Monday, December 6, 2010

Anne of Green Gables

Anne of Green Gables
L.M. Montgomery
298 pages
Rating: 5/5

When Marilla Cuthbert's brother, Matthew, returns home to Green Gables with a chatty redheaded orphan girl, Marilla exclaims, "But we asked for a boy. We have no use for a girl." It's not long, though, before the Cuthberts can't imagine how they could ever do without young Anne of Green Gables--but not for the original reasons they sought an orphan. Somewhere between the time Anne "confesses" to losing Marilla's amethyst pin (which she never took) in hopes of being allowed to go to a picnic, and when Anne accidentally dyes her hated carrot-red hair green, Marilla says to Matthew, "One thing's for certain, no house that Anne's in will ever be dull." And no book that she's in will be, either.
--Emilie Coulter (review of an abridged version)

My Thoughts:
I grew up watching the movies Anne of Green Gables.  It was a family favorite, and there were many years when my sisters, mom, and I would fold laundry and spend a whole day together watching all of the movies in a marathon.  And to this day, Anne, Marilla, Matthew, Diana, and Gilbert all lay close to my heart.  However, it wasn't until this past week when I found the book in my library that I was able to say that I've read and loved the books as well.  To anyone who loved the movies, I say, "Go read the books.  They are just as wonderful and even more entertaining."

Now, perhaps your childhood wasn't "enlightened" with the hopes, dreams, and mishaps of Anne Shirley.  So I will start at the beginning, so to speak.  The books, and later movies, of Anne of Green Gables revolve around a red-headed orphan named Anne (Ann spelled with an -e).  An elderly brother/sister combo mean to adopt a boy orphan to help around the farm, and Anne is sent instead.  By the time they could send her back, both Matthew and Marilla are unable to remove her from their house (and hearts).  Able to talk a mile-a-minute, make up ridiculous imaginative stories, and find herself in many mishaps that you can't help but laugh at, Anne found her way deep into the hearts of Matthew and Marilla, so that by the time a year has gone by, both of them can't imagine the time before she came.

What makes me love Anne of Green Gables so much is the fact that it is a simple story about the upbringing of an orphan.  Anne is special in that she is honest and kind-hearted and always speaks her mind.  But there is not great tragedy or drama that this book revolves around.  It's about the comic nature of everyday life on Prince Edward island.  Don't get me wrong, I love a good drama.  But Anne of Green Gables is so relateable to people.  Who cannot remember some great idea we once had to make ourselves more beautiful, handsome, pretty, or skinny - and it backfired into something like green hair?  Mine was cutting my hair - it made me look like a boy.   But just as we laugh with Anne on her mishaps, we can cry with her heartache, and smile with her success.  L.M. Montgomery writes such a beautiful story that comes alive before your eyes.  And I enjoyed it so much that I didn't sit down and go, "What wonderful writing!"  I could just imagine the scenes and laugh at the descriptions, and by the time I closed the back cover, I was amazed by the awesome writing.  Writing that did not give light to itself, but created a beautiful story that you could get lost in.

Anne of Green Gables is one of my all-time favorite novels.  I found it in the young adult fiction section, which surprised me because I've never thought of it as a "children's book."  I believe that it is a wonderful story that everyone (especially all women) can relate to.  If you are like me, and hadn't read Anne of Green Gables in your childhood, I would recommend reading it as soon as you can get your hands on it.  It's a refreshing, wonderful story that warms your heart.  Personally, I can't wait until I visit my mom in January and we spend an entire day in our pjs watching Anne.


  1. I guess I really need to read this book! I'm finishing up The Heroine's Bookshelf: Life Lessons, from Jane Austen to Laura Ingalls Wilder and she dedicated a chapter to Anne.

  2. I'll have to get that book. sounds good. I loved Anne just as much as Laura Ingalls Wilder.