Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Anne of the Island- spoiler alert in case you haven't read them!

When my cousins and I got into one of our book discussions about a year ago, we got on to the Anne books. My uncle, overhearing us, commented that he's always rather infuriated with Anne for the length of time it takes her to decide to marry Gilbert. I laughed at the time, nodded and thought my uncle was right.
I'm re-reading my falling-apart copy of Anne of the Island right now, and am even more convinced that he was correct. For the first time in my memory I have found myself crying over one of the Anne books. Gilbert is so incredibly patient, and loves Anne so thoroughly, that my heart breaks for him even though I know what will happen in the end. I think Anne's "relationship" with Royal Gardner is extremely ridiculous- the sort of thing that she would have imagined for herself, and indeed did imagine for herself. In light of Philippa falling in love with someone so utterly unlike anyone she thought she'd marry, it's painful to see Anne insisting that she must have only her ideal herself. How utterly blind she is!
I was reminded, by Gilbert, of R., the man who's about to marry my lifelong best friend L. in a couple months. L. and R. had met while L was involved with someone else, and from all I can tell it was similar. R. didn't push anything- he just waited until L. made up her mind. Same as Gilbert. I have no idea if R. has any knowledge of the Anne books, but I sat down and wrote a note, which I dated the day of their wedding and will put in with the cards at the reception, mentioning Gilbert and more or less telling him to take good care of one of the best girls ever.

P.s.- there's a hilarious chapter that immediately follows Anne's rejection of Gilbert. In that regard LM Montgomery did a very good job of comic relief. The same is missing from after Jo's rejection of Laurie in Little Women.

1 comment:

Elizabeth said...

Then, they have such a long engagement! One of my favorite Ann books is Windy Poplars, when she is a school teacher and he is in med school and she writes him lovely letters about her experiences. But, it's hard to think of them having such a long time to wait to get married -- even if they are only fictional characters!