Anne of the Island
A book review for parents
This historical romance is the third in the "Anne of Green Gables" series by L. M. Montgomery and is published by Starfire, an imprint of Random House Children's Books.
Anne of the Island is written for kids ages 11 and up. The age range reflects readability and not necessarily content appropriateness.
Anne spends four years at Redmond College in Kingsport — meeting new friends and discovering the person with whom she wants to spend the rest of her life. The book's title comes from Anne's declaration that she will always be from Prince Edward Island. During the first two years at college, she dates a young man and realizes after he proposes that love is deeper than outward flattery. Anne stays in touch with those from home through visits and letters, especially with young Davy, who was introduced in the previous book in this series. Another romantic subplot centers on Anne's college friend Philippa (nicknamed Phil). Phil seems to be a flighty, materialistic woman, who is unable to decide which rich young man to marry. However, Phil discovers true love when she meets a poor missionary and learns to trust him with her heart. Phil recognizes Anne's true love and gently prods Gilbert to try to court Anne, again. The book ends with Anne and Gilbert committing to each other.
Davy runs away from Sunday school one day and later regrets his actions. He is afraid to pray until he confesses what he did to Anne. She explains that his conscience has punished him for the wrong choice he made and guides him to pray for God's forgiveness. Davy finds peace in God's forgiveness. For Anne, attending church is a normal part of life. She prays about her circumstances, even trivial things. In contrast, when Gilbert lies near death, Anne spends a night in fervent prayer. When her friend Ruby faces death, Anne speaks of heaven and realizes that joy, peace and a relationship with God that is marked as heavenly begins on earth.
Davy listens to Anne, and Anne doesn't take her role as his mentor lightly. After the first year in a boarding house, Anne and her friends set up housekeeping for themselves by renting a home together. They wisely have an older aunt come to stay as their housekeeper, but they are mainly on their own in making decisions.
Other Belief Systems
The college women try to rid themselves of a stray cat with Phil's instructions on how to chloroform it. They are not successful, and Anne, who regrets their actions, adopts the animal.
There are many beaus in this book. Couples spend various evenings as a group in someone's home or going to events. Gilbert's hand over Anne's early in the book stirs feelings in her that she struggles to repress in her desire to remain friends. Anne continues to blush when she sees Gilbert around campus and feels pangs of jealousy when he dates another woman. At the end of the book, Anne and Gilbert kiss to seal their promise to marry.
If your children have read this book or someone has read it to them, consider these discussion topics:
- For Anne, what is the difference between romance and real love?
What is your definition of love?
- How did Phil discover love?
Was it what she expected?
Why did she feel unfit to be a preacher's wife?
Do you think she would make a good preacher's wife? Explain.
- What did Ruby fear?
What was she afraid she would miss?
How did Anne try to comfort her?
How would you have comforted her?
What hope can you find in John 3:16?
Book reviews cover the content, themes and worldviews of fiction books, not their literary merit, and equip parents to decide whether a book is appropriate for their children. A book's inclusion does not constitute an endorsement by Focus on the Family.