Tuesday, April 25, 2017

A Year With Maud: Thoughts on Anne of Avonlea

I have gotten ridiculously behind on my Anne posts. I have been keeping up with my Year With Maud, I just haven't got around to writing about it. I have enjoyed every minute of it though!

My thoughts after reading Anne of Avonlea

Anne of Avonlea definitely feels like it has a lot more "filler" than Anne of Green Gables did. LMM did this in a lot of her Anne books. Sometimes there seems to be more information about other characters and side stories than there is about Anne. 
That might bug some people... but somehow it didn't bother me because I enjoyed the other characters and their side stories. 
In this book we meet little Paul Irving who seems to be the male version of Anne. I really enjoy him and the romantic story between his father and Miss Lavender. 
I liked how Paul Irving is given a 'catchphrase'. She does that with Davey too.
Paul Irving: "You know."
Davey: " I want to know."
I also loved Mr. Harrison. It's a shame that in the movies Gilbert is given most of Mr. Harrison's lines as he is not in the film. 
However, I would always want more Gilbert! I will be writing a post (hopefully soon) about Gilbert Blythe. So stay tuned for that one!

Some of my favorite quotes from Anne of Avonlea:  

" I think an old, deserted house is such a sad sight," said Anne dreamily, "It always seems to me to be thinking about its past and mourning its old time joys.
How lonely and sorrowful it must feel! Perhaps they all come back on moonlit nights... the ghosts of little children of long ago and the roses and the songs... and for a little while the old house can dream it is young and joyous again."

This spoke to me because I always feel this way when I see old houses. If they are abandoned and crumbling even more so.. I can't help but wonder who lived there, when it was built, what happened to it, how has it come to be abandoned...

"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?"

This quote goes nicely along with one of my favorite exchanges in the book when Mr. Harrison is talking to Anne and says that he tells the truth no matter what. Anne says, "But you don't tell the whole truth- you have told me a dozen times that my hair was red but you have never once told me that I had a nice nose." He says she knows that without him telling her. She says, "I know I have red hair too. So there's no need of telling me that either."
He goes on to tell her that is just who he is- that he has a habit of being outspoken and that people mustn't mind him.
To this she says, " What would you think of a person who went about sticking pins and needles into people and saying, 'Excuse me, you mustn't mind it. It's just a habit I've got'."

I LOVE this exchange.  

Also, while I don't mind watching Anne grow up and becoming more serious (something we all do but it seems that a lot of people hate it when literary characters do it) I love that you do see that "old Anne" peek through occasionally. 
I believe it was Diana who says to her in this book, " Anne Shirley, you're only pretending to be grown up. I believe when you're alone you're as much a little girl as you ever were."

Another thing that stood out was how Anne started the school year with so many "theories" and ideals. They were good ones but not always practical. I think we all go into parenthood that way. I knew I wouldn't do this or that and then I became a parent and realize you will never be as a good a parent as you are when you haven't had kids yet. So I liked the passage, 
"School opened and Anne returned to her work with fewer theories but considerably more experience."

Overall, I again really enjoyed re-visiting this book. I don't love it as much as Anne of Green Gables, but I feel like it builds onto the story well.


Donna said...

This is a lovely review of a lovely book. I must admit that I haven't read it yet, even though I've had the book for many years. I guess I love the movie so much that I don't want the book to change anything for me. But this makes me want to read it!

The Kings said...

Great insight and commentary!

cheryl said...

Donna- yeah, I get that! The mini series really does change a lot. The films cover the first 4-5 books and there are definitely things in it that I have no idea how they came up with them. But I saw the mini series first and I will always love it no matter what the changes!
The third one and prequel however came after reading the books many times and I just can't get on board with them!

cheryl said...

Thanks Mom!