Chapter Twenty-Eight: The Prince Comes Back to the Enchanted Palace
(Original thread here.) School ends and Anne’s pupils miss her before she’s even really gone.
We get an interesting scene of Mrs Harmon Andrew, Mrs Peter Sloane, and Mrs William Bell discussing Anne’s leaving. I still hate this way of naming women. THEY HAVE FIRST NAMES.
But you don’t see as many scenes without Anne in them, so this is neat.
Mrs Sloane thinks it’s a shame Anne’s leaving since the kids like her so much, but Mrs Bell is glad for her since she’s wanted to go to college so badly. Mrs Andrews says, “I don’t see that Anne needs any more education. She’ll probably be marrying Gilbert Blythe if his infatuation with he lasts till he gets through college.”
Now we don’t have time to unpack all that but… it’s a lot. She also says, ” If they taught you at college how to manage a man there might be some sense in her going.”
Apparently, “Mrs. Harmon Andrews, so Avonlea gossip whispered, had never learned how to manage her “man,” and as a result the Andrews household was not exactly a model of domestic happiness.”
Also kinda ew??
This conversation also confirms the Allans are leaving, too, and they gossip about Paul Irving’s “queer stories” some.
Anne quietly, and a little sadly, says goodbye to the schoolroom. Overall, she’s very satisfied with her two years’ work.
She does indeed go to spend two weeks at Echo Lodge, taking Miss Lavendar to town and convincing her to buy a new dress they make together. Miss Lavendar is a little embarassed about how much a new dress cheers her up.
Personally I think Miss Lavendar deserves nice things and should enjoy them.
Anne pops home for a day halfway through the visit, and goes to visit Paul Irving. And to her surprise, who should be there but one Stephen Irving! Anne finds him very handsome, and he’s very kind and grateful for how much she has made Paul feel at home in Avonlea.
Not inappropriately or anything – he’s not creepy, just very nice to her.
Paul is SO excited, lol. It’s cute.
When he goes to bring in the cows, Mr Irving asks carefully about Miss Lavendar – Paul has mentioned her in his letters, not knowing about their past relationship. With a “smile, half-whimsical, half-tender”, he asks if Anne would ask Miss Lavendar if it would be okay if he visited.
Anne is THRILLED and agrees immediately. The next morning, she returns to Echo Lodge, and Miss Lavendar knows right away Stephen is back just by looking at Anne.
Miss Lavendar agrees, pretending she’s taking it completely in stride, but Anne knows she’s nervous. And in fact, she and Anne are both nervous wrecks that afternoon.
Charlotta the Fourth eventually makes Anne spills the beans and is very glad to hear the news. She says, “Some women’s intended from the start to be old maids, and I’m afraid I’m one of them, Miss Shirley, ma’am, because I’ve awful little patience with the men.”
I love her. That’s what I’m going to say now to explain why I’m aroace XD
She’s been worried badly about what would become of Miss Lavendar when she had to go to Boston, as she’s the last girl in her family. She worried Miss Lavendar would be stuck with someone who would laugh at her and wouldn’t let her call them Charlotta the Fifth.
She says Miss Lavendar would “never get anyone who’d love her better.” I know the whole “hire a 13 year old to be your live-in maid” thing is like. Not great. But they do seem very close and for the time period I can’t say this kind of job is awful for a girl tbh
Stephen comes by after tea and immediately compliments the house, which earns him points in my book. Miss Lavendar loves Echo Lodge so much, so that’s important if we’re supposed to like him.
Anne and Charlotta the Fourth are both very tempted to eavesdrop on him and Miss Lavendar, so Anne suggests they polish the silver spoons to keep busy. An hour later, they hear the front door close and panic until they see Stephen and Miss Lavendar strolling through the garden.
Joyful, Anne grabs Charlotta the Fourth and “danced her around the kitchen until they were both out of breath”. Cute. She predicts there will be wedding in the stone house before the fall.
Remember that Avonlea note she helped write? Let’s go back and see what it said again. “Rumor has it that there will be a wedding in our village ere the daisies are in bloom. A new and highly respected citizen will lead to the hymeneal altar one of our most popular ladies.”
Maybe it’s a few details off, but it wasn’t totally wrong, was it? This chapter is very sweet and I enjoyed it a lot.
Chapter Twenty-Nine: Poetry and Prose
(Original thread here.) We have just two chapters left and they are my favourite two of the book. The end of this book honestly is just so good. I’ve read it like four times now.
Anne spends the next month basically in a blur of activity. Not only does she need to prepare for Redmond, but she’s helping to plan Miss Lavendar’s wedding! There’s a ton to be done, and everyone is very excited.
