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

Anne of Green Gables

Ummm this is just an excuse for me to rant again. Because really, who hasn’t read Anne of Green Gables? (Or is this just a Canadian thing?) It’s interesting to see how my own opinion of this book has changed over the years, but my admiration for Anne’s view of the world just keeps growing and growing. I LOVE Montgomery’s writing style and her knack for creating characters that I truly care about, and this is one of those books that I can revisit after I’ve forgotten the basic plotline and still tear up because of THE FEELS.

Title: Anne of Green Gables
Author: L. M. Montgomery
Publication Date: June 1908
Category: (Middle Grade / Young Adult) Classics

Introduction

Marilla Cuthbert and her brother Matthew Cuthbert of Green Gables decided to adopt a young boy to help Matthew out on the farm, but it was eleven-year-old Anne Shirley (a girl!) who showed up at the train station. While the Cuthberts (or at least one of them) are adamant on giving Anne back, her charming personality and overactive imagination slowly grew on the folks of Avonlea.

Discussion

Anne is lovable and irritating… slowly growing more irritating as I grow older. Anne is quite the character, as most (if not all) of you know. She’s dramatic, quick-tempered, forgetful, honest, courageous, and very, very, very talkative. I really love her for her ability to appreciate the world around her – she always has on her rose-colored glasses, that’s for sure! And she’s just so eloquent and creative in the way she thinks about nature – definitely an artist at heart.

“But I’m going to imagine that I’m the wind that is blowing up there in those tree tops. When I get tired of the trees I’ll imagine I’m gently waving down here in the ferns—and then I’ll fly over to Mrs. Lynde’s garden and set the flowers dancing—and then I’ll go with one great swoop over the clover field—and then I’ll blow over the Lake of Shining Waters and ripple it all up into little sparkling waves. Oh, there’s so much scope for imagination in a wind! So I’ll not talk any more just now, Marilla.”

“Thanks be to goodness for that,” breathed Marilla in devout relief.

However, over the years, her flair for the dramatic is slowly starting to lose its appeal, and her ardent proclamations about being the “happiest girl in Prince Edward Island” or the “unhappiest girl in Prince Edward Island” got juuust a bit tiresome. And I find myself thinking more and more like Marilla…

Of course, Anne becomes more mature as she grows older, and loses some of her lovable/irritating traits. She is able to learn from her faults and change her behavior throughout the story, which I really appreciate. I feel like when I can love and hate (but mostly love) a character, that character must be pretty three-dimensional.

I ship Anne with EVERYONE. Whether it’s someone she doesn’t like or something she likes, Anne’s connection with the other characters is undeniably wonderful. Her love for the Cuthberts and her bosom friend, Diana, as well as her adoration for her female role models in the village makes me feel all mushy inside. And even her hatred towards Gilbert Blythe, the boy who teased her about her red AUBURN hair, was delightful to watch. (No love-at-first-sight here, hah!) Because I ship Anne with everyone, this ship will always sail, so it’s a win-win situation. 🙂

PEI’s beauty + Montgomery’s beautiful writing style = BEE-YOU-TI-FUL. Has anyone been to Prince Edward Island? It’s gorgeous! I didn’t get a chance to visit the Green Gables house the last time I went, but I still got to see some stunning scenery:
131_pei

It’s the perfect setting for a daydreamer like Anne, and I’m pretty sure that’s how Montgomery got her ability to create such vivid imagery.

The night was clear and frosty, all ebony of shadow and silver of snowy slope; big stars were shining over the silent fields; here and there the dark pointed firs stood up with snow powdering their branches and the wind whistling through them.

I remember talking about how I loved the way Maggie Stiefvater writes her settings, and I love L.M. Montgomery’s writing for the same reason: it’s just so beautiful and so full of color! Good nature scenes are enough to make me want to break into a dance and song. Here’s another one, just because:

It was October again when Anne was ready to go back to school—a glorious October, all red and gold, with mellow mornings when the valleys were filled with delicate mists as if the spirit of autumn had poured them in for the sun to drain — amethyst, pearl, silver, rose, and smoke-blue. The dews were so heavy that the fields glistened like cloth of silver and there were such heaps of rustling leaves in the hollows of many-stemmed woods to run crisply through. The Birch Path was a canopy of yellow and the ferns were sear and brown all along it.

But that ending will always catch me off-guard. I haven’t read Anne of Green Gables in a long time until I recently decided to listen to a LibriVox audiobook of it while running on the treadmill (yet again). And I remember the basic plot of this first book and maybe the second one in the series (I didn’t finish this series, eep), BUT I DIDN’T REMEMBER THIS. I think every time I read this first book, I’ll have the same reaction, because I just don’t want to remember that ending, and therefore I forget… and it’s a vicious cycle. :/

Conclusion

Sooo much to love about Anne of Green Gables! Great characters and character development, great relationships, great writing. This book (and potentially this series, if I ever get past Book 3) is driven so much by Anne and other characters that I just want to keep reading. ANNE FOREVER.

Have you read Anne of Green Gables?
Do you have characters that you love so much that you want to keep reading about them?

oldiessl    Canadian

Advertisements

8 thoughts on “Review: Anne of Green Gables by L. M. Montgomery

  1. Gah SOPHIE the reason that Anne gets on your nerves a bit now that you’re older is because you haven’t read ALL THE BOOKS. This is a brilliant series because it grows with you. Every time I read through them, I relate to Anne at a different stage of her life, and it’s beautiful. I can remember reading them for the first time as a kid and not really getting some of the later books, like House of Dreams – but now that is one of my favorites of the series, because it’s a bit more serious and sad. They’re fabulous books all the way through, so you DEFINITELY need to read them. You also need to read The Blue Castle and Jane of Lantern Hill by the same author. Today if possible. 😉

    • Oh boy, I think you’re right! I’ll start on the second book soon! (OH NO I CAN’T DEAL WITH SADNESS) Also, I’m pretty sure we rambled through e-mails a while back about the amazingness that is The Blue Castle! (I’m actually reviewing that in December, because December is the month of feel-good books, haha.) 😀

  2. I love this whole series and have read every book in it a zillion times. So to answer your question, yes! I know what you mean about Anne being a bit annoying but I just put it down to her enthusiasm for life and I find that a bit infectious as I read it. It would be very hard to live with though!

    • Yay! 😀 Haha, her enthusiasm IS a bit infectious, and I like how her imagination still remains as she grows older even though her external enthusiasm is not as extreme.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s