Anne of Avonlea  - L.M. Montgomery
In this second installment we find Anne living at Green Gables farm preparing to teach at Avonlea School (although she’s only sixteen/seventeen herself!?) Much has changed in Anne’s world. She and Marilla’s once contentious relationship has become one of easy affection and mutual respect. Anne has matured and is no longer the fiery tempered little urchin of the previous book. However, she’s still Anne and has much to learn about life and love. Like all new teachers she has some idealistic (and somewhat unrealistic) notions of what she can achieve. And she continues to find herself in and out of ‘scrapes’ – including, but not limited to, accidentally selling a cranky neighbor’s cow.

It’s hard to know what to say about this book. I've read this book more times than I could count and yet it's still taken me almost two months to sort out my thoughts and write this review. I’d be willing to bet that almost everyone who reads this has read its predecessor – Anne of Green Gables. (If not – what on earth are you thinking?) I think that’s one of the few truly perfect books ever written and so, while I always enjoy continuing with Anne’s journey, all the other books do pale a bit in comparison. But it is still a satisfying continuation of the series and one remarkably enjoyable book. After countless reads it never fails to elicit delighted giggles and sighs of appreciation at all the moments of extraordinary truth and beauty.

One of my favorite quotes (of many):

Perhaps, after all, romance did not come into one’s life with pomp and blare, like a gay knight riding down; perhaps it crept to one’s side like an old friend through quiet ways; perhaps it revealed itself in seeming prose, until some sudden shaft of illumination flung athwart its pages betrayed the rhythm and the music; perhaps . . . perhaps . . . love unfolded naturally out of a beautiful friendship, as a golden-hearted rose slipping from its green sheath.