Anne of Avonlea Summary
Returning to Avonlea, Anne immediately finds herself at odds with a neighbor, Mr. Harrison, because her cow repeatedly breaks into his fields. Harrison, one of Montgomery’s eccentric older men, is soon charmed by Anne, becoming a trusted friend and adviser. He is also helpful in Anne’s efforts to curb the boyhood pranks of Davy Keith.
Marilla agrees to keep her friend’s six-year-old twins until their uncle returns. Davy and Dora Keith repeat the pattern of Anne and Diana. Davy is impetuous, as Anne was, and quite a bit more mischievous, locking Dora in a toolshed, ruining pies Anne has made for an important luncheon, and breaking Miss Barry’s willowware platter; periodically he insists that he simply cannot behave, and he pesters Anne with dozens of outlandish questions. In contrast, Dora is pretty, neat, and so well-behaved that even Marilla finds her monotonous.
Davy’s nemesis is Paul Irving, Anne’s favorite student and an imaginative kindred spirit whose mother is dead. His father lives in Boston, so Paul is living with his grandmother. When Anne introduces him to Miss Lavendar Lewis of Echo Lodge, the two become friends immediately.
Miss Lavendar is the first of Montgomery’s middle-aged brides who eventually reconcile with the beau of their youth. She lives alone in a charming cottage in the woods; her only companions are the echoes when she rings a dinner bell and a succession of servant girls respond, all of whom she calls Charlotta. After Paul writes his father about her, Stephen Irving returns to be reunited with his boyhood sweetheart. Their marriage is this novel’s climax. Paul rings the bell, the echoes become wedding bells, and Paul has the “new” mother he has wanted.
Now good friends, Anne and Gilbert Blythe work together to form the Avonlea Village Improvement Society and make Avonlea more beautiful. As a practical joke, they publish predictions in the newspaper. Amazingly, their predictions come true. A new resident is married, though actually Harrison (the new resident) is already married and simply reconciles with his estranged wife. Another item mocks Uncle Abe’s prophecies of severe thunderstorms. Uncle Abe has never been right before, but this time a storm destroys Avonlea’s crops.
Anne’s friendship with Diana continues, although Diana becomes engaged and Anne feels somewhat left out. Anne’s misadventures likewise continue. Her town hall improvement project results in the building being painted a vivid blue; she inadvertently dyes her nose red when she meets a famous writer she admires; and searching for a replacement for Miss Barry’s platter, she winds up falling...
(The entire section is 650 words.)