Anne of the Island

Lucy Maud Montgomery? I'm just a mega, over-the-top, forever-and-ever fan. I'm that reader who finished the "Anne of Green Gables" series and then promptly started it over that night.

"Anne of the Island" is my favorite book of the series. Anne has left Avonlea and is tasting independence, true independence, for the first time. There are interesting friends, a chaperone (okay, you probably know I'm kind of fascinated with the concept of chaperones, especially because they don't seem to really exist anymore), and Gog and Magog, a pair of porcelain hearth figurines I'm still kind of obsessed with.

(I've always wanted to name a pair of puppies Gog and Magog.)

Everyone is growing up, there's some sorrow and life-changing events, Diana gets married and has a baby, and there is some very satisfying Gilbert resolution. I think I read that bit about a thousand times when I was a girl.

Do you love Anne Shirley? Which is your favorite of the series and why?

Here's how I picture Gog and Magog:

antiques by bubbleking


Caitlin said...

Anne of the Island is my favorite, too. I always wanted my college experience to be like that, to have friends like those and be that engaged in learning. Also, I have always really liked the clothes in this book for some reason. But I'm going to be honest: this one's my favorite primarily because of the romance. :) Oh man. I love it and I don't care who knows.

I think my second favorite is Rilla. I've always had a special liking for stories of the home front during wartime.

Ulrika K said...

"Anne of the Island" is my favorite too! They all seem to have such a lovely time together as friends during college, while the girls are simultaneously trying to juggle boys and studies and family expectations:) I loved all the Anne-Gilbert stuff as a young girl, and just like Caitlin, my second favorite was Rilla! I adored Rilla just because she was young and innocent and managed to cling to hope and romance at at time when the world was going up in flames.

kitzie said...

I spent much of my youth wishing I was Anne Shirley. When I was young of course Anne of the Island was my FAVORITE. (Gilbert OMG, but now that I'm more A than Y, I like the charm, humor and quirkiness of the first two Anne books.) I want to be adventurous like the older ladies of Patty's Place. And have their creepy, green, spotted Gog and Magog!

I just went to my bookshelves and picked up my copy (the same pictured, I've had it forever: in middle school I wrote a book report on AotI and tried to copy the cover without the people for my poster, cuz people are hard to draw) thinking it would just fall open to Gilbert's first proposal. Alas, so much time has passed it does not. (But I just found it and my heart broke again: "Friends! Your friendship can't satisfy me, Anne. I want your love - and you tell me I can never have that.")

So our Anne is a bit of a late bloomer like our Fair, right? Just not making the transition to non-fictional romance till she's in her twenties. Now Rilla (whom also has a special place in my heart), she's a bit more of an early bloomer like me. :) I guess she didn't have much choice, but I think she was pretty ready to go from before the war too.

bess said...

I've got to join the crowd, Anne of the Island and Rilla (Green Gables and House of Dreams are tied for 3rd) are my favorites too! Not coincidentally, they are the most romantic as well.

Caitlin, the clothes! Yes! Anne's green dress with embroidered rosebuds? Forever ensconced in my memory.

Thank you to this post for reminding me that I wanted to dig up my copy of The Blue Castle for a re-read.

do dah said...

anne is the best. i mean, i spent several years not wearing pink and worrying about my nose as a result of my anne indulgence, but it was worth it. i love patty's place, and always wanted to live there. the place before that had the cemetery, though, right? i do love a good cemetery. probably morbid, but tombstones are just SO COOL. i read somewhere (a sweet potato queens book?) about an obituary that said "he was fond of bowling and squirrels," and i think that would actually be an amazing epitaph. or, you know, some more me-appropriate version. "easily distracted by sparkles and words" or something. still working on it.

but, anne. my favorite scene is, hands down, the slate. because it is completely perfect. i was enraged right along with her. (aside: the one time someone called me carrot top, i scathingly pointed out that my hair was not, in fact, green like the top of a carrot. because kid logic, but mostly i didn't have a slate handy. it was in canada, too, and they make the boys read anne, so he would've understood the reference). my other favorite bits are those with paul and miss lavender because they make me cry every single time.

also, you've all seen the most recent kate beaton comic, right? anne of cleeves gables? so great!

Carly said...

Anne of the Island was also my favorite - for the romance, yes, but also, as others have said, for the way the college experience was described. I so wanted mine to be like that, lol. To live in a cute little house, and have awesome friends and such.

What really made this book stand out for me, though, was Phil Gordon. I wanted to BE her. I was so glad that since Anne moved away from home in this book, we got to see a bigger variety of people and, confession? I'm not a huge Diana Barry fan. I know she's Anne's bosom friend, but I always found her dull and not imaginative enough for Anne. But Phil was smart, and funny, and loved all of Anne's quirks, and told Anne point-blank that she was being ridiculous about Gilbert.

Amanda W said...

Yay Anne love! I have different favorites, but Anne of the Island is always close/at the top. The other two that vye for the top spots are House of Dreams and Rilla. I have a lifelong love and fascination with lighthouses, so that definitely comes into play!

related digression: I just finished a book (Arranged, by Catherine McKenzie) which has a TON of on-purpose Anne references, including this line: "I asked you a question once. If I asked it again, would you give a different answer?" swoon! y'all need to read Arranged and tell me what you think. I'm conflicted (Anne references aside).

