Saturday 18 May 2013

Anne of Green Gables

Anne of Green Gables by Lucy Maud Montgomery 
A Classics Club Reading Challenge book (see list here).


Goodreads synopsis: Everyone's favorite redhead, the spunky Anne Shirley, begins her adventures at Green Gables, a farm outside Avonlea, Prince Edward Island. When the freckled girl realizes that the elderly Cuthberts wanted to adopt a boy instead, she begins to try to win them and, consequently, the reader, over.

Anne Shirley you are my new comfort read. 

I finally got round to reading Anne of Green Gables. I love her so much; her vivacity for life is infectious. An empathetic creature, Anne keenly feels every joy and sorrow life brings, and, being an individual of similar sensibilities, I totally got her. I found myself quoting her in conversations with my sister, not word-for-word from the book, but in a way where I affected her persona... often with amusing results. Well, amusing to my sister and me.

Clothes shopping, the conversation turns to our gratitude for jeans when unsure of what else to wear: 

Me: "Sister, aren't you just glad we live in a world where there is denim? I can't begin to imagine how it must feel to be someone who lives in a world without denim."

Talking about someone who irritated us:

Me: "Such and such a person can be so obnoxious sometimes. I know it is uncharitable of me to say so, but it's true and I've said it now."

(To which, had Marilla been my guardian she would have stifled a smile having thought the same about such and such a person on several occasions, but, unlike Anne, kept it to herself).

There are so many Anne Shirleyisms that are lovely. She's full of life and grateful for everything in a spiritual way I could relate to, i.e. thanking the universe for cherry blossom, for trees, for the view from her window. I know she often flings herself on her bed to indulge in a good bawl, but what I love about Anne is she can't stay down for long and soon changes her outlook to a positive and romantic one.

A selection of Anne of Green Gables quotes from my Classics Challenge board on Pinterest:

And even though her flights of fancy allow her to imagine her room is bedecked in sumptuous materials and her shoulders sporting the latest puffed sleeves, in reality she is grateful for the things she has and wants for nothing (except the sleeves) . It's family, friends, learning and nature that sustains Anne. Her imagination also, and yeah, ok, fashion.


The story starts when middle aged Marilla and Matthew Cuthbert, brother and sister, decide to adopt a boy to help around the farm on Prince Edward Island. The lady at the orphanage 'accidentally' assigns the feisty red haired 10 year old Anne to the Cuthberts. Matthew immediately takes to the talkative child, but how to convince the austere, practical Marilla to give her a home at Green Gables?

Green Gables is near Charlottestown and Carmody, if I'm correct. Source.

It's touch and go in places, my stomach in my mouth, please let her stay. When she eventually does give in on the proviso that Matthew allows Marilla to raise Anne her own way, strictly forbidding him to 'stick his oar in'... well, you just know there'll be moments when he does. The bond he has with Anne is touching and I inwardly celebrated when he quietly succeeded, much to Anne's delight, in introducing puffed sleeves to her rather minimal wardrobe before they'd become yesterday's news. Marilla, not one for such frivolities, couldn't help but be swayed and before you knew it Anne's wardrobe was bulging with bespoke garments. Matthew Cuthbert: new literary hero. 

Honestly, read Anne of Green Gables and you'll take her wherever you go. When you're blue you'll wonder what would Anne do? You'll see beauty in each day, have tremendous fun with your friends, look for your own Haunted Wood and Lake of Shining Waters and be full of gratitude.

And fashionable.

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