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Anne of Avonlea
Following Anne of Green Gables (1908), the book covers the second chapter in the life of Anne Shirley. This book follows Anne from the age of 16 to 18, during the two years that she teaches at Avonlea school. It includes many of the characters from Anne of Green Gables, as well as new ones like Mr. Harrison, Miss Lavendar Lewis, Paul Irving, and the twins Dora and Davy.
Explanation of the novel's title
The book's title is fitting, as Anne is no longer simply "of Green Gables" as she was in the previous book, but now takes her place among the "important" people (and the "grown up" people) of Avonlea society, as its only schoolteacher. She is also a founding member of the A.V.I.S. (the Avonlea Village Improvement Society), which tries to improve (with questionable results) the Avonlea landscape.
Anne is about to start her first term teaching at the Avonlea school, although she will still continue her studies at home with Gilbert, who is teaching at the nearby White Sands School. The book soon introduces Anne's new and problematic neighbor, Mr. Harrison, and his foul-mouthed parrot, as well as the twins, Davy and Dora. They are the children of Marilla's third cousin and she takes them in when their mother dies while their uncle is out of the country. Dora is a nice, well-behaved girl, while Davy is much more of a handful and gets into many scrapes. They are initially meant to stay only a short time, but the twins' uncle postpones his return to collect the twins and then eventually dies, and Marilla is relieved to know the twins will remain with her.
Other characters introduced are some of Anne's new pupils, such as Paul Irving, an American boy living with his grandmother in Avonlea while his widowed father works in the States. He delights Anne with his imagination and whimsical ways, which are a lot like Anne's in her childhood. Later in the book, Anne and her friends meet Miss Lavendar Lewis, a sweet but lonely lady in her 40s who had been engaged to Paul's father 25 years before, but parted from him after a disagreement. At the end of the book, Mr. Irving returns and he and Miss Lavendar marry.
Anne discovers the delights and troubles of being a teacher, takes part in the raising of Davy and Dora, and organizes the A.V.I.S. (Avonlea Village Improvement Society) together with Gilbert, Diana, and Fred Wright, though their efforts to improve the town are not always successful. The Society takes up a subscription to repaint an old town hall, only to have the painter provide the wrong color of paint, turning the hall into a bright blue eyesore.
Towards the end of the book, Mrs. Rachel Lynde's husband dies and Mrs. Lynde moves in with Marilla at Green Gables, allowing Anne to go to college at last. She and Gilbert make plans to attend Redmond College in the fall.
This book sees Anne maturing slightly, even though she still cannot avoid getting into a number of her familiar scrapes, as only Anne can -- some of which include selling her neighbor's cow (having mistaken it for her own), or getting stuck in a broken duck house roof while peeping into a pantry window.
Lucy Maud Montgomery
Lucy Maud Montgomery OBE (November 30, 1874 – April 24, 1942), called "Maud" by family and friends and publicly known as L.M. Montgomery, was a Canadian author best known for a series of novels beginning with Anne of Green Gables, published in 1908. Anne of Green Gables was an immediate success. The central character, Anne, an orphaned girl, made Montgomery famous in her lifetime and gave her an international following. The first novel was followed by a series of sequels with Anne as the central character. Montgomery went on to publish 20 novels as well as 500 short stories and poems. Because many of the novels were set on Prince Edward Island, Canada and the Canadian province became literary landmarks. She was awarded Officer of the Order of the British Empire in 1935. Montgomery's work, diaries and letters have been read and studied by scholars and readers worldwide.
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