By: L. M. Montgomery
Anne of Green Gables Book 1
Anne of Green Gables is one of those books that is so ubiquitously a childhood classic that I’m shocked I made it through my formative years without ever grabbing ahold of this one.
L. M. Montgomery‘s great tale of the red-headed orphaned Anne who finds a home in Green Gables, Prince Edward Island, Canada, is one that girls have been lapping up since it was written in 1908.
It’s dated, of course. There are references and ways of life that simply no longer exist.
But that doesn’t mean Anne has nothing left to offer.
It’s quite definitely a children’s book. There are little moralistic lessons tossed throughout, obviously or subtly.
After all, Marilla, Anne’s adoptive maternal figure, is
as fond of morals as the Duchess in Wonderland, and was firmly convinced that one should be tacked on to every remark made to a child who was being brought up.
And it’s a little boring, in that it’s a simplistic plot meant for young readers with fairly static characters outside of Anne herself.
But Anne is a firecracker with a personality and a “scope for imagination” that rivals any kid alive today. She doesn’t totally buck tradition, but she teaches us it’s okay to take ourselves a little less seriously sometimes.
She loves poetry and reading and learning and reciting and imagining and just about everything except geometry. She goes to school, she deals with mean friends, she has a rocky past, she wants to fit in, she constantly messes up, she can talk to a wall, she’s eager to please, she’s vain (against her better intentions), she’s funny, and she loves hard.
And she l.o.v.e.s. nature.
I think so many people claim Anne of Green Gables as one of their favorites because, if read at the right time, Anne can become a nostalgic reminder of childhood and a simple ideal for even the most adult of us.
Anne is a brilliant, comfortable reminder that life ain’t all bad.
PS – If you aren’t quite ready to give her up after page 308, there’s seven more Anne books!
Some suggestions for those who love Anne of Green Gables:
(for more by Montgomery)
Anne of Avonlea by L. M. Montgomery
The Road to Yesterday by L. M. Montgomery
Anne of the Island by L. M. Montgomery
Emily of New Moon by L. M. Montgomery
(for books about childhood and nature)
The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett
Where the Lilies Bloom by Bill and Vera Cleaver
The Keeper of the Bees by Gene Stratton-Porter
(for works referenced by Anne)
Hohenlinden and Other Poems by Thomas Campbell
Bingen on the Rhine by Caroline E. Sheridan Norton
The Lady of the Lake by Sir Walter Scott
The Seasons by James Thomson
Barefoot by Elin Hilderbrand
Ground Rules by Renee Swann
A Room With a View by E. M. Forster