Saturday, February 19, 2011

Book Review: Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery

How oh how did I manage to never read Anne of Green Gables when I was a child? I have a sister named Anne, and we used to watch the TV show and we liked it. But somehow I just never read it. The friend who loaned it to me warned me that people who come to Anne as an adult might not have the same love as those who read it as children, but I adored it!

Anne is such a well-rounded three-dimensional character from the minute we meet her. She's sweet, engaging, a chatterbox, and so well-intentioned, we love her from the start. What Ms. Montgomery does brilliantly, is also create very real and sympathetic characters in Matthew and Marilla, the older sister and brother who adopt her, who could come across as very flat and bland. Yet they come across as so loving and thoughtful and caring.

As we get to know Anne, the book speeds up. The first year she's at Green Gables is over half the book, but her 15th year is covered in just one chapter. The book altogether covers her from 11-16. That was an interesting component of the writing that I wasn't expecting and yet it worked. I was so glad to see Anne grow up, to see her become more mature and less silly over the years, to still value her imagination but not let it run away with her, to finally come around to forgiving Gilbert.

I have been filling in a few gaps in my literary background, and this is the first book in the gap-filling, where I really want to keep reading. I want to read the rest of the series! I am eager to see how Anne continues to grow and become an adult. I am worried about Marilla, and intrigued by Anne's pending relationship with Gilbert. Ms. Montgomery has created such a real world that I am completely vested in it. Bring on book #2!

This review is a part of Kid Konnection, hosted by Booking Mama, a collection of children's book-related posts over the weekend.

I borrowed this book from a friend.


Caroline Starr Rose said...

Make sure you read all the way through Rilla of Ingleside. And while you're at it, pick up the Emily Starr books, too. LM Montgomery considered Emily the character most like herself.

Cath said...

These are my all-time favorite books--I'm pregnant with a little girl now and her name is going to be Anne after Anne Shirley. :)

I second recommendation to read the Emily books, as well as the Sara Stanley books (The Story Girl and The Golden Road) and The Blue Castle, too. There are other books by LMM, but those are the best, IMO.

Teacher/Learner said...

I'm so glad you enjoyed it! I love the Anne movies & the first book is all I have read but I am also determined to read the entire series up to Rilla of Ingleside. I also used to watch the TV series Road to Avonlea, adapted from Montgomery's books, and read the Avonlea books, too. Isn't it great that a childhood classic can still be enjoyed as an adult? :)

Julie P. said...

I missed all of these books as a child too. I have them now and am looking forward to sharing with my daughter.

Lesa said...

I love this series. I thought I had read them all but recently found out about the last ones about Anne's children. Can't wait to read them!

I really can't imagine anyone not liking Anne no matter what their age was at the first reading.


nomadreader said...

Somehow I never read these as a child either, but I adored the PBS series. I remember buying this for my Kindle months ago, and I should really make time for it. I'm so glad you loved it!