Series: Anne of Green Gables #1
Published by L.C. Page & Company on June 1908
Genres: Childrens, Classics
Anne Shirley is unforgettable, and this beautifully packaged edition of L.M. Montgomery's classic novel is as memorable as its heroine.
When Anne Shirley arrives at Green Gables, she surprises everyone: first of all, she's a girl, even though Marilla Cuthbert and her brother Matthew specifically asked for an orphan boy to help around the farm. And second of all, she's not just any girl: she has bright red hair, a wild imagination, and can talk a mile a minute.
But she also has a sweet disposition and quick wit, and Anne (with an 'e' of course; it's so much more distinguished!) soon finds her place in Avonlea, making a friend in her neighbor Diana Barry and attending the local school, where she spurns the advances of the popular and handsome Gilbert Blythe when he commits the ultimate sin of making fun of her hair.
Anne has a temper as fiery as her hair and a knack for finding trouble, and she also has a big heart and a positive attitude that affects everyone she meets. This classic and beloved story makes a wonderful gift and keepsake.
You know how sometimes you pick up just the right book at exactly the right time? That was Anne of Green Gables for me. Despite it being a classic – which fails for me more often than not – I couldn’t resist picking this book up after seeing some of my friends still raving about it and this supposedly awesome ship that happens in the series. I’m so glad it was selected for book club. This book is absolutely DELIGHTFUL.
To put things in context, I picked up Anne of Green Gables to read after a death in the family. It wasn’t someone I was super close to, but feelings of grief crept into my heart anyway, and I was haunted by the mortality of humans. WELL that sounds pretty dark, huh? Anne is the exact right kind of happiness to brush all of that away. Right from the start, her voice JUMPED off the page. I was greeted by this too-adorable-for-words 11 year old who is just so fascinated by the world around her, the endless possibilities, and the places her imagination can take her. She reeked of LIFE. I swear, I fell in love with her right away.
Anne is an 11 year old orphan who gets adopted by an elderly farmer and his sister – by mistake. They were actually hoping for a boy, so he could help out on the farm. This isn’t ideal – and originally they intend to send Anne back. But then as Matthew takes Anne home, he is enchanted by her cheerful chatter and can’t stand the thought of breaking her heart. Marilla is a little more stern… but before long Anne worms her way into her heart as well. Anne will have the same effect on almost all readers. She’s just so fascinating and creative. She’s inspiring in how she looks at the world and finds beauty in almost everything. She’s over-dramatic in a super charming way. She can be a typical kid, with tantrums, stubbornness, and drama, but it fits so well into her character that you basically want to reach through the page and give her a hug no matter what.
I can imagine that some people, who aren’t character-focused (or voice-focused) readers might find this book a little hard to get through. It can seem a bit aimless as there aren’t really big conflicts in the book (it’s more of a slice-of-life style novel), and it takes place over five years with some awkward and hasty seeming time jumps. You really are just watching Anne grow up. And if you don’t like her voice, you may find the pages upon pages of straight dialogue (or, actually, monologues) tedious. But I was fascinated and enchanted. Just reading Anne’s quirky and adorable words put a goofy grin on my face and had me cracking up more than once. And that’s exactly what I needed.
And for the heavy shippers among us – there is definite hope, though given Anne’s age nothing really happens yet. At the beginning of the story she gets a rival and an “enemy” in Gilbert Blythe, who calls her “Carrots” for her red hair. The shipping started then and basically never stopped. It’s just adorable childhood love – though Anne is so stubborn that she insists she hates him for the length of the story. It’s not hard for readers to see through that though, and that just means there’s some slow-burn goodness happening here. Must pick up the next book ASAP!!!