Anne of Avonlea follows Anne Shirley from the age of 16 to 18, during the two years that she teaches at Avonlea School.
The book features many of the characters from Anne of Green Gables, including Marilla Cuthbert, Gilbert Blythe, and Diana Barry, and some new ones: Mr. Harrison, Miss Lavendar Lewis, Paul Irving, and the twins Dora and Davy.
Anne matures slightly over time, even though she cannot avoid getting into a number of her familiar scrapes, such as selling her neighbor's cow, or getting stuck in a broken duck-house roof.
Although none of the sequels quite matched Anne of Green Gables, I still have loved this book since I was about 9 (I'm in my 30s now), however, I really can't recommend this reading of it! Laural Merlington's voice is unutterably grating, having a nasal whine to it that almost ruins the story. I bought it when there was 25% off as it was very cheap and I regret that I didn't go for one of the slightly more expensive recordings instead. The story comes highly recommended, this version does not!
I did not like Book 2 as much as Book 1, but no “Anne Book” could ever measure up to the first and classic “Anne of Green Gables”.
I had a hard time getting into the story in the beginning, I liked Anne’s character better in the first instalment with all her ridiculous capers and amusing adventures. I found that there were too many long and boring interludes in Book 2 that stalled the story rather than move it forward - like reading the letters the students sent to their teacher, or the random thoughts of a circle of friends enjoying a spring afternoon.
After a while however, I found I was so enveloped by all the NEW adventures that I barely noticed the time go by… perhaps when you just like a character enough, reading anything about them can become engrossing!
I picked Book 2 up again because I am determined to read the entire series. I’ve had the books since the early 80s and never made it passed the first few pages of Book 3; 2016 will be the year I read them all!
Wish me luck!
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