creative expression it is.
There are a couple of moments that feel a tad too dramatic and a couple of moments that feel a tad too convenient, but overall, the novel works beautifully, expanding Anne’s horizons in many ways – and with it, opening the reader up to her world even more. And I daresay that you can hardly read about it and her without getting emotionally invested in her and the people around her. I certainly did, and even at the end, when a part of me bemoaned the fact that things seem a bit too dramatic, I was biting my nails and glued to the page to see what happened.
I don’t know if I am sad that I discovered this series only as an adult. While I do think it would have been nice to grow up with Anne, I know that I can appreciate her now much more than I would have as a child. And I’m looking forward to reading more about her.
Summarizing: Beautiful and warm.