Anne of the Island book review by Hajra Salim

Book Review: Anne of the Island
by Hajra Salim

“I went looking for my dreams outside of myself and discovered, it’s not what the world holds for you, it’s what you bring to it.”
― L.M. Montgomery

Lucy Maud Montgomery (November 30, 1874 – April 24, 1942) was a Canadian author best known for a series of novels beginning in 1908 under the title of Anne of Green Gables. Anne of the Island is the third book of this enchanting series. The book was a huge success. The main character in this book Anne Shirley, an orphaned girl made Montgomery famous and a tremendous difference was noticed in Montgomery’s fan following.

The prologue of the book begins with the main character Anne Shirley and her best childhood friend Diana Barry picking apples in the Green Gables Orchard. This book carries along a very positive and relaxing vibe. The author creates a sketch of the atmosphere and the scenes in such an exquisite manner that it leaves the reader astounded and lost in the beauty of that location. The everlasting effect of those lush green fields and sparkling waters of gushing rivers was a doze of refreshment. The breezy flow of this novel is a perfect match with the plot of such beautiful relationships tinged with some hurdles that makes the reader crave for the next chapter. Every aspect of this novel moves along with a very wonderful and calming energy. Each character in this book has a quality which the other is lacking and this contrast of liveliness and friendliness concludes a glorious engaging chapter.

A new journey begins as Anne Shirley waves a tearful goodbye to her childhood home Green Gables, leaving her possessions behind and putting her precious memories aside. Walking past the past and towards the future. New surprises, memories and majestic moments lie in her future as she prepares her herself to enter a whole new level. She went to Kingsport to join Redmond College and she switches places there too; sometimes for the sake of relationships and sometimes her career and studies crossed her path. Anne visits her homeland and often exchanges hilarious letters filled with idle talk. Discovering a whole new world and trying to cherish every moment as much as she could became her main objective. This trip changes her and she was once again living as much as she could. During this span, many relationships grew stronger while others became so weak that letting those relationships go didn’t even matter. Taking serious life decisions to acting without thinking- overall her experience in living away from her humble home was bitter-sweet. Replacing every sorrowful moment with a jocund one or keeping the count of all the embarrassments and laughing endlessly on her own foolishness.

Adjusting in Redmond College was quintessential now. Her good luck was that she met a beautiful yet blunt girl who was also a student of Redmond College named as Philippa Gordon and another amazing old friend she met; wandering and waiting for Anne in the City of Kingsport was Prissy Grant. Settling in Kingsport was terrifically amazing yet hectic and complicated. Waking up every day to a land of shimmering streams and peaceful valleys, from a stormy rain evening to a dry sunny afternoon. She met a new definition of Beauty in nature, which is pictured so carefully and perfectly that no sight can take down that mind sketch. But on the other hand it was quite stressful e.g.: not being able to open up the umbrella due to such a windy change in weather and this actually can be quite exasperating in reality, Plus, feeling lost in a new place and clearing one’s mind covered in muddled up thoughts. Eventually, this brave yet sensitive character overcomes all these problems by finding a nice warm and cozy place to spend some her weeks in, forgetting about the drastic conditions and apartments she’d be living under. And hopefully, she finds a great job but there were some incidents and fights in this book that would make the reader think about what would they do if they were stuck under such restrictions. Overall, this is an outstanding book especially for nature lovers and nature observers.

The main reason why I like this book is because I was always on a quest for a book that completely absorbed each and every detail present in nature and spread it in words in such a breath- taking way that it would be considered worth reading for. But nature wasn’t the only thing I was looking for, I was looking for a story, climax merged with liveliness present in our surroundings. So, for me this book was magic. Sitting idle in my school library just before this spell binding fascinating novel grabbed my attention and now I can’t take my hands off of it. I recommend reading the whole series, if not the whole series then at least this part. Why not just read something that is worth the rating of 4.2/5.

“…One can’t stay sad very long in such an interesting world, can one?”

― L.M. Montgomery

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