Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Thoughts: Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery

Anne of Green Gables, the Japanese anime, was a huge part of my childhood. I was fascinated by Anne’s love for reading and writing. It wasn’t until I reached high school that I learned Anne of Green Gables was actually a book, and a series at that. I have no idea why I only read the novel this year.

The novel actually begins with a mistake. Matthew and Marilla Cuthbert want to adopt a boy to help out around Green Gables, their farm. Instead, they get Anne—with an E—Shirley. Anne, however, manages to charm and convince them to let her stay. When Marilla finally relents, Anne’s various misadventures involving Gilbert Blythe, raspberry cordial, schoolteachers, and more follow.

First of all, I want to say that I absolutely loved Anne Shirley. She’s probably the reason why I liked this book so much. If she existed today instead of as a fictional character in the 1800s, we would probably be best friends—that is if she would actually consider me a kindred spirit. She used big words, and renamed ordinary places with names like the Lake of Shining Waters. Who wouldn’t want a friend like her? Yes, she did get carried away sometimes, but, at the same time, Anne managed to make ordinary things seem exotic or special.

I also loved L.M. Montgomery’s prose. If I have to use one word to describe her writing, I would use the word lush. Green Gables and the rest of the places in Avonlea and Carmody came alive for me through Montgomery’s writing. She’s an expert when it comes to writing amazing, not to mention beautiful, descriptions for places like haunted woods or ordinary schoolhouses. I felt like I was right there, experiencing everything with Anne.

I completely loved Anne of Green Gables, and I can’t wait to read the rest of the books in the series. This was a breath of fresh air from all the somewhat depressing classics I’ve been reading lately. My only regret is that I didn’t read this when I was little. Harry Potter might have had some serious competition if Anne Shirley entered the scene.

Rating: 5/5

12 comments:

Peggy said...

I agree wholeheartedly. Anne Shirley would totally have been my BFF if we lived during the same time.

lisa :) said...

I never new it was made into an anime series! I suppose it shows that great stories can easily transcend both cultures and art forms.

I really love Anne's character too. Granted I don't know if I would enjoy her as much in person as I do on paper. I like her creativity and passionate spirit but she does tend to talk a lot and get easily distracted so carrying on a conversation with her in real life might drive me a little crazy. (I guess in that regard I can understand Marila's exasperation at times!)

Zibilee said...

I have not read these books, but I gave them to my daughter years ago, and she has read them all. I need to go into her room and pilfer her copies now that I see what I am missing!

simplerpastimes said...

I'm glad you found the Anne books, as they are simply delightful! I've probably reread Anne of Green Gables more than any other book.

Avid Reader said...

I love this book too! I've been slowly re-reading the whole series (on #7 now) and it's reminding me why I fell for these characters from the beginning.

Kristi said...

I have this sitting on my shelf, but I haven't picked it up yet. I really need to. I'm so glad you enjoyed it.

Jillian said...

Such an awesome book!! I own the whole series now and am itching to read them. :-)

Trisha said...

I have three books from the series, and I'm pretty sure I read them in grade school, but I do not remember them at all. Perhaps I should pick them up again!

Audra said...

I've actually never read the books but saw some miniseries when I was a kid -- Disney, maybe? My family and I were quite taken with the landscape of PEI. LM Montgomery is a fascinating woman -- I've been reading a bio about her -- but I haven't picked up any of her Anne books. Your review makes me think I should!

Teacher/Learner said...

This is probably my favourite book from childhood. I love Anne, too, and I always felt like we had so much in common. I also fell behind in reading the series & want to get to them as soon as posible.

Teacher/Learner said...

Oops...the teacher in me needs to correct a typo: "possible" not "posible" ;)

As the Crowe Flies and Reads said...

Loved Anne--she was one of constant companions when I was growing up. When I finally visited PEI back in 2004 as a wedding gift (we have a friend of a friend who owns a summer home up there), we too fell in love with the landscape of the island. And we were amazed by how many Japanese tourists there were. I guess I'm not surprised Anne was made into anime series now because of that. Lots of Japanese couples were dressed in period costumes of the island and getting married there.

Anyway, Mark Twain loved Anne, too, calling her something like "the most delightful fictional creatures he's ever met."

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