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Anne of the Island (Anne of Green Gables #3), by Lucy Maud Montgomery

Updated on March 2, 2016

Before Reading:

I remember most of what's to come in this volume. These are Anne's college years and (spoiler warning, to the extent one is needed for a book that's about a hundred years old) the book ends with Anne's engagement. I can't remember if this or "Anne of Windy Poplars" is the one where Anne lives in the house that has the china dogs named Gog and Magog, though. I think it's this book.

After Reading:

"Anne of the Island" opens soon before Anne's departure for Redmond College. Anne is less uncomfortable about this decision than she might otherwise have been because she is not going to Redmond alone. Gilbert, Priscilla, and Charlie Sloan are all going to be freshmen at Redmond together.

Redmond does not have a residence hall system, so the students are left to find their own accommodations. Their freshman year, Anne and Priscilla end up rooming with a pair of well-to-do elderly sisters who take in borders. They also make a new friend, Philippa "Phil" Gordon, a young woman from Bolingbroke, Nova Scotia, the same town where Anne was born. In Anne's sophomore year, her friend Stella from Queen's joins them and together with Priscilla's Aunt Jimison as chaperone, Anne, Phil, Priscilla, and Stella move in together. This is, in fact, the book with the house with the china dogs -- that is the house where the four girls room together.

"Anne of the Island" follows Anne throughout her entire four years of college studying English. We also see more of beloved characters from the previous books, including Diana, Marilla, Rachel, and Jane. And, following the moment at Echo Lodge at the end of "Anne of Avonlea" when Anne briefly saw Gilbert as a love interest, but she wasn't able to deal with this development, Gilbert continues his sometimes less subtle than others pursuit of the girl of his dreams. Anne also has her first major romance with a man named Roy Gardner, whom she meets at the beginning of her junior year.

Now, as for my concerns regarding Davy's behavior in "Anne of Avonlea," there is only one scene in this book that I can recall in which Davy shows a callous disregard for others, which is something of a relief. Also, he apparently is surrounded by people who have little empathy for animals, considering the scenes in which Anne and Phil try to kill a cat with choloroform (note the use of the word "try") and Davy's tale of the time Mr. Harrison hanged his dog to death. Maybe empathy for animals is just something that people didn't have in the early 1900s.

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