Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Reflections: Chronicles Of Avonlea

Avonlea is a warm community in Canada, home to the ever adorable and memorable Anne Shirley of Green Gables. It is a place where people's goodness of heart knows no bounds, in an era of simplicity and harmony. Chronicles of Avonlea contains snippets of heart-warming stories spun around the folks of Avonlea. The community's favorite girl, Anne, features in some of the stories, where she unleashes her characteristic mischief and spunky wit to help her friends straighten their little issues. The stories are full of cheer and humor, some even profound and poignant in the morals they convey. I loved every story and I recharged myself through the positive (if a little idealistic) portrayal of humanity's goodness. Montgomery's writing deserves all the adulation it receives - grammar, imagination and vocabulary are wielded together so beautifully that even the most complex of emotions is captured with simplicity and eloquence.

The stories are strung along very simple themes - the power of love, the healing borne out of forgiveness and compassion, the ruins cast by vain pride, the miracles that can be worked through faith, the folly of rash judgments and service to humanity through multiple ways. The stories are crisp and the morals stick hard. To spruce things up, there are some hilarious stories with a romantic twist that subtly dole out little nuggets of morals. I was impressed with Montgomery's stress on feminism and empowerment balanced against certain aspects of tradition and social norms that were prevalent in the early 20th century. The stories are well-rounded and thoughtful.

This is a delightful book sure to lighten any reader's heart.

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