Book Review: Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery
When Matthew Cuthbert sets out to the railway station to pick up an orphan, he is expecting a boy that will help him with the farm work. Matthew and his sister Marilla live at Green Gables in Avonlea, and have taken their friends’ recommendations to adopt. But it is not a boy who has been sent, but eleven-year-old Anne Shirley. Anne is as talkative as Matthew is shy, but the two immediately take to one another. Once Marilla reluctantly agrees to let Anne stay at Green Gables, Anne enjoys the beauty of her new home and the kindred spirits she finds there. Trouble seems to find Anne wherever she goes, whether it’s from her overactive imagination or her quick temper. From the disastrous tea party to accepting Josie Pie’s dare, Green Gables seems to be much more interesting with Anne there. When the Cuthberts decided to adopt a child, they expected a hard working boy that would make their life easier. Instead, they were given Anne, and very soon they can’t imagine their life without her.
When I speak about Anne of Green Gables I feel as if I’m talking about my own life or a friend’s. I’ve read the book so many times that it feels like Anne’s experiences are mine. I first read this book when I was nine and have read it every few years since then. I’ve always loved it, and I actually got to read it my Children’s Lit course this past year. Quite a few of the girls in my class had assumed that this book would be boring and dated, but ended up loving it. I’ve never reviewed one of my all time favourite books before, but decided to do this once since it seems to be often overlooked. In my opinion, Anne’s one of the best characters in literature. It’s not just her talkativeness and rapid imagination, but her overall love for life. There are so many wonderful characters in Avonlea: soft-spoken Matthew, the nosy Rachel Lynde, sweet and gentle Diana and stern Marilla, who tries to find a moral in everything. I’ve heard J.K. Rowling say that she hated when characters remain children forever in literature. This isn’t the case for Anne. When the novel begins, Anne is only eleven. At the end, she is mature graduate of Queens College. I loved seeing not only Anne grow, but Marilla as well. For Anne, PEI is a sort of fantasy world. I’ve been to Green Gables in Cavendish (the real Avonlea) and it is truly beautiful, although it has gotten very touristy. When I was younger, my friend and I wanted to move to PEI and open a store called Kindred Spirits Book Shop, in honour of Anne. Anne sees beauty everywhere, and that couldn’t be easier when you live in Prince Edward Island. I love the way Anne sees the world and the way she speaks. I’ve heard people say that what was funny to our great-grandparents isn’t funny to us. Anne of Green Gables was written over one hundred years ago, and I still find humour in many parts of this book. There were also many touching and heartbreaking moments, and I think that’s what makes it still loved today. The plot centres around Anne growing up and evolving from a lonely Nova Scotia orphan to Anne of Green Gables. The story is fairly simple, and if you’re looking for fast paced excitement, then Anne of Green Gables might not be for you. However, if you are looking for a well-written story about the beautiful simplicity of childhood, then you will definitely find it here.
“Dear old world,” she murmured, “you are very lovely, and I am glad to be alive in you.”