Anne of Avonlea by L. M. Montgomery

Two rings surrounding a person on a purple background.  Two open white pages on an orange background.  A black background with a white W.  A black background with a white symbol, that has a black play symbol in the middle.  A black background with a white tentacled cat.

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Anne of Avonlea, the direct sequel to Anne of Green Gables, almost reminds me of a comic book. Comic books are famous for sticking with a single character for decades at a time. Over that time, you won’t see many changes. While there have been changes to the stories of Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman, you can still see vestiges of the original in the current incarnation. You are given an origin story for the character, and then are given their older counterpart who has to deal with the problems of the day.

Where L. M. Montgomery diverges from comics (and we can’t see she was inspired by them; comics hit their stride after the publication of Superman, who didn’t come out until almost 30 years after Anne of Avonlea) is that she stuck with a single character, Anne, for at least another four books (until Anne turns 40), and three further books that featured Anne in a diminished role (until Anne turns 75).

Anne changes with the world around her – and feels the impact of the world. Anne of Avonlea takes place in the early 1880s, when Anne has become a teacher at Avonlea. Anne is as imaginative and creative as she was in Anne of Green Gables and wants to do right by her community. She starts the Avonlea Village Improvement Society which has some mixed success – but hey, they try!

Still, Anne is not done growing; she is only in her late teens and wants to experience more of the world. She knows what she wants to do next: college!

You can purchase the full set of Anne Shirley novels here, or just Anne of Avonlea here.