Small Town Perfection: Avonlea

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First introduced in Anne of Green Gables and Anne of Avonlea, and returned to throughout the rest of the series, Avonlea is pretty much the perfect small town.

It’s quiet, with a close-knit community that takes Anne to its heart when she first arrives. They’re interfering – if Mrs Rachel Lynde is anything to go by – but they care about each other, and look out for one another in a way that’s instantly endearing.

The series beautifully illustrates the difficulties of the time, as well as being imbued with the positivity of youthful Anne!

I particularly love the little notes of heartbreak in the series, such as the fact that Marilla Cuthbert was once in love with Gilbert Blythe’s farmer, but their romance fell apart and so for her Anne’s romance with Gil holds extra meaning.

Oh Gilbert.

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Perfectly portrayed by Jonathan Crombie in the only Anne adaptation worth its salt!

My teenaged heart fell, and fell hard, when I met Gilbert Blythe.  Dark-haired and teasing, he strolled into Anne’s life and instantly became my first book boyfriend.

Their rivalry, friendship and then blossoming romance forms the backbone to the Avonlea stories, and it seemed so right when they finally set home together and started a family of their own!

And for those of you who missed the town as the Anne series went on and the Blythe family moved to Ingleside, there’s always Chronicles of Avonlea and Further Chronicles of Avonlea.

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The two books are made up of a number of short stories that explore the world of Avonlea and its inhabitants.  Anne et al occasionally make appearances, but it’s more focused on the townspeople themselves.

In fact, it was these stories, combined with The Story Girl and The Golden Road, that formed the basis for the Canadian television series Road to Avonlea.

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