Saturday, 18 June 2011

Book Review: Anne of Green Gables

When Marilla Cuthbert's brother, Matthew, returns home to Green Gables with a chatty redheaded orphan girl, Marilla exclaims, "But we asked for a boy. We have no use for a girl." It's not long, though, before the Cuthberts can't imagine how they could ever do without young Anne of Green Gables--but not for the original reasons they sought an orphan. Somewhere between the time Anne "confesses" to losing Marilla's amethyst pin (which she never took) in hopes of being allowed to go to a picnic, and when Anne accidentally dyes her hated carrot-red hair green, Marilla says to Matthew, "One thing's for certain, no house that Anne's in will ever be dull." And no book that she's in will be, either.

It is very rarely that I ever read a novel more than once, as there are so many interesting books out there that I feel the need to devour as many new ones as I possibly can! Anne of Green Gables, however, is one of the few exceptions for me. This was not just my second time reading this novel, but my third! Ever since I first became acquainted with Anne and her wild imagination I've wanted to be transported to her world of Avonlea (and indeed I was during a trip to PEI when I was 11)! Anne of Green Gables is one of the most heartwarming and amusing books I have ever read, and it only seems to get better the more times I read it!

I think one of the main things that has always made Anne of Green Gables so loveable to me is L.M. Montgomery's slew of charming characters. Ever since I first read this novel when I was about 10 years old I have been madly in love with Gilbert Blythe! His competition with Anne in school, and his attempts to befriend her after their first disastrous meeting (which ended with a slate being broken over his head) never fails to make me sigh in adoration.  Gilbert is not the only character to win over the hearts of readers, but also that of dear old  Mr. Cuthbert. I don't think its possible for any reader to not love shy, sweet Matthew, and I never fail to shed tears at the end of the novel as if he were my own grandfather. The character of Marilla is also one of my absolute favourites, and I especially love the way in which Anne is able to transform the stiff older woman into a soft mother-like figure throughout the novel.  From Mrs. Lynde's sharp tongue to Mrs. Allen's gentle heart, the inhabitants of Avonlea form a community that makes readers wish they belonged there as well. 

I was very hesitant to review this book at all, because I find it extremely difficult to put into words how simply amazing this novel is. As a result, I think the only thing I can really say is that if you have not read Anne of Green Gables before then you must now! It is one of the few books that I think everyone should read before they die! Not only is the original novel incredible, but also the 1985 tv movie version of the story, which is one of the few adaptations that I think is as good as the book itself! The imagination and blunders of Anne have been charming  readers since it was first published in 1908, and will certainly continue to do so for generations to come!

Rating: 5 Stars


Jenny said...

Well, I think you know I haven't read this one but that's only because I loved the movie and when I did try to read it, it was so similar that I just stuck with the movie. I feel your pain in trying to express how much you love the book. I hate when I adore a book and just can't explain it!

Allison said...

Great review, I'm so glad you love Anne! She was my first book love, and I've read the entire series countless times since then. Have you read the other books? The first one is definitely special - but I love the entire series. My second favorite is actually the eighth and last book, Rilla of Ingleside - takes place during WWI.

I also agree that the movie miniseries is great, I love it! The sequel is a little weird, but I enjoy it too. Then there is a more recent one - Anne the Continuing Story or something I think? It is BAD. haha, they should have left well enough alone!

kaye (paper reader) said...

I've decided to create a period of time where I just read the classics, although I also think I'm going to read one or two classics a month and post a review for one of them as a way to catch up with all of these fabulous books I really should have read already.

Shoshanah said...

I can't even imagine how many times I've read this book! Have you read all the sequels too? I read most of them as a kid, but it wasn't until college I go through the entire series. I'm definitely glad I did, because I think the last, Rilla of Ingleside is probably my favorite, even better than Anne of Green Gables

Lauren B said...

This is one of my all time favorite books. I read it first time as a child and have read it several times as an adult.
It never gets old.
Thanks for your review.

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