I have been scorned multiple times for the fact that I have not read Anne of Green Gables. Well, no more! I picked up a copy for $0.50 at Half Price Books and read it through.
Of the two title characters, I unabashedly loved Green Gables (and the surrounding town of Avonlea). Montgomery is almost too good of a writer, describing the ponds and woods with such magic that the place sounds almost like paradise. I’m entirely sold, ship me off to Prince Edward Island at once!
As for Anne, I have mixed emotions. Of course she is delightful. Her vibrant imagination is inspiring and her fondness for kindred spirits is endearing. But…well, perhaps I’m too much of a 21st century woman. Her story is too perfect! Everyone loves her, and she gets everything she wants. It feels ridiculous to complain that the story is too happy, but that’s what I’m doing. Even the very saddest parts of the book never really get to sad, because all the characters are perfectly optimistic and healthily grounded. Ehhh, that’s not my favorite thing.
It’s an idyllic book, and I suppose it’s meant to be read that way. This isn’t reality–it’s a wonderland where the land is beautiful and so are its people.
In the small town of Avonlea, there is a farm called Green Gables. Two people, Marilla Cuthbert and her brother, Matthew, live there alone. They want to adopt a boy to live with them, but instead they got a skinny, freckle-faced, free-spirited orphan named Anne.
Anne is always getting into trouble in fun and unexpected ways, from jumping on beds (with people sleeping in them) to accidentally turning her red hair green. At first, Marilla and Matthew don’t know what to think of her, but soon they can’t imagine life without her. Through thick and thin, good times and bad, life at Green Gables will never be dull again!
Release Date: 1908
Want another opinion? Check out reviews by Los Angeles Review of Books and The New York Times.