Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

Anne of the Island Audio

Anne of the Island Audio

Lucy Maud Montgomery
For ages 12 and up
Unabridged audiobook (Digital)
Performed/read by: Barbara Caruso
Recorded Books, 1999 

Anne’s big dream is finally coming true; she is going to be able to go away to college. It is a great adventure and yet it is so very hard to leave the little house at Green Gables, and to leave Avonlea. Still, she will not be without friends, for Gilbert Blythe will also be going to Redmond, and other friends will be there to help make her three years of college enjoyable. The years will surely be happy ones full of adventures, for after all wherever Anne Shirley goes, adventures of various kinds are sure to follow.

    Anne studies hard, but she also spends her time doing other things as well. She plays the part of cupid several times, which is rather amusing for a while. Then she finds herself to be the object of much unwanted attention from young men. Three very unromantic marriage proposals leave her feeling quite disillusioned about the whole business. Then, to crown in all, Gilbert Blythe proposes to her. It is a terrible time for Anne for she is so sure that she cannot possibly feel “that way” about Gilbert, that he can only be a friend to her. It is a very bitter experience for Anne and one which quite upsets the long standing friendship between Anne and Gilbert.

   Thankfully, in addition to these painful experiences there are also weddings to go to, new friendships to enjoy, old friends to let go of and grieve for, and many wonderful experiences to share. It is a time full of activity, and most of all a time full of change. Anne grows up, discovering that she has a talent for writing. She then has to find, with much difficulty, an outlet for that talent. As always there are scrapes that Anne must extricate herself from, for she would not be Anne if she did not get into scrapes.

   At last, and only when it all may be far too late, Anne discovers that she does indeed feel “that way” about Gilbert Blythe. The question is, is Gilbert going to be able to accept her love now that she has finally recognized her feelings for him; will Anne be able to have that happy meeting of souls that she has dreamed of for so long?

   This story is beautifully and often lyrically written in a delightful style that hails from a different time. In this third Anne Shirley book L. M. Montgomery has once again created a narrative that will delight listeners who have met and loved Anne Shirley before.

   In her performance of this audio title, Barbara Caruso beautifully gets inside the mind and spirit of Anne, her friends and family members. She also connects with the author, bringing this excellent old story to life and giving it a fresh and charming atmosphere.