Paul is very happy as he already loves Miss Lavendar. He says, “Mrs. Lynde says she thoroughly approves of the match and thinks its likely Miss Lavendar will give up her queer notions and be like other people, now that she’s going to be married.” Paul rather likes her “queer notions” and hopes she doesn’t change at all.
Queer Notions is my new band name. (How many times have I made that joke??)
Charlotta the Fourth is also excited, as after Stephen and Miss Lavendar come back from their wedding trip, they plan to move to Boston and have invited her along. Not only is she younger than when her sisters did, but she doesn’t have to leave Miss Lavendar and tbh, again, it’s not a bad job for a girl in her time period and situation, all things considered.
Marilla, though, doesn’t think it’s particularly romantic and worries Anne is overworking herself.
But when Anne says she wants to be happy about it, Marilla just lets her be. She may be pragmatic, but she loves her girl.
The wedding is going to be the last Wednesday in August, “in the garden under the honeysuckle trellis” which does sound very lovely. It’s going to be a small wedding, just Paul and his grandmother, Miss Lavendar’s cousins, Charlotta the Fourth, Gilbert, Diana, and Anne.
After, they’re going on a trip to the Pacific coast until fall when they’ll move to Boston. Echo Lodge will become their summer house. Anne is grateful, as the idea of Echo Lodge being all empty and lonely makes her sad, and even more so does the idea of other people living there.
Now, a surprise. “There was more romance in the world than that which had fallen to the share of the middle-aged lovers of the stone house.”
Anne goes over to the Barry place and stumbles onto Diana and Fred Wright standing together under the big willow tree. Fred is holding Diana’s hand, “stammering something in low earnest tones” and she’s blushing fiercely. They’re both too focusd on each other to notice Anne. After a moment of stunned staring, she turns and hurries home without interrupting.
I gotta quote this next bit.
“This was succeeded by a queer, little lonely feeling . . . as if, somehow, Diana had gone forward into a new world, shutting a gate behind her, leaving Anne on the outside.” She thinks after this, she won’t be able to tell Diana all her secrets anymore, as Diana might tell Fred. That makes me sad! You shouldn’t have to stop being as good of friends with someone because they got a boyfriend. What a bummer.
Anne also doesn’t see what Diana sees in Fred, lol.
And the book throws in some racism with this line, “But how fortunate after all that it is so, for if everybody saw alike . . . well, in that case, as the old Indian said, “Everybody would want my squaw.”
WTF. Who the fuck thought that was okay????
The next evenng, Diana comes over to share the new. “Both girls cried and kissed and laughed.” As you do.
She’s very excited, obviously, but won’t be getting married for at least three years, as her mother forbids it until she’s twenty-one. She says that’s fine as she doesn’t “have a speck of fancy work made yet” and “Myra Gillis had thirty-seven doilies when she was married”.
Anne teases that no one could “keep house with only thirty-six doilies” which I thought was hilarious myself. Diana doesn’t and Anne has to reassure her it was only a joke. Which honestly I think makes Diana come off as kind of a buzzkill. Do you really think the basis of your marriage is how many doilies you’ve made?
Also can we talk about how it’s been like a year since they were judging Ruby Gillis for a boy asking her to marry him, despite her refusal, but we’re all excited for Diana? Ruby is just being slut shamed.
Then Anne says, “And I think it’s perfectly lovely of you to be planning already for your home o’ dreams.” And the phrase “home o’ dreams” really strikes Anne’s fancy and she starts to build one in her mind. She picks, obviously, a castle in Spain with “an ideal master, dark, proud, and melancholy” which is very Gothic and I deeply approve XD
Weirdly, though, a certain Gilbert Blythe insists on hanging around, helping to decorate and such, and she can’t get him to leave. Eventually, she’s like “Whatever I’m in a hurry” and decides to ignore him and builds her house of dreams around him.
Later, when she’s alone she thinks about how she’s happy for Diana, but she hopes if she ever gets engaged, “there’ll be something a little more thrilling about it”. She says Diana has changed, but is determined she won’t.
This whole chapter is very relatable on an aro level, tbh. She even ends with saying, “Oh, I think these engagements are dreadfully unsettling things when they happen to your intimate friends.”
Chapter Thirty: A Wedding at the Stone House
(Original thread here.) Chapter thirty is it for this book! And it’s just about wedding time!
It’s the last week of August. Mrs Rachel is moving into Green Gables in a week, and Anne and Gilbert are leaving for Redmond in two weeks. The Allans are also leaving shortly after. Anne feels “a little sadness threading all her excitement and happiness.” Aww.
Mr Harrison says “Changes ain’t totally pleasant but they’re excellent things” and that two years is about as long as things should stay the same. He and Emily are getting along well and she has become very good friends with Mrs Rachel, who he still dislikes.
This is a nice moment. He says, “I s’pose you’ll be scooping up all the honors that are lying round loose at Redmond.”
