Friday, August 14, 2015

Friday Favorites: Anne of Green Gables

Anne of Green Gables by L. M. Montgomery

Recommended for: All Ages (as a read-aloud, 10 and up on own for reading level)

Rating: G

As soon as Anne Shirley arrived at the snug, white farmhouse called Green Gables, she knew she  wanted to stay forever... but would the Cuthberts  send her back to the orphanage? Anne knows she's not  what they expected -- a skinny girl with decidedly  red hair and a temper to match. If only she could  convince them to let her stay, she'd try very hard  not to keep rushing headlong into scrapes or blurt  out the very first thing she had to say. Anne was  not like anybody else, everyone at Green Gables  agreed; she was special -- a girl with an enormous  imagination. This orphan girl dreamed of the day  when she could call herself Anne of Green Gables.

I don't think I've talked about Anne here on Shire Reviews yet, though I know I have over on my author blog. And that is somewhat of a shame, since Anne is more than worth talking about, but at least that means I get to talk about her now.

Anne of Green Gables. I don't remember how old I was when my mom first read it to me, but I do remember things from it, primarily how much I hated the part where SPOILER Matthew dies. END SPOILER That was only the first of many times I experienced this wonderful story. It never gets old. 
Anne is an orphan. She wants a family, she wants raven black hair, and a bosom friend. When she finds out she is to be adopted, it seems too good to be true. And, in a way, it sort of is. Marilla and Matthew Cuthbert intended to adopt a boy, but they got Anne instead. Though at first they didn't want to keep her, soon they can't imagine life without her. Anne is very talkative, highly imaginative, and makes LOTS of mistakes. Like the time she accidentally set Diana drunk. Or when she dyed her hair green. And there's the time she fell off the Barrys' ridgepole. Life is never dull with Anne around.

L. M. Montgomery is such an excellent writer. Her choice of words is simply exquisite. Her descriptions are so vivid. The characters are well drawn and very memorable. Her books are full of heart, and just too fantastic for words. The entire Anne series is amazing, all eight books. I love and recommend them all.

I can't finish this without mentioning Anne's relationship with Gilbert Blythe. From the start, Gilbert liked Anne, but he went about getting her attention quite the wrong way. By calling her "carrots" he caused her to not only break her slate over his head, but to refuse to speak to him for five years. Yes, Mr. Philips played a part in causing that as well, but five years. And then she became good friends with him, instead of just good rivals. Gil had tried to make amends, but Anne was just too stubborn. And too stubborn to realized she loved him until he nearly died of typhoid fever towards the end of Anne of the Island. Of course, since that's only book 3 of an 8 book series, there's much more to their story after that. In fact, the protagonist of Rilla of Ingleside is their youngest daughter.

I do love these books so much. They are true classics, just as beloved now as they were when they first came out a hundred years ago. Anne is relatable. She is a character from whom one can learn both what to do and what not to do. Her story is timeless. It is both fun and heartbreaking. It is a story well worth reading, and one you will find yourself reading again and again.

Speaking of, I still need to find time to finish listening to my Anne of Green Gables audio drama...

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