Green Gables Readalong: Anne of the Island by L.M. Montgomery


Once you’ve finished a book, you close the spine, take out your bookmark and find it a comfy, never to be touched again, spot on your bookshelf. Well at least that’s how the scenario plays out in my case. Sure, I glance at the book as I reorganize my shelf and I do that dreaded game of “should I keep it” game when I’m doing some spring cleaning, but on average, the likelihood of me picking up that book again is very slim. That’s why I’m loving doing this Green Gables Readalong. I’ve had eight mass market L.M. Montgomery books on my shelves since I was twelve years old and now for the first time in years, I’ve revisited them. I’m dusting off their pages and rediscovering old dog eared pages and highlighted passages. It’s part of the charm of doing a readalong with a collection you already know and love.9781770498624

When I picked up my copy of the third book in L.M. Montgomery’s Anne Shirley Collection, I discovered how much I appeared to have loved Anne of the Island. There were notes in the margin and a lot of circles throughout the book. As I reread this beautiful novel, I rediscovered my love of Anne’s adventures to Nova Scotia and how her path to self discovery takes place in the place I often refer to as home. In the opening pages of Anne of the Island, we read about Anne boarding a ferry to Nova Scotia en route to Redmond College, based on the still standing, Dalhousie University and the “quaint old town” of Kingsport, which is otherwise known as Halifax. Of course, a new town brings new adventures and new characters. Including my favourite, Philippa Gordon, a love struck young woman with a flighty personality and a carefree attitude. Her lack of direction and structure amuses Anne until she and Priscilla Grant decide to purchase a home to live in for their duration at Redmond College. I adored the pages when Anne and Priscilla have to sit down with the ever amusing Phil and explain that they won’t put up with her nonsense in their home.

In true L.M. Montgomery form, we don’t just read about a few months in Anne’s life, we span her whole four years at Redmond in which she travels home to Avonlea to check on dear Marilla and of course Davy and Dora. She also travels home to bury her cherished friend Ruby Gillis who dies of tuberculosis. When you bury a friend so young and so unexpectedly, it’s sure to shake you up and Anne’s world is a little bit bleaker. She finds solace in her schooling and her dear friends, including Gilbert Blythe. But Gilbert’s had enough of being just friends and finally declares his love for Anne, admitting he fell in love with her the day he pulled her red pigtail. Anne, unfortunately reveals that she just doesn’t feel the same way and strikes up a relationship with a fellow student named Roy Gardner.

But just when Anne thinks she has everything figured out, things take a turn once again and point her down a path she never thought she’d travel. Anne of the Island can easily be called my favourite book of the series this far; filled with charm, growth and love, we meet a striking young woman with a good head on her shoulders mixed with a familiar sense of the quirky Anne we’ve all grown to love. I can’t wait to read the next book in the series, Anne of Windy Poplars in which Anne Shirley has left Redmond College and Green Gables behind to begin a new chapter of her life in the “dreaming town” of Summerside.

Did YOU enjoy Anne of the Island as much as I did? Which is your favourite book in the series? Share with me below in the comments and remember to join the online conversations by using the hashtag #GreenGablesReadalong on all your social media channels.

9 thoughts on “Green Gables Readalong: Anne of the Island by L.M. Montgomery

  1. Don Royster says:

    I enjoy reading about how you experience a book and how it affects your life. I think this is the best part of reading your reviews. Things like rediscovering a book and how you related to it when you were younger.

  2. Christine says:

    I think Anne of the Island might be my favorite of all of the Anne books, although if I commit, I will immediately change my mind.

    But I love Phil, and the time spent in Patty’s Place so much.

  3. Naomi says:

    I have always had three favourites – #3, #5, and #8. So far, the pattern still stands. Can’t wait to find out if I will still feel the same about the other two. I have a feeling that I will. 🙂

  4. njmckay says:

    I know I read this book before, but as I re-read it… I remembered nothing! I felt like I was reading it for the firs time and I just fell in love with it. It makes me wonder what else i’ve forgotten in the other books!!! So far, this has been my favourite out of the three.

  5. The Paperback Princess says:

    Everyone loves Phil! I think I loved her when I was younger but this time I wanted to shake her, like get it together! That said, I loved when Priscilla and Anne sat her down and told her about their expectations of her if she were to live with them.
    Anne’s time at Redmond always seemed so magical to me when I was younger, and certain parts of that still did. But overall, this time I found the book to be kind of sad. Anne isn’t so sure about her place in the world anymore – she wants to write but her confidence is somewhat shaken. Romance isn’t what she thought it was going to be and while her friends seem to have no trouble moving into this next phase of life, Anne is kind of worried she will be left behind.
    That said, by the end of this book we have our Anne back, brimming with optimism for the future. She has no idea that the Pringles are awaiting her!

  6. Lost in a Great Book says:

    Patty’s Place is truly magical – I wish I could have found somewhere just as awesome to rent at my time at university 🙂 I silently named my aunt’s china dogs “Gog” and Magog” based on this book and have no regrets. Phil is, of course, a favourite, and I love how she changes enough to realize that she will only be truly happy with her Jo – and don’t you just picture her there in the slums, bringing her wit and laughter to everyone?
    I also loved how this book became a romance – and my heart broke when she initially rejected him. How could she? Thankfully, truth will out and they are back on track to their HEA.

  7. Lynn @ Smoke & Mirrors says:

    I’m not as enamored with this book as most of you are, in fact, of the first three this was my least favorite. Phil was okay, but certainly not one of my favorite characters, although I believe she did grow into a more likable character by the book’s end for me. All that said, I love love love this series and am so glad to read it and share it with you-all! 🙂

  8. chowmeyow says:

    (I’m still catching up on my feed reader after vacation so forgive the very delayed comment!)

    Oh it’s so hard to pick a favorite Anne book! I *think* it’s Anne’s House of Dreams, but reading your post about Anne of the Island made me remember how much I adore it as well. My best friend and I are going to, at long last, make a pilgrimage to Prince Edward Island this summer. It’s something we’ve been wanting to do together since we first sat down in the dorms together our Freshman year of collage (13 years ago!) and watched the entire mini-series together on PBS. I’m incredibly excited!

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