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

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‘It’s a million times nicer to be Anne of Green Gables than Anne of nowhere in particular, isn’t it?’

Anne of Green Gables (Anne of Green Gables #1)

My dislikes: Being an orphan, having red hair, people twitting about my red hair, being called “carrots” by Gilbert Blythe.

My likes: Living at the Green Gables with Marilla and Matthew Cuthbert, my bosom-friend Diana, dresses with puff sleeves, renaming Barry’s pond the Lake of Shining Waters, coming top of the class.

My regrets: Dyeing my hair green. Smashing a slate over Gilbert Blythe’s head.

My dream: To tame my temper. To be good (this is an uphill struggle). To grow up to have auburn hair!

5 Stars

Oh, how I adored this book! I laughed. I cried. Then, somewhere between the pages I found my inner-child and fell completely in love with L.M. Montgomery’s iconic little red-headed orphan, Anne Shirley.

Anne of Green Gables, with it’s heart warming story and imaginative, charming protagonist is such a beautiful, joyful classic. Its the kind of book that leaves you with a smile as you view the world from Anne’s perspective. Her narrative, with her cute ramblings and enchanting imagination is basically required reading. I’m ashamed that I’ve come to the ripe old age of twenty one and not picked this classic up before. Her story is uplifting, opening your eyes to the true simple wonder and beauty that can be found in our world.

My only complaint? That the story had to end of course! I’m already adding Anne of Avonlea to my Booktopia cart…

I grew up watching Megan Follows as Anne (“with an e”) in the 1985 drama. My mum loved the adaption and she’d watch it with me whenever it was re-run on TV. Yet, despite growing up watching Anne and all her shenanigans somehow I had never actually read the classic novel??? It’s almost… “tragical”! 😉 See what I did there? Anyway, I can’t believe I’d never picked up Anne of Green Gables before now because I utterly adored it. Not only did it bring all the nostalgia but Anne as a character is so inspiring, she reminds me a little of myself, especially at that age.

I think, that what I loved the most about Anne is her uncanny ability to see the good in the world. Anne has the rare gift of being able to appreciate and find the beauty in the simple, little things. A trait that most of us lose as we enter the stress and bustle of adulthood. I think Anne really touches that inner child in all of us. I wanted to rekindle my own imagination and be able to appreciate how lucky we are just to be alive as she does. We should all take a page out of Anne’s book. Anne teaches many important lessons over the course of the novel (and I bet the sequels too) but the most crucial is that having an imagination can change the world.

That being said, yes, Anne is a memorable character but she isn’t without her flaws. Her sometimes overactive imagination is prone to leading her into scrapes, she has a powerful temper and is susceptible to vanity. It’s these traits that only make us love her more though, as she learns from her mistakes and vows to be a better person. Another thing I love about Anne, besides her imagination and independence is that she is rather an oddball yet she owns it. Anne teaches us that it’s okay to be different and that our unique personalities are what make us beautiful. Besides being odd, Anne loves to read and write which made me immediately  relate to her, finding in her a “kindred spirit”. I just love a protagonist who reads – I’ve always thought that a girl who reads is unstoppable!

But Anne isn’t the only memorable character to be found in the quaint, rural town of Avonlea. The eccentric cast of supporting characters are just as interesting with their own morals to bring to the table (story?). There’s Diana Barry, Anne’s “bosom friend”. I loved the lively dynamic between Anne and Diana – I think we’ve all had a Diana at one point in our lives. They click from the get go with their imaginations and romantic notions. Among Anne’s school friends there is the handsome Gilbert Blythe, her rival and… Well, let’s just say I know where this is heading and boy, oh boy do I ship it! Anne and Gilbert get off on the wrong foot, to say the least but Gilbert pushes her to excel in her academic schooling. He challenges her and motivates her which is what Anne needs to keep her feet planted on the ground.

Basically, Anne of Green Gables is such an inspiring book and if you haven’t experienced Anne’s world of Avonlea yet then what are you still doing here? Go and get on that band wagon – stat! Full of joy and heartwarming scenes, Anne teaches us so many valuable lessons that can be enjoyed as a child or an adult. It’s made me really stop and think about the person I have become myself and how, no matter what life throws at me, I can’t lose that child-like wonder and imagination. Life is all about the little things, we need to appreciate what we have. After all, “isn’t it splendid to think of all the things there are to find out about? It just makes me feel glad to be alive-it’s such an interesting world.”Alexandra

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