Sunday, March 17, 2013

Sunday Salon: Reading Anne of the Island (1915)

Anne of the Island. L.M. Montgomery. 1915. 272 pages.

Anne of the Island is one of my favorite books in the Anne series by L.M. Montgomery. This is the book that focuses on Anne's college years. Readers meet Anne's best friends from her college years: Priscilla Grant, Stella Maynard, and Philippa Gordon. Anne receives oh-so-many proposals in this one. One proposal comes from her very best friend, Gilbert Blythe. But Anne knows herself, knows that she could never settle for anything less than her IDEAL man that she's crafted in her imagination. It's a good thing she meets him at college! From their first meeting until the BIG day he proposes, she's almost certain that he is oh-so-perfect for her. True, he doesn't have a sense of humor, well, much of one. And true, he isn't really the sort you share things with. But, oh, he knows his poetry. His name is Royal Gardner...

Anne isn't the only one trying to make big decisions in this one. There is the unforgettable Philippa Gordon. Take her as she is--for better or worse--for there will never be another. Though she has dozens of beaus, wealthy beaus too, she falls hard for the one man she's sure will never be able to accept her...for he's a minister!

Though the book focuses on her college years, Anne is able to visit Avonlea almost every year. And there are plenty of chapters set in and around Avonlea. So readers are able to keep up with the characters they've come to love: Marilla, Rachel Lynde, Davy and Dora, Diana, etc.

The last few chapters of this one are oh-so-magical.

Favorite quotes:
"We mustn't let next week rob us of this week's joy."
"I suppose we'll get used to being grownup in time," said Anne cheerfully. "There won't be so many unexpected things about it by and by--though, after all, I fancy it's the unexpected things that give spice to life."
"When I'm grown up I'm not going to do one single thing I don't want to do, Anne."
"All your life, Davy, you'll find yourself doing things you don't want to do."
"I won't," said Davy flatly. "Catch me! I have to do things I don't want to now 'cause you and Marilla'll send me to bed if I don't. But when I grow up you can't do that, and there'll be nobody to tell me not to do things." 
"But FEELING is so different from KNOWING."
"Facts are stubborn things, but as some one has wisely said, not half so stubborn as fallacies."
"What's my conscience? I want to know."
"It's something in you, Davy, that always tells you when you are doing wrong and makes you unhappy if you persist in doing it. Haven't you noticed that?"
"Yes, but I didn't know what it was. I wish I didn't have it. I'd have lots more fun. Where is my conscience, Anne? I want to know. Is it in my stomach?"
"No, it's in your soul," answered Anne, thankful for the darkness, since gravity must be preserved in serious matters. 
"All life lessons are not learned at college," she thought. "Life teaches them everywhere." 
"Mrs. Lynde was awful mad the other day because I asked her if she was alive in Noah's time. I didn't meant to hurt her feelings. I just wanted to know. Was she, Anne?" 
"I think it's quite natural that a nine-year-old boy would sooner read an adventure story than the Bible. But when you are older I hope and think that you will realize what a wonderful book the Bible is." 
"Miss Stacy told me long ago that by the time I was twenty my character would be formed, for good or evil. I don't feel it's what it should be. It's full of flaws."
"So's everybody's" said Aunt Jamesina cheerfully. "Mine's cracked in a hundred places. Your Miss Stacy likely meant that when you are twenty your character would have got its permanent bent in one direction or 'tother, and would go on developing in that line. 
"What are you reading?"
"That's a book that always makes me hungry," said Phil. "There's so much good eating in it."
"The year is a book, isn't it, Marilla? Spring's pages are written in Mayflowers and violets, summer's in roses, autumn's in red maple leaves, and winter in holly and evergreen."
"We are never half so interesting when we have learned that language is given us to enable us to conceal our thoughts."
"When you've learned to laugh at the things that should be laughed at, and not to laugh at those that shouldn't, you've got wisdom and understanding."
"There is a book of Revelation in every one's life, as there is in the Bible. Anne read hers that bitter night, as she kept her agonized vigil through the hours of storm and darkness."

© 2013 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews


Ms. Yingling said...

Adore the 1950s cover on this one! Now I want to go back and read this. I think it was my favorite as well, although I do like Windy Poplars, too.

JaneGS said...

This is my favorite Anne book too. Much as I liked the mini-series, I wa always disappointed that this book really wasn't dealt with at all. I loved Patty's Place and the four girls living there, and Phillipa and even Roy and his sister.

I loved how the girls interacted--and I'll never forget the Pickwick quote. Made me read Pickwick myself for the first time, just so I could emulate my heroines!