Sunday, November 14, 2010

Anne of Green Gables

No matter how many times I read it, Anne of Green Gables makes me laugh out loud, get tears in my eyes, and breathe audible sighs of relief. L.M. Montgomery's turn-of-the-century tale about a red-headed orphan with a fiery temper and a wild imagination is timeless in it's charm and appeal. Montgomery's spot-on characterization, coupled with her delightful descriptions of Canada's Prince Edward Island make Anne of Green Gables a pleasure to read over and over again.

When shy Matthew Cuthbert heads to the train station to pick up a boy to live with him and his sister and help with chores, he never imagines he will be driving home with an eccentric, talkative young girl. He immediately finds a place for her in his heart, but strict, taciturn Marilla isn't so sure she is up for raising a girl. Anne quickly wins her over too, and we realize, as the story progresses, how much Marilla cherishes Anne, for all her harsh ways.

Anne is always getting into scrapes, and needing help to get out of them, but Marilla's firm guidance, Matthew's adoration, and the love of her teacher and the minister's wife all combine to teach Anne to be a wonderful, responsible and diligent young lady. The book ends with Matthew's death, which always makes me cry. However, the last sentence of the book, Anne says, "God's in His Heaven and all's right with the world."

If you have young girls in your life who haven't started the Anne books, Christmas would be a perfect time to introduce them to the series. The books follow Anne's life from the time she was adopted by Matthew and Marilla at twelve, through her time at teacher's college, teaching in various schools, marriage, and the birth of her own children. Many of the books highlight Christmas and winter, as well as other seasons and holidays throughout the years.

What I Like: Everything!

Particularly, it is such a joy to read an old classic and realize how central faith in Christ was to authors and their characters. There is a funny scene where Marilla asks Anne to say her prayers, and is horrified when Anne proceeds to address God in a business-letter format. There is also a delightful section where Anne speaks of the minister's wife and says, "I never knew before that religion was such a cheerful thing. . . I'd like to be a Christian if I could be one like her. . . I can just feel she's glad she's a Christian and would be one even if she could get to Heaven without it."

What I Dislike: Nothing

Overall Rating: Excellent

Age Appeal: 8 and up

Publisher Info: Random House, 1908 (reprint 1998); ISBN: 978-0553609-417; Paperback, 497 pages, $47.92 (Box set of all eight volumes)

Buy it Now at for $34.92

OR Buy it at for $31.63.

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Annette W. said...

Yea! We love Anne too. I hope you'll review the whole series. I'm still reading them. They are not all appropriate for young readers, but the first couple are!

Unknown said...

I read the first 5 books (finally!) around the age of 25. I love them now! I've been holding back on reading #6 until I had kids... hmmm, since I do, I should! :)

Erin said...

I love Anne (with an E) too. I actually watched the PBS series with Colleen Dewhurst as Marilla recently, and enjoyed it so much! Thanks for your comments! Erin