Title: Anne of Green Gables
Author: L.M. Montgomery
Publisher: Post Hypnotic Press
Release Date: May 2013
Length: 320 pages
Series?: Anne of Green Gables #1
Genre: Classics, Children’s
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.
Matthew and Marilla Cuthbert had decided to adopt an orphan. They wanted a nice sturdy boy to help Matthew with the farm chores. The orphanage sent a girl instead – a mischievous, talkative redhead who the Cuthberts thought would be no use at all. But as soon as Anne arrived at the snug, white farmhouse called Green Gables, she knew she wanted to stay forever. And the longer Anne stayed, the harder it was for anyone to imagine Green Gables without her.
Anne – the spunky red-headed orphan who comes to Avonlea
Marilla – the strict disciplinarian, sister to Matthew
Matthew – the sweet and gentle spirit, brother to Martha
Diana – Anne’s one true friend
Gilbert – the boy Anne loathes and then loves
“You’d find it easier to be bad than good if you had red hair.”
Colleen Winton does a fantastic job of portraying Anne and everyone of Emerald Isle. The variation and inflection in her voice and the bursting enthusiasm as Anne, with Marilla’s stark and drudgerly contrast was excellent.
The Highs and Lows
- The Enchantment. Green Gables, Avonlea, and Anne are simply charming and enchanting. The setting couldn’t be more picturesque and lovely.
- Years Gone By. Anne comes to Green Gables as a child, and the book spans the years sending her into young womanhood and becoming a mature young adult. It is hard to believe any of the characters except Anne and her schoolmates age over the years, but the last few chapters of the book reveal just what toll time has taken. And Anne handles it all with grace and strength.
- Anne. She is spunky, wildly imaginative, long-winded, and stubborn. As Anne grows, she learns. She is not perfect by any stretch, and she understands the importance of learning from her mistakes, which are quite funny. She chooses to see the world in the best of lights, brimming with possibilities. Anne’s character is endearing and warms your heart.
- Gilbert. From the moment he pulls Anne’s braids and calls her carrots, Gilbert has marked himself with a scarlet letter…at least in Anne’s mind. The two are such competitive rivals that they act as if they hate one another, refusing to speak to one another. They are young and ignorant, and as the years go by, the hate has been swallowed up in Anne to be replaced with fond feelings for Gilbert.
- Marilla. She is old-fashioned for even 1908, and a strict disciplinarian. While the town’s girls are dressed in the modern fashion, Anne’s dress puts her at least twenty years in the past. Marilla is very hard on Anne, but she is also fair. As Anne seeks out the world without apprehension, the same cannot be said for Marilla, who took some time warming up to Anne.
- Matthew. He is kind and warm and the opposite of Marilla. It is like they are two halves of one whole, and together they make everything work right. He understands things about Anne that Marilla refuses to recognize or bend to, like Anne’s desire for puffed sleeves.
- The Chapters. While the book spans several years from Anne’s childhood into the late teens, each chapter is like a stand-alone story. For every chapter tells its own little story of Anne and her family and friends, usually with some scrape she has gotten herself into. By the end of the chapter, the incidents typically reach a conclusion.
My two favorite scenes in the entire book were the big debacle over Marilla’s missing amethyst brooch (which sounds quite lovely), and Anne getting her dear Diana drunk on what she believed was raspberry cordial. In all, Anne is a little piece of all of us at some point in our childhood, and another piece of us for the rest of our lives: wanting to be wanted and loved. And she shows the best way to do that.
Recommendation – Buy, Borrow or Skip?
The series is quite lengthy, so if you’re inclined to keep this around for re-reads or sharing with daughters/grandaughters/nieces, I’d say buy the books. I know I am looking forward to reading the rest of the series in the future.
Lucy Maud Montgomery was a Canadian author, best known for a series of novels beginning with Anne of Green Gables, published in 1908.
She was born at Clifton, Prince Edward Island, Nov. 30, 1874. She came to live at Leaskdale, north of Uxbridge Ontario, in 1911 after her wedding with Rev. Ewen Macdonald on July 11, 1911 in Prince Edward Island. Her three children were born at Leaskdale, and she wrote close to a dozen books while she was living in the Leaskdale Manse before the Macdonald family moved to Norval, Ontario in 1926.
Maud died in Toronto April 24, 1942 and was buried at Cavendish, Prince Edward Island.