Anne of Green Gables

Last Sunday, I did absolutely nothing.

Like, nothing at all.

I lit a fire in my wood stove, made popcorn, and read the whole day.

It. Was. Lovely.

The book I chose was an old one, and probably familiar enough to most of you. I mean, who hasn’t read Anne of Green Gables?

Besides me, obviously.

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Oh, I’d been introduced to Anne before now. The 1985 mini series was my first introduction to her, Avonlea, Marilla and Matthew Cuthbert, and Gilbert Blythe. (Insert dreamy sigh.) I grew up with Anne, you might say. So it was odd that I’d never picked the book up before now, especially since I’ve been devouring every book I could get my hands on since I was about four years old.

Now, finally having read this amazing book, even I can hardly believe it took me so long. (Yes, I finished it in one day. I told you, I had popcorn. And a fire. Where else did you think I was going to be?)

Anne of Green Gables was one of the most charming, enchanting books I’ve ever had the privilege of reading in my life. Lucy Maud Montgomery gives a vivid picture of life in Avonlea, the fields, woods, orchards, gardens, and of course, Green Gables itself. I could see every bloom, every red dirt road, every cottage, every room. By the time I was finished reading, I felt as well acquainted with Green Gables as I was with my own heart.

And her mastery of the settings in this book was nothing to what she did with her characters.

Anne with an e. I loved her for her frankness, her imagination, and her authenticity when I watched the mini series years ago, and I love her no less now for having read the book. She is funny, charming, endearing, and just enough like myself to make me laugh at my own faults. She appears as a little, thin-faced orphan girl seated at a train station, but she has so much more to her than just the poor waif that no one wants. Her mind is her own, and she is frightfully clever with it. (Sometimes a little too clever?) From the mouse in the pudding to the liniment cake and beyond, I loved Anne, and it was a joy to watch her work her way into the hearts of the people around her, just as she was working her way into mine.

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The story follows her through nearly four years of her life, from the moment she is dropped off at a train station to meet Marilla and Matthew Cuthbert (only to find out they had no intention of adopting a little girl when they’d asked for a boy), through her years in school, her dramas, her triumphs, her many, many misadventures, and her long standing grudge against a boy who only ever wanted her to notice him. (Poor Gilbert.)

Anne had a wonderful passion for life, and when she loved, she loved well. May we all find a part of ourselves that recognizes how lovely the world we live in really is.

“Look at that sea, girls—all silver and shadow and visions of things not seen. We couldn’t enjoy its loveliness any more if we had millions of dollars and ropes of diamonds.”

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