Friday, 21 February 2014
February Reading Week Two
I have read Anne of Green Gables too many times to recall, but I think this is perhaps only the third time for Rilla. It challenges Anne as my favourite of the series, and I am not ashamed to say I cried on four separate occasions whilst reading it. Set from 1914-1919, the immediacy of the events of the war makes this a fascinating record of life on the Canadian home front filtered through the lives of the Blythe family and their neighbours in the tiny village on Prince Edward Island. There is a perfect blend of humour, romance, levity and predictability to counterbalance the very real suspense, terror and heartbreak experienced by the characters (and readers!).
I was intrigued by the series when I read Samantha's review, and pulled it from my daughter's shelf. I'd never paid much attention to it because of the flashy cover and the flimsy page quality, but I did enjoy this book a great deal. The quality of writing is stronger than I had expected, the characters were well-drawn and interesting, and, like the Harry Potter series, the magic was an added feature in the fictional world rather than the sole point of the narrative. The characters still had to work through their issues - a magic spell could not always conveniently solve their troubles. Once again I have learned my lesson about judgements regarding covers, etc. and go read Samantha's review! She does a wonderful job exploring its merits.