A beautifully-written collection! Jan 20, 2016
Chronicles of Avonlea is a collection of several short stories penned by the beloved L.M. Mongomery, author of the Anne of Green Gables series. Her stories bring out the best of emotions; blissful happiness and the bottomless pit of despair, sometimes at the same moment.
The stories in this volume include: The Hurrying of Ludovic, Old Lady Lloyd, Each in His Own Tongue, Little Joscelyn, The Winning of Lucinda, Old Man Shaw's Girl, Aunt Olivia's Beau, The Quarantine at Alexander Abraham's, Pa Sloane's Purchase, The Courting of Prissy Strong, The Miracle at Carmody, The End of a Quarrel.
Now, to share with you about my absolute favorites from Chronicles of Avonlea!
"Each in His Own Tongue" tells of a musically talented young boy and one of the strangest men in Carmody (or so the local gossips think), Abel Blair. He is a man who has kept to himself for years -- except for in the instance of young Felix Moore, who often stops by to practice playing Abel's violin. The beautiful deed of music must be performed in secret, for Felix's guardian grandfather doesn't approve of such things. Especially since Felix can capture the very soul of a person in musical notes and crescendos. Sometimes the angelic music is so painstakingly true that it's painful to listen to; sometimes it can help those who can't be otherwise reached.
"The Winning of Lucinda" is the story of an uncompleted courtship, in a way. That is, if a courtship can be constructed from two young lovers, who after a moment of discord, would not speak to each other for fifteen years, growing older, and yet still engaged throughout the entire span of time. Lucinda and Romney's humorous story is one that members of the interconnected Penhallow families whisper about to each other and have a good chuckle about from time to time. Overall, such an enjoyable story, one that set me to laughing on multiple occasions.
"Pa Sloane's Purchase" is another of Mongtomgery's comical pieces, bringing to life a story so silly that it's just perfect. Pa Sloane relishes in sneaking away from Ma anytime, long enough to visit the local auctions. The thrill of placing the winning bid on something, whether needed or useless, excites him for weeks on end. Ma doesn't always approve of his peculiar habit, but generally allows it to continue. Until one day while at an auction, he bids on something she never expected to have in her house again. One day he brings home a baby. (This story is priceless!)
This whole volume of stories has made for a very delightful read! I would definitely recommend to any other Montgomery fans. And with an honorable mention, I now pull the following passage out of "The End of a Quarrel", for a particular moment in which many grammar-minded people, myself included, can find a kindred spirit in...
[Nancy asked] "By the way, is Peter as ungrammatical as ever?"
"I--I don't know," said Louisa helplessly. "I never knew he WAS ungrammatical."
"Does he still say, 'I seen,' and 'them things'?" demanded Nancy.
"I never noticed," confessed Louisa.
"Enviable Louisa! Would that I had been born with that blessed faculty of never noticing! It stands a woman in better stead than beauty or brains. I used to notice Peter's mistakes. When he said 'I seen,' it jarred on me in my salad days. I tried, oh, so tactfully, to reform him in that respect. Peter didn't like being reformed--the Wrights always had a fairly good opinion of themselves, you know. It was really over a question of syntax we quarreled. Peter told me I'd have to take him as he was, grammar and all, or go without him. I went without him--and ever since I've been wondering if I were really sorry, or if it were merely a pleasantly sentimental regret I was hugging to my heart."