Anne says she’ll probably try for one or two but she cares less about them for the sake of having them. She says, “What I want to get out of my college course is some knowledge of the best way of living life and doing the most and best with it. I want to learn to understand and help other people and myself.”
Mr Harrison approves of this and I do as well.
The day before the wedding, Anne and Diana bring as many flowers to Echo Lodge as they can. They find poor Charlotta the Fourth all in a flurry. There’s tons to do still and Miss Lavendar is basically useless, lol.
Anne, Diana, and Charlotta the Fourth work til 10 at night. Diana worries a little about the weather. Uncle Abe predicted rain and she says “ever since the big storm, I can’t help believing there’s a good deal in what Uncle Abe says”. Anne, obviously, has no such worries.
Until Charlotta wakes her up in the morning in a panic saying it DOES look like rain. Anne says they’ll hope for the best, and a cool gray day would be nicer anyways as it won’t get so hot. But luckily it does not rain, and soon the preparations are done and the girls go and get ready.
A thing I find interesting is that both Charlotta and Anne are said to be wearing white.
When the wedding starts, Miss Lavendar gives Stephen “a look that made Charlotta the Fourth, who intercepted it, feel queerer than ever”.
Mood. Weddings make me feel queerer than ever, too.
Just as the wedding finishes, the sun come out and lights the garden up beautifully. It’s all quite lovely. The Irvings leave on the two-thirty train and the guests throw rice and… old shoes? I can’t say I know that tradition.
Paul grabs an old dinner bell -when he rings it “from point and curve and hill across the river came the chime of “fairy wedding bells,” ringing clearly, sweetly, faintly and more faint, as if Miss Lavendar’s beloved echoes were bidding her greeting and farewell.”
Eventually it’s just Anne and Charlotta the Fourth left to clean up and lock up Echo Lodge. Diana had to go home and Gilbert had an errand to run in West Grafton. They’re both a little sad, but they work hard cleaning and packing up the leftovers that Charlotta the Fourth takes home to her younger brothers.
Alone, Anne does one final sweep through the house, locks up, and sits on the step to wait for Gilbert.
And then. My heart. Melts.
He comes up the walk and ask what she’s thinking. She replies that it’s beautiful Miss Lavendar and Stephen “have come together again after all the years of separation and misunderstanding?” He says yes, but what if the separation hadn’t happened, what if “they had come hand in hand all the way through life”.
And THEN “Anne’s heart fluttered queerly and for the first time her eyes faltered under Gilbert’s gaze and a rosy flush stained the paleness of her face” as she has a big “Oh shit wait do I like Gilbert????” moment. She realizes suddenly that romance might not be some huge dramatic thing, that it might not “come into one’s life with pomp and blare, like a gay knight riding down”.
Which is a hilarious line.
She realizes maybe “love unfolded naturally out of a beautiful friendship, as a golden-hearted rose slipping from its green sheath”.
(Also. DEMI ANNE or what.)
“Then the veil dropped again; but the Anne who walked up the dark lane was not quite the same Anne who had driven gaily down it the evening before.”
The book say this is basically when Anne’s “girlhood” ends and her “womanhood” begins. Now I don’t love that wording, but I like how there’s this moment of Anne beginning to feel like a real adult.
And on the Anne/Gilbert front, this is SO cute. I love that they’ve had such a slow burn. Two years of actual friendship and Anne is only now like “Oh I might like him. Oh shit.” It’s very, very cute.
Gilbert says nothing else “but in his silence he read the history of the next four years in the light of Anne’s remembered blush. Four years of earnest, happy work . . . and then the guerdon of a useful knowledge gained and a sweet heart won.” !!!!
And that’s the end of the book! Thing are changing, but they’re headed in a good direction. And Anne’s finally off to college!
I kinda don’t know what to say now XD This is a pretty good sequel, for the most part. I don’t like the Davy and Dora plot much and Paul’s kind of annoying, but I like Miss Lavendar. I also like this look at a period of Anne’s life where she’s still a teenager, but becoming more independant and mature. And I enjoyed her time teaching a lot! I honestly wish there had been more focus on that. After about the halfway point, not much teaching actually happens.
I also like the development of Mrs Rachel and Marilla’s friendship especially, and the way Gilbert and Anne grow closer as friends. It’s overall cute and a fairly fun read, but I don’t think it’s going to by my favourite of the series. Obviously I’ve only read two of them, so I can’t say, but I’m just guessing lol. And honestly not that much happens in this one??
Which leads me into talking about adaptations!
So, the thing is, a lot of adaptations either skip this book entirely or they only use parts of it and combine it with Anne of Island and/or Anne of Windy Poplars. You’ll see. So the only one we can actually talk about is Project Green Gables, one of the webseries. That’ll be interesting, though!!
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