Title: Anne of Green Gables
Author: L.M. Montgomery
Genre: Fiction, Children’s Literature
Publication Date: 1908
Purchase Price: $6.99 (paperback)
When siblings Matthew and Marilla Cuthbert send to Nova Scotia for a child to help Matthew on the farm, the last person in the world they expect is young Anne Shirley, an orphan with fiery red hair and a temper to match.
Despite the siblings’ original dismay at not getting a boy, they soon fall under the little girl’s spell. To be sure, she talks incessantly, loses her head in daydreams, and gets into scrape after scrape; but Anne is intelligent and whimsical, breathing life into a town that was getting just a bit stale.
A few thoughts
Anne of Green Gables is the first in a series of eight books that follow Anne throughout her entire life. The first book is a great appetizer for some of the later books that are meatier and deal with more serious topics (like World War I).
Green Gables is full of Anne’s daydreams and ramblings, and truly captures the almost stream-of-consciousness speech and thoughts common amongst young children. And while some of the situations in which Anne finds herself are rather comical (she tries to dye her hair, with disastrous consequences), in each funny moment she manages to learn a lesson.
Little Anne grows up quite a lot in the book, making difficult decisions that prove over and over her kind and generous spirit.
If you’re not into the story so much, you should at least read Montgomery’s works for her amazing descriptions of the landscape, trees, and the natural beauty of the world — they’re so good I could eat them.
Although some of Anne’s “problems” seem a bit juvenile to me (she has to sit next to a boy in school — oh, the horror!), I bet that they resonate very clearly with children — the target audience of the book, after all. I wish I had gotten into this series when I was younger, and then I might have felt more of a connection to it.
For the Beauty of the Earth (John Rutter)
“The ‘Avenue,’ so called by the Newbridge people, was a stretch of road four or five hundred yards long, completely arched over with huge, wide-spreading apple trees, planted years ago by an eccentric old farmer. Overhead was one long canopy of snowy fragrant bloom. Below the boughs the air was full of purple twilight and far ahead a glimpse of painted sunset sky shone like a great rose window at the end of a cathedral aisle.” (p. 14)
” ‘Do you think amethysts can be the souls of good violets?’ ” (p. 79)
Have you read any of this series? What did you think of it? Do landscape descriptions help you enjoy a story, or do they just get in the way?