Anne of Green Gables

Anne of Green Gables by Lucy Maud Montgomery is a book that for me falls firmly in the category of "how did I go through my childhood without having read this?"  (Also falling under that header are Treasure Island, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, Little Women, and numerous works by Frances Hodgson Burnett.)  I had seen the miniseries and its sequel so I was familiar with the story, but it took me past the age of thirty to actually dive into the text of this classic.

The story follows orphan heroine Anne (with an "e"!) Shirley who comes to live with aging siblings Marila and Matthew Cuthbert.  The precocious young girl is a wealth of imagination and her vibrant spirit breathes new life into her adoptive family's world.  L. M. Montgomery's descriptions of Prince Edward Island are wonderfully detailed, but it is the neighbors and townspeople that really make Anne's tale so charming.  From town busybody Rachael Lynde to Anne's bosom friend Diana Barry, the cast is unique and entirely lovable.  I was especially drawn into the relationship between Anne and Gilbert Blythe.  From the television series, I knew love was in their future, but their early interactions, in which animosity and competition grow slowly into admiration and friendship, contained a sweet childish innocence that made me all the more appreciative of their relationship to come.

I also found myself reflecting a lot on Anne's character.  She has a tendency to allow her daydreaming to carry her thoughts away, often in the middle of everyday chores and conversations.  In real life, I think a person like this would probably drive me crazy.  With so many tangents and seemingly irrelevant comments, I picture that I would be fed up with Anne after only a short conversation with her.  However, in text, I loved every minute of her vivid imaginings and troublesome antics.  Her creative naming of the ordinary things around her as well as her romantic spirit were lovely to read in a storybook character, and I know I was left wanting to incorporate a bit more of Anne's dreamy outlook in my own everyday perspective.   Herein lies the true beauty of this book.  Even those of us who have little in common with Prince Edward Island's fictional past can still savor the spark of color that a boisterous little redhead can impart on the world around her.

5 Response to "Anne of Green Gables"

  1. Sam (Tiny Library) says:
    February 24, 2011 at 12:36 PM

    I read these as a child and absolutely loved them. I must reread them! :)

  2. Anonymous Says:
    February 24, 2011 at 3:51 PM

    I always wished that Anne was my best friend growing up - I would have probably gotten into more trouble than I already did!

  3. Alexis @ Reflections of a Bookaholic says:
    February 24, 2011 at 4:50 PM

    Hi, I am a new follower. I love your blog. I used to love the old-fashioned names in the Anne of Green Gables series and I would use them in my own stories.

  4. Darlyn (Your Move, Dickens) says:
    February 25, 2011 at 1:40 AM

    Great review. I saw the anime series when I was a kid, but I haven't read the book yet. I do intend to read the first three books in the series this year, though, and I'm really excited about the whole Anne-and-Gilbert romance. :)

  5. Lesa says:
    February 25, 2011 at 11:51 AM

    Ha, I introduce myself as 'Lesa with an e'? Guess I got it from Anne. Plus, no one ever spells it right.

    I'm so happy you enjoyed the book. Anne has always been a fave of mine-- I thought I had read the whole series but recently found out that there were some about her children.

    You must read all the Burnett books too!

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