Lisa Arsenault is a public-school teacher in Ajax, Ontario.
These are two instalments of the children’s television series “Road
to Avonlea,” adapted from Lucy Maud Montgomery’s novels.
Felicity’s challenge is to transform a school friend from a socially
inept wallflower into a princess, thereby winning a wager. Smallpox is
responsible for the quarantine at Mr. Abraham’s, necessitating the
enforced cohabitation of an ill-assorted group of people who must work
out their differences in order to make their stay together bearable.
These are morality tales: since Felicity’s reason for helping her
friend is essentially base (to win a bet), she of course does not
succeed in her aim but learns a valuable lesson about friendship
instead. The quarantined group learns about making the best of a
difficult situation and in the process discover positive qualities about
one another and establish lasting friendships.
Since these works are basically an elaboration of television scripts,
they are necessarily short; descriptions of setting, atmosphere, dress,
etc., are sacrificed—viewers presumably will have these things
presented visually to them on the screen. However, the themes, the moral
content, and the characterizations are faithful to their literary
source, and consistent with early twentieth-century children’s fiction