Gord Higginson's Reviews > Anne of the Island

Anne of the Island by L.M. Montgomery
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's review
Apr 02, 11

Anne goes to college! And makes new chums. This was the first Anne book I've ever read (which I read well into adulthood) but I was surprised at how PGWodehouse-like it is. Maybe it is simply the kind of English used at the time--the slangy Edwardian English-public school-speech of both authors. Or maybe I'm talking through my hat. There are allusions to, and quotations from, King Lear & Macbeth, probably other Shakespearian plays as well (another affinity with Wodehouse). Anyway, a fun romp (but not all fun, of course--how could it be an Anne book otherwise?)as Anne returns to her birth-province of NS (all the while asserting she is "Island to the core"). She finds plenty of "scope for the imagination," especially in the old graveyard in her new stomping-grounds. I found the failed killing of Rusty the cat disturbing (who would have thought Anne could be so cruel?), but then that was a crueler, harder age than ours. Generally, I liked Emily of New Moon and the other Emily books better--perhaps they are Montgomery's masterpiece? Though Rilla of Ingleside, with the senseless tragedy of WWI as a backdrop, or The Blythes are Quoted (which I haven't read)are deeper, more significant.

Has anyone written about the imagination in Montgomery's books? Could call the study "Scope for the Imagination." Or the development of the writer (common topic in Canadian fiction) in her books?
Do it readers! Write it!

Speaking of which, watch for the new book about the commercialization of Maritimes literature, "Anne of Tim Hortons," due to be released by WLU Press/UTP this summer!

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