In Chapter 37, Green Gables is marked by a heartbreaking death. Anne touches deep grief for the first time, and wrestles with enjoying life while holding space for what has been lost.
In Chapter 36 of Anne of Green Gables, one of Anne's dreams comes true: she wins the Avery scholarship, which means that she can go to Redmond College in the fall. She returns to Green Gables for the summer, happy and satisfied but also exhausted by all of her hard work--and it turns out that Matthew and Marilla are exhausted too. Both are facing health problems and money worries, and Anne is worried too.
In Chapter 35 of Anne of Green Gables, Anne notices that Gilbert has been spending a lot of time with Ruby Gillis, and we see the seeds planted for Taylor Swift's "You Belong With Me." While Anne's friends worry themselves half to death over exams, Anne takes the longview and tells them to focus on the chestnut buds. Life is good, and Anne is here for it.
After the chapter reading, you'll hear chapter reflections between me and my friend Katie Devine. Katie is a middle school teacher of language arts and social studies who has been my book club buddy for over six years now. In our conversation, we talk about the trope of "she's not like other girls," Anne's growing respect for Gilbert and the maturity she displays in her reverence for chestnut buds over anxiety.
In Chapter 34 of Anne of Green Gables, Anne says goodbye to Diana, Matthew and Marilla and departs for her first semester at Queen's College. Though she'll be back at Green Gables in a week to visit, this goodbye is a doozy, especially for Marilla. Will Marilla tell Anne what she means to her? Will Anne make friends at Queen's? And will Anne realize that there's more to Gilbert than his splendid chin?
After the chapter reading, stick around for reflections with my personal Diana, Melissa Adamo. Melissa is a longtime lover of Anne of Green Gables and a college writing instructor who shares what she'll be taking from this chapter of Anne back into her own college classroom. We talk about our first semesters at college, coping with transitions, and our thoughts on ambition.
In Chapter 33 of Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery, Anne is reciting "The Maiden's Vow" at a concert at the White Sands Hotel. Diana helps Anne get ready at Green Gables, and the girls ride over with Jane Andrews and her brother Billy. When Anne gets to the performers' dressing room, she suddenly is struck by how wealthy many of the performers are, and is paralyzed by stage fright -- until she notices Gilbert Blythe in the crowd.
Will Anne be able to recite her poem? Will the audience be as critical as she fears? Will Anne be so dazzled by all the "wealth and culture" that she is no longer content with her life in Avonlea?
After the chapter reading, stick around for reflections with Lauren Burke, host of the podcast Bonnets at Dawn (this part of the episode begins at 19:06). Lauren and I talk about what makes Montgomery such a good writer; themes of imposter syndrome, shame and class in this chapter; and why Lauren wants to read this chapter to her daughter someday.
In Chapter 32 of Anne of Green Gables, Anne and her classmates go to take the dreaded Entrance exams for Queen's College. Anne tries to stick to Miss Stacy's good advice to not cram and to spend her time in between exams walking and sleeping. Afterwards, the wait for results is excruciating. Will Anne make top of the list? Will she beat Gilbert? And will Moody Spurgeon fail History and have to become a carpenter after all?
Listen to the chapter and then stick around for reflections with my friend Katie Russo, who talks about her own experience graduating valedictorian from her high school. We also discuss test anxiety, meeting deadlines and finding identity in being a good student.
In Chapter 31 of Anne of Green Gables, Anne leaves behind her last summer as a little girl, refreshed and ready to enter rigorously into her studies -- and into her teenage years. Taller, quieter, and less ready to use big words, Anne starts to study hard and socialize outside of Green Gables more. Marilla feels an unfamiliar sadness when she realizes Anne is taller than her.
In today's reflections, I'm joined by Tabrizia Jones, a NY Public Library librariean and previous Perennials guest who talks with me about the pressures and expectations of teenage years; why Miss. Stacy gives good writing advice; and the destination Tabrizia would have run to if she had cut school like she wanted to when she was fifteen.
In Chapter 30 of Anne of Green Gables, Anne joins Miss. Stacy's class of students who are studying to take the Entrance exams for Queen's College, and Anne reaches a turning point in her growing up - her last summer as a little girl. She starts to learn about the ambition and plans of her classmates, and Miss. Stacy encourages the teenage girls to think seriously about forming good habits to solidify their character.
My cousin and former Perennials guest Olivia Arnold joins me for reflections today, to talk about expectations and conditioning for girls and women, the in-betweenness of being almost 14, and why Moody Spurgeon wins the award today for "Most Relatable Cringe Moment."
In Chapter 29 of Anne of Green Gables, Anne and Diana are invited to visit Aunt Josephine's house in the city. Anne is ecstatic to accept the invitation, and finds herself encountering things she has only dreamed about before: silk curtains, spare rooms, horse races and ice cream enjoyed at nearly midnight. Yet Anne finds that everything she has dreamed of isn't exactly what she thought it would be. What moment of the trip does Anne enjoy most? Does Anne consider herself a city girl or a country girl? And might Anne shift something in the heart of an old selfish woman before she returns to Avonlea?
As we enter the last ten chapters of Anne of Green Gables, I decided to invite some friends to join in the reflection portions of these episodes.
Ruth Macallan joins me today to talk about Chapter 29 and share her beautiful, wise thoughts about Anne's imagination, her maturity, and the fact that Anne "isn't striving for perfect, she's just striving for life"
In Chapter 28 of Anne of Green Gables, Anne and her friends decide to act out Tennyson's poem "Lancelot and Elaine" by having Anne, portraying the dead Elaine, float across the pond and under the bridge to the waiting Lancelot (Diana) and Guinevere (Jane) in Camelot. Unfortunately for Anne, her funeral vessel springs a leak, and she finds herself alone in the middle of the water on a sinking flat. Will God answer Anne's prayers to float her close enough to a bridge pile for her to scramble out? Will anyone come to Anne's rescue? And will this be the end of Anne's romantic dreaming once and for all?