Sunday, January 06, 2013

Sunday Salon: Reading Anne of Green Gables (1908)

Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery is one of my favorite books, and one of my favorite children's books. Anne Shirley has to be one of the most memorable characters, and just one of many memorable orphan characters in children's literature. (There are so many! Heidi, Pollyanna, Emily Starr, Mary Lennox, Sara Crewe, Jane Eyre, Oliver Twist, etc.) The novel has many memorable characters: Anne Shirley, Marilla and Matthew Cuthbert, Mrs. Rachel Lynde, Diana Barry, and, of course, Gilbert Blythe. It has many memorable scenes: Anne's apology to Mrs. Lynde, Anne and Diana vowing to be bosom friends for life, Anne breaking the slate over Gilbert's head, Matthew giving Anne her first dress with puffed sleeves, Anne's green hair incident, Gilbert rescuing Anne when her boat sinks, etc. Some scenes are funny, but, others have great heart. I just LOVE all the Matthew scenes, for example. And the Gilbert scenes too!!! The ending is so wonderfully, wonderfully bittersweet. I love how the novel ends brightly with a new friendship.

“There's such a lot of different Annes in me. I sometimes think that is why I'm such a troublesome person. If I was just the one Anne it would be ever so much more comfortable, but then it wouldn't be half so interesting.” 
“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. It wouldn't be half so interesting if we know all about everything, would it? There'd be no scope for imagination then, would there?But am I talking too much? People are always telling me I do. Would you rather I didn't talk? If you say so I'll stop. I can STOP when I make up my mind to it, although it's difficult.”  
“They keep coming up new all the time - things to perplex you, you know. You settle one question and there's another right after. There are so many things to be thought over and decided when you're beginning to grow up. It keeps me busy all the time thinking them over and deciding what's right. It's a serious thing to grow up, isn't it, Marilla?” 
Anne of Green Gables is a book I've reread countless times. From start to finish, it feels like a best friend, a kindred spirit. I love the characters, the writing, the story. The first novel in the series holds so much promise. I love reading the whole series, though perhaps not every reader continues on in the series? Each book does have its own unique tone to it, which is good I think.

Did you know that the Anne series was written out of order?!

Anne of Green Gables (1908)
Anne of Avonlea (1909)
Anne of the Island (1915)
Anne's House of Dreams (1917)
Rainbow Valley (1919)
Rilla of Ingleside (1921)
Anne of Windy Poplars (1936)
Anne of Ingleside (1939)

I've never read the series out of order before, but, I am considering giving it a try to see if it changes my impression any.

Have you read Anne of Green Gables? Did you like it? Would you recommend it? Do you have a favorite character? A favorite scene?

You might be interested in:

my post about different book covers of Anne of Green Gables
my review of the audio book
my original review of the book

Anne of Green Gables. L.M. Montgomery. 1908. 308 pages.

© 2013 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews


Katie Edwards 9:50 AM  

I've always loved Anne, since I first read about her about 20 years ago. I think she was the first ink-and-paper character who really felt like she could be me in another life - a definite kindred spirit.

Knowing that "Ingleside" and "Windy Poplars/Willows" were written out of order, I do notice that they don't seem to fit into the story quite so well. They can't affect the later stories that much, so tend to be about characters and events that we never hear of again. I don't always include those two in my rereads.

Kailana 2:53 PM  

I have always read them in order and not by publication date... I wonder what it would be like to follow the order they were released in...

Carissa 3:58 PM  

What a lovely post. I admit to my shame that I never actually read the books. I've seen the miniseries too many times to count, and laughed and cried with the characters, but I never did read the novels. Perhaps I'll have a chance to read at least Anne of Green Gables this year. My literary collection is massive in some respects, but it still has holes in it, like the Anne books. I wonder why I never read them.

Stacy Bernstein 6:43 PM  

Love your blog! Always nice to meet a fellow biblophile, your goal of 450 books in 2013 is both ambtitious and inspiring. I will keep coming back to look at your reviews and progress...

I am currently doing a 100 book challenge and would be interested to see if any of the books i'm reading overlap with what you are reviewing as well



Petra 1:06 AM  

I love Anne! She was such a special part of my childhood and I still love returning to Green Gables even now. I've never read them books out of order, but I once read Rilla and then Rainbow Valley--it made all the foreshadowing in Rainbow Valley a lot more obvious.

amanda @ simplerpastimes 8:16 PM  

Anne of Green Gables is one of my absolute favorite books. I've read it probably as many times as any book I've read. I didn't know the series was written out of order until recently, but even the first time I read them the later ones (especially Windy Poplars) didn't feel like they fit as well as the early ones. It would be interesting to read them in order of publication some time. (Don't forget to link your posts for the Challenge on the challenge page--I almost missed this one!)

QNPoohBear 2:35 PM  

I've loved Anne since the miniseries aired on PBS in 1985. I can't list all the ways the story changed my life and influenced me. I reread Green Gables frequently and it's still as much fun as when I first read it. My second favorite as a child was Rainbow Valley but now it's Rilla of Ingleside. I have multiple editions of Anne of Green Gables and at least two copies of the rest of the series and one copy of every other book Maud wrote plus the new addition to the Anne series The Blythes Are Quoted, etc. etc. My family had an amazing week long summer vacation on PEI one year and I was thrilled to see the places in the books come alive!

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