Wilfair Book said...

Ladies! Thanks for the really amazing weigh-in on this topic, a topic that is clearly near to all of our hearts.

So much to say here. Do you feel like we need a separate blog devoted solely to "Anne of the Island"?

I might do a round-up of AotI commentary on the web. This is not over!

Amanda: That is very interesting! I'm going to check this book out. Does the author say from the outset it will be an Anne homage?

do dah: Thanks for sharing that Kate Beaton comic! I'm sending to some friends. Oh, by the way? I've read all the Sweet Potato Queens books. Should we discuss?

Caitlin: LOVE the clothes. I'd dress that way now, in the middle of LA, if I could. Heck, sometimes I do, vaguely. Puffed sleeves, long skirts.

kitzie: That was my cover, too. It is very worn and loved. And for sure, Ms. Fair is a late bloomer. I've always loved late bloomer stories, though I actually think of them just as "people at their own pace" stories. "Late" can seem pejorative (although I use the term, too, for sure). But there are fewer of them set in the modern-age, or at least too few for my tastes.

Let me tweak that and say I love big-hearted, broad-minded, progressive late-bloomer stories. Not stories about being closed-down. Not stories about denying choices but rather being open to *many* paths. If that makes sense.

Er. Okay, more to say on that topic, too! But yes, yay fictional late bloomers, past or present!

Ulrika: I enjoy all of your Anne observations. Let me know if you ever want to write a post for the blog (continuing our discussion). :)

Bess: "The Blue Castle"! That is all.

Carly: I was and am absolutely batty over Phil Gordon. Interesting point about Diana. Phil and Anne were very well-suited, for sure. Maybe Diana and Anne need their own post? We probably all can comment on the dynamics there.

Speaking of which, does everyone know that Schuyler Grant is now a yoga teacher in New York? Oh, how I'd love to take her class! Not simply because she played Diana in the AoGG miniseries but I hear she is a wonderful and patient instructor. She's under the Teachers section:

I don't think we're nearly done with Anne talk, by the look of these comments! I have so much more to say.

In fact, I have an Aunt Josephine post ahead. Oh yes I do! LOVE Aunt Josephine.

Amanda W said...

R.e. Arranged - the author doesn't come out and say it, and the story itself isn't really related. It's more a combination character development and set piece. To illustrate: the main character's mom is obsessed with AoGG and married a man who's last name is Blythe. She names her kids Anne and Gilbert. Anne grows up with a sense of romance that has a lot to do with growing up Anne Blythe. So AoGG is used for fun name dropping and also as a shorthand for romance/love/etc.

do dah said...

did you all know that jonathan crombie was both gilbert blythe AND atticus finch? he wins, is what i'm saying

Wilfair Book said...

Amanda: Interesting! All righty. The AoGG presence is very strong indeed. I will have to give it a look. Thanks for the heads up!

do dah: Please. Help me here. Next time you're going to type the name "Jonathan Crombie" in a comment, I implore you to email me first and warn me. That's all I ask. I need to prepare.

Just be like "hey, AGP, you ready? I'm throwin' a little Crombie down at Wilfair HQ."

That way I know what is coming. I can still my heart and steel my fangirl nerves.

I'm fine, truly, but I am very glad my 17yo self didn't have to read his name tonight. Younger Alysia would have immediately repaired to bed with a cup of soothing tea and a warm cloth for her forehead.

do dah said...

see, i always assume people have no idea what his actual name is. because i generally call him gilbert. usually in the context of "gilbert, SHAVE THAT THING OFF YOUR LIP BEFORE YOU TALK TO ANNE AGAIN!" because it would've helped him immensely. i'm positive. and i tend to give advice to characters in movies, who never, ever listen. (everyone was cast so well in that, though, really. matthew!)

but now i know. and will develop a complicated hand signal for that purpose. oooooh, or mirrors! because you know why.

Caitlin said...

do dah, you are my kind of person, for I too love to give advice to movie and TV characters. I rarely see movies in the theater because then I have to work so hard to restrain myself from doing this.

do dah said...

Caitlin, I have the very same cinema problem. I also can't watch anything with my sister, anywhere, because she believes in silent viewing. I think she's missing the fun. I have the specific tendency to exclaim declarations of love at Doctor Who (since that topic is being bandied about elsewhere, right now). Typically Ten. Which means I can only watch that with like-minded friends, who don't tend to live in the same geographical area. It's an issue.

Wilfair Book said...

See, I'm kind of both minds.

If I'm in a theater, I'm for 100%, absolute silence. Talkers? Pipe down, please.

But if I'm at home, and with people, and we're watching something that begs comment, I'll comment and address the characters directly. I think the key is that talking or not talking has to be given the entire group's stamp of approval.

Generally, though, I'm very silent during a film or TV show.

My one pet peeve re: talking is when you're with a friend who knows all the lines and they say the lines just before the character does.

Oh man. I just thought of a whole Monty thing for this topic. Should I leave this in the comment? I think I will.

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