Sunday, 16 November 2008

Anne of Green Gables by L M Montgomery

DATE PUBLISHED: 1908 DATE READ: November 2008 NOTES: This is one of those classics that passed my by when I was young. But as soon as I began to read it I could understand how countless young (and not so young) girls over the decades have come to love Anne of Green Gables. Anne Shirley is an eleven year old orphan who is mistakenly sent to live with Marilla and Matthew Cuthbert after they had requested a boy to help on the farm. Their initial reluctance to keep her soon fades away as they become entranced by the bright but odd little girl. Her imagination continually lets rip and she chatters constantly veering rapidly from one idea to the next. (Today we would say she has verbal diarrhoea!) Her “homely” looks, red hair, freckles and skinny body are a continual worry to her but she nonetheless soon makes lots of friends including her “bosom” friend Diana. The story moves gently through the years as Anne grows up in Avonlea. She is bright and hardworking and eager to please Marilla and Matthew but her imagination and day-dreaming get her into continual scrapes. And lurking in the background is the handsome Gilbert Blythe. He had teased her when she first arrived at school and she refused to have anything else to do with him. But, of course, we know she will relent in the end! It’s a delightful book. I didn’t expect it to be so funny – for example when Anne complains that she is sure the teacher is saying her name without an ‘e’ at the end! And I didn’t expect to be able to say that Anne could be a role model for young girls of today. She is interested in fashion and hairstyles (nothing wrong with that) but she is also ambitious and really keen to work at school and achieve. And in the end she is willing to put the needs of Marilla before her own. It leaves you with a warm glow!

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