Longing for Avonlea

“I am simply a ‘book drunkard.’ Books have the same irresistible temptation for me that liquor has for its devotee. I cannot withstand them.”

― L.M. Montgomery

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Overcome with this “irresistible temptation”, I visited the shrine… er…shelf… that I have devoted to L.M. Montgomery’s novels and discovered two thoughts which, like Anne in chapter fourteen of her story, “I am ready to confess.”

Confession #1: My copy of Anne of Green Gables looks like I ran over it in Matthew Cuthbert’s buggy, but really all I am guilty of is loving it to pieces.  I don’t even know how many times I have read it and often turn to it for comfort. It’s characters are among my dearest friends (and in Gilbert Blythe’s case, my dearest literary crush…) and although I’ve never really been there, its Prince Edward Island setting feels like home.

Confession #2: I have a more durable copy of this book, as well as a digital copy.  However, no matter how hard I try to read the other copies, they just do not feel right. They have the same words (although the digital copy mistakenly insists on changing Marilla’s name to “Manila”) but they lack the smell and texture particular to my old and worn copy. Even with the cover half-missing and the spine threatening to crumble at the next page turn, I cannot seem to retire this book and so am forced to sentence the hardback a lifetime on the shelf and the digital to electronic isolation.

There, now I’ve confessed and now may continue singing my love of L.M. Montgomery’s works.  I have read at least thirteen of her novels and was delighted with each one! Anne and Emily will always be my favorites, though the others are wonderful too.  But why do I love these books so much? Is it because they feature the usual literary elements praised by English teachers everywhere? No. While I do enjoy allusions and metaphors, I believe the real charm of Montgomery’s writing is in its simple elegance and wisdom; turn to any page you wish and there is certain to be some quotable line that, although prose, flows like poetry and refreshes the reader’s soul!

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