June 03, 2008

Review: Chronicles of Avonlea

Chronicles of Avonlea
by L.M. Montgomery

It was four years ago that my thoughtful husband gifted me the entire Anne of Green Gables series for my birthday. Before that I had not read the books or been at all familiar with the story. When I finished the first Anne book I was in love but also a bit miffed that no one had told me about Anne. She would have been a bosom friend and may have encouraged a reading lifestyle in my childhood. I know that many of you have experienced this same affection.

Along with the Anne series, I received two books of short stories: Chronicles of Avonlea and Further Chronicles of Avonlea. I am only just now reading these. I know. Shame on me.

But shame on me still more for what I am about to say. Chronicles of Avonlea was boring. The stories are so familiar. Some of them are almost exact replicas of stories from the Green Gables set. All the stories are drippy and sentimental. I would have loved them as a child but as an adult, well, they lose their luster. They feel tired. There were not enough original, interesting stories to carry me through. I still love Anne with all my heart but Avonlea can be retired to the shelves of a younger generation.


Eva said...

I always avoided the Avonlea stories, even though I read all the Anne ones over and over, beacuse I heard they weren't nearly as good. I mean, without Anne, why would I care about Avonlea? lol

rainbowdarling said...

I love the Anne series and have since I was about twelve years old. I enjoyed Chronicles of Avonlea, though it's been a while since I read it, and am currently a bit miffed over Further Chronicles of Avonlea. That book was one published without Montgomery's permission. She changed publishers and the old publisher decided to put some old short stories of hers together into that novel. It was an action that went against LMM's style and plan for the story - some of the stories are somewhat contradictory of the rest of the books because the publisher didn't really pay attention to what the stories contained. Basically, it was published just for the sake of the money it would bring in.

Anyway, that's kind of how I feel about the short stories.

LMM did end up getting pushed into the 'young adult' genre so much of her writing really does appeal more to younger folks than older.

Elizabeth said...

Oh, I am so sorry you didn't know about Anne before. I wanted to BE Anne when I was in junior high. =) I never really liked the Avonlea books, but I do really enjoy a couple of Montgomery's stand alone books - "The Blue Castle" and "A Tangled Web". The y are a little romancy, which is fun. =)

Petunia said...

Eva-Anne is mentioned here and there but is seems more like name dropping. She plays no active role in the stories.

Rainbow-that is very interesting. I was planning to read Further Chronicles very soon but I have changed my mind. Maybe in another year.

Elizabeth-Thanks for the sympathy. =) And I'm glad to know I'm not alone in my feelings about Chronicles. I will give some of her other books a try. I've heard good things about the Emily series.

Elizabeth said...

I grew up loving Anne and re-reading her again and again, as well as enjoying the great mini-series that Canadian TV put out in the 80s. However, I totally agree that the 2 Chronicles books are repeat, sentimental stories. These books are definitely for the more romantic once we become adults. I loved my visit to PEI and Green Gables; I'd love to be Anne or Marilla and live in such an environment!

Carl V. said...

I've never had an interest in reading the Chronicles books, but I love the Anne series and every so often pull one off the shelf and re-read it. I didn't discover these books until I was an adult--early 20s--and I fell in love with them and still love them very much.