Jul 22, 2008

Anne of the Island by L.M. Montgomery

The third book in this series starts with Anne Shirley, aged eighteen, about to leave Avonela to get het BA at Redmond. Anne has mixed feelings about her departure, but after a spell of homesickness her high spirits return, and she quickly makes new friends and begins to enjoy her new life.

Although Anne of the Island is mostly set outside of Avonela, we do get to see Anne’s old friends along with the new ones. Some of these old friends get married, leave Avonlea, and even meet tragic ends. This book was every bit as delightful as the first two, but it was also somewhat bittersweet. In Anne of Avonlea, she was a teacher, but there was still a lot of the child of the first book in her. But now Anne is no longer a child. And while growing up is certainly not a bad thing, there’s a certain sense of loss that comes with it, a certain nostalgia for the things that are left behind and can never be recovered. Here’s a passage that I think captures this feeling well:
Anne laughed and sighed. She felt very old and mature and wise – which showed how young she was. She told herself she longed greatly to go back to those dear merry days when life was seen through a rosy mist of hope and illusion, and possessed and indefinable something that had passed away forever. Where was it now – the glory and the dream?
Anne's world expands with each new book, and I like how their titles reflect that. In Anne of the Island she grows into a charming young woman. It was nice to see her go out into the world, continue to grow as a person, make new friends, and fall in love. And yet every now and then Anne sighs for the childhood world she knows she had to leave behind, and we sigh along with her.

The book ends with Anne, aged twenty-two, on the verge of a new change. I look forward to discovering what else life has in store for her.

Other Blog Reviews:
Here, There and Everywhere
Pink Bag of Books
Blue Archipelago
(Have you reviewed it as well? Let me know and I'll add your link.)


  1. I love the Anne series. You're seriously making me want to re-read the whole thing... :-)

  2. Oh wow! We both were reading this at the same time! hehe.
    I loved this book... but I'm wondering if now she will loose all the innocence and be wakened to the "adult world".. I think by reading these books it reminds me that there was a time when all things seem possible and time was endless. Too bad that doesn't stay with us.. I wonder how Montomery herself felt about the Anne books?

  3. I'm rereading this series now. I'm on Anne of Avonlea at the moment. But all of the series are on the agenda this year for the Canadian Reading Challenge. :)

  4. I loved this quote "She felt very old and mature and wise – which showed how young she was." I don't like it when I catch myself thinking, 'crap, I'm getting old' so this makes me laugh. I have long-life genes and I'm kidded all the time that I'm still a teenager even tho I'm 40+.

  5. Hi Nymeth! I nominated you for an award! See my blog post here:

  6. Oh, I wish I could find my copies of Anne of Avonlea and Anne of the Island!!! They sound so lovely. I looked and our library doesn't have them. Can you believe that?

  7. So far I have only read Anne of Green Gables, but hope to read the entire series.

    BTW, I nominated you for an award on my blog.

  8. Oh my...there's just too many books that need reading. Well, I guess there can't really be too many books, but I do think I need to find an elixir for a longer-than-natural life!

  9. After struggling through the first Anne book I haven't really wanted to read any of the others but your review has me very curious about the rest of the series! I can see how it would be bittersweet to see Anne growing up--I felt that way a little bit about the second half of Little Women.

  10. Joanna: That's a good thing, right? :P This are definitely books I can see myself re-reading.

    Deslily: I wonder too...but Anne strikes me as the kind of person (or character :P) capable of maintaining that innocence and sense of wonder through her whole life. We'll read on and find out!

    Becky: I'm not doing the challenge but I plan on reading more Anne books this year too. It'll be fun to compare notes :)

    Care: It's a great one, isn't it? I'm still in my twenties and sometimes I catch myself thinking that my youth is gone. I know how ludicrous that is, yes :P

    Alessandra, Teddy Rose and Jeane: Thank you so much! You all made my day :)

    Bookfool: It's too bad your library doesn't have them. I hope you manage to find your copies. They are indeed lovely books :)

    Debi: Sigh, I know that you mean!

    Trish: I know that some readers found Anne's constant chattering annoying in the first book, but in subsequent books she's much more thoughtful and introspective. Maybe you'd like the rest of the series better. Little Women was a book I had in mind for the Classics challenge but then forgot to include! I'll see if I have the time to fit it in this year.

  11. You seem to be really into this series at the moment. I will get around to the first book at some point... It's always good to know that the rest of a series lives up to the first book and sometimes even surpasses it.

  12. You won't be disappointed by the discoveries! I am so glad you are enjoying these books. It always makes me smile when I know people are reading and loving 'our Anne girl'.

  13. Anne has some interesting teaching experiences in Anne of Windy Poplars-- my favorite Anne book!

  14. Rhinoa, I look forward to seeing how you like the first book!

    Carl: I can't wait to see what else will happen in her life :)

    Jenclair: I'm looking forward to it even more now!

  15. Great review! I just love Anne and her world. I read this book last year and I also found it bittersweet and heartwarming in it's own ways. I can barley wait to get to the next book in the series, but my reading list is so crowded I don't know when I'll make it to the next Anne book!


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