Anne of Avonlea by L. M. Montgomery: B+

From the back cover:
At sixteen Anne is grown up… almost. Her gray eyes shine like evening stars, but her red hair is still as peppery as her temper. In the years since she arrived at Green Gables as a freckle-faced orphan, she has earned the love of the people of Avonlea and a reputation for getting into scrapes. But when Anne begins her job as the new schoolteacher, the real test of her character begins.

Along with teaching the three Rs, she is learning how complicated life can be when she meddles in someone else’s romance, finds two new orphans at Green Gables, and wonders about the strange behavior of the very handsome Gilbert Blythe. As Anne enters womanhood, her adventures touch the heart and the funny bone.

There were some things that irritated me about Anne of Avonlea, even though it’s similar to its predecessor in pacing and story. Chiefly, I missed the adult perspective I enjoyed so much in the earlier work. There weren’t many segments at all from Marilla’s point of view this time around and without that fond yet practical outlook, Anne and her dreamy ramblings sometimes got on my nerves. I also found irritating two little boys, one mischievous and one fanciful, that it seemed I was supposed to find precious.

I did, however, like any scene where Anne and Gilbert were together or any where a potential relationship between them was discussed. The entire final quarter of the book—featuring a storm, a death, a wedding, and several departures—was also very good. Marilla made me all sniffly again, too, by arranging for it to be possible for Anne to go to college after all, an aspiration she had set aside in order to stay with Marilla, whose eyesight was failing. The college setting should put Anne and Gilbert together more often, and I’m looking forward to that.

As a final note, I’m going to start a tally of how many times Anne gets into a scrape as the result of grabbing the incorrect item from a pantry. So far, from the first two books, I have:
1. currant wine instead of raspberry cordial
2. linament instead of vanilla
3. red dye instead of freckle lotion.

Feel free to alert me in comments if I’ve missed any.

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