This is the first pick for the Book Hoarders Anonymous book club which is hosted by Alison at The Cheap Reader. You can read her review here. There’s a discussion page here if you want to take a look at what others thought of this one.
It’s funny how books that captured your imagination as a child are so very different for you as an adult. I’m not saying Anne of Green Gables was a bad read as an adult but it was so much different than I remember it being. For instance, I don’t remember Anne talking so much. Really, she never shuts up! It’s so endearing though and you come to quickly understand why Matthew and Marilla fell in love with this red-haired orphan. I also remembered the decision as to whether or not Anne would stay was much more drawn out but that could have been how I perceived it as a child. I keep saying as a child because I think the last time I read this book was probably when I was 10.
Matthew and Marilla Cuthbert, brother and sister who live on the Green Gables farm in Avonlea on Prince Edward Island, decide to adopt a boy to help out with the farm work since Matthew is getting up in age. Arrangements are made and Matthew leaves to pick up the boy at the train station. He comes home with a red-haired girl who won’t stop talking. Marilla wants to send her back but Matthew has already become attached and sort of nudges Marilla to think about keeping her. Anne, even with her loquacious ways, manages to charm Marilla who decides she can stay. Anne is enchanted with her new home, a new friend, and even her new school. However, she’s not always the proper little girl she should be and gets into several incidents that somehow all manage to work themselves out for the best.
Anne of Green Gables is such a sweet book and pretty funny too. There’s not much that happens in Avonlea that doesn’t get back to Marilla, and Anne, who it must be said is not a bad child in the least, is always doing something that gets talked about. One day it’s flowers in her bonnet, telling ghost stories with her dear friend Diana, or cracking Gilbert Blythe over the head with her writing slate — Marilla hears about it. That’s small town living for you.
Reading this as an adult, I found it a lot funnier than I did as a child. At 10 years-old, Anne was a bit of hero. She was courageous and she stood up for herself. She was a person with guts and she was really smart. I loved all that about her as a child. As an adult, I can see how everything she did was vexing to every adult in her vicinity but it’s also so easy to see how everyone could love her. The kindness and caring stand out to me now but I don’t think I saw that as a child. Now, I’m also amused by the nosy neighbors, the teacher who’s in love with the student, and how parenting styles differ among the women in the story. I’m not saying that to be sexist, but it’s the women in this story that talk about it, not the men.
I’m glad I went back to this as an adult. My appreciation for it is different but all together much the same. Anne of Green Gables will always be a favorite of mine.
Anne of Green Gables
By Lucy Maude Montgomery