Tag Archive for Growing Up
This is the first Gaskell book that I’ve read, but I’m not sure why I kept reading as long as I did, as it wasn’t really a very enjoyable book. It was overly long for having so little happen, and every little thing felt drawn out and it sometimes got a bit repetitive, due to all the overly detailed descriptions and build-up. And yet, there was still more to come, except that the author had died before writing the rest!
Beyond the length being an issue, the biggest problem was that the characters felt more like paper dolls than real people. It seemed like the author danced around really defining them, getting too caught up in the overly wordy writing style to make them seem like actual humans. A lot more telling than showing.
It also didn’t help to have the regular reminders that the story took place some years before it was written, though the author contradicted herself or dated things incorrectly on multiple occasions (as the included endnotes pointed out). Not to mention the annoying overuse of “tête-à-tête!”
Perhaps some of her other works are better written, but this one certainly hasn’t made a great initial impression on me, especially after having recently read works by Dickens and Trollope.
Interesting at first, but it wasn’t quite the food memoir I was expecting from the descriptions. It was nice to have the historical context, but this often overtook the more interesting stuff about food and the author’s experiences and family, and I felt like I had to slog through a lot of dull history to get to the (dwindling) good stuff.
I thought I’d read this once long ago, but reading it now, it felt very new to me. I remembered some parts of it, but others seemed completely unfamiliar. My only guess is that I confused memories of it with the TV adaptation which may have merged multiple books in the series.
Either way, it’s a lovely book, full of wonderful details of Avonlea and the people in it. Anne is quite an imaginative and chatty young girl, but it’s nice to see the world through her eyes. She sees beauty in the smallest things, something that becomes harder the older we get (at least for me).