Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Anne of Green Gables by L.M.Montgomery

Anne of Green Gables by L. M. Montgomery
Originally published in 1908
306 pages, including afterword

Finally! I've meant to read Anne of Green Gables for quite a while, but the 2nd Canadian Book Challenge, Eh? finally gave me the kick I needed. And, I loved every minute. Eons ago, I watched Anne of Green Gables and Anne of Avonlea on TV. The actress who played Anne managed to brand herself into my brain, but I really didn't remember much at all about the show -- just the faces of Marilla and Anne. I loved the characters and the vivid descriptions of Prince Edward Island in the book and will definitely try to dig out my copies of the second and third books, as soon as humanly possible. Anne is a fun, imaginative, spunky character.

The afterword in my copy, an illustrated edition published by Reader's Digest, describes Matthew as a "weak" character. On this one point, I disagree. I thought Matthew, the brother of Anne's adoptive parent, Marilla, was realistic. There are plenty of people who have little to say, like Matthew, but whose characters show through their few words and hard work. That's how I felt about him; I thought he was a gem. Definitely a book to hold onto and reread, if only for the reminder of how easy it is to find joy in life if you just bother to look around you.

I'm going to go back to my numerical rating system with this book, which I consider a timeless classic. 4.5/5


  1. Me too. I am on book five of the series. I reread the first thinking that I could just read them in between my others and I find myself not wanting to put them down. My copies are yellowing now as I have had them since I was a little girl. :)One of my all time favorite series. One of my other all time favorite series is the O Malley series by Dee Henderson.

  2. I'm glad you enjoyed this book it's one of my all time favourites.

    I agree with your comment about Matthew too - I don't understand how anyone can describe him as weak. If it weren't for Matthew Anne would never have been allowed to stay at Green Gables - and would never had had the puffed sleeves she so desired! Matthew has a way of influencing people in a quiet way - and that is why he is always close to Anne's heart.

    I'm hosting a Celebrating 100 years of Anne challenge over at my website - you could stop by and add a link to this review if you wish and see what other people have thought of the book:

  3. Brittanie,

    I don't know why it took me so long to get around to reading Anne, but now I'm definitely looking forward to reading on. If only I could find the next books. I looked and there was nothing in the children's section by L. M. Montgomery in our library. You never know where they'll stick things, though, so I'll check the adult fiction the next time I'm there. I can't possibly get to my copies of the 2nd and 3rd books.

    I don't think I've ever read anything by Dee Henderson, but I know the name. I'll have to check her out, sometime!

    Mrs S,

    Exactly! Matthew was quiet, but what little he said was important enough to change things. Apart from Anne, Matthew was by far my favorite character.

    I'll check out your challenge. Thanks for the link and for visiting my blog!

  4. I know I should probably be flogged or something equally as horrid for never having read this. I've owned it for 30+ years now, and still haven't gotten around to it. I don't think I've even heard of a single person who didn't just adore what is my problem?!!

  5. Debi,

    I think we can skip the flogging; it took me just as long. I have no idea why I kept bypassing it, either. Like you said, everyone loves the book. Anne is a joyful character. Maybe if you think of it as a book to save for when you need an upper you'll get to it sooner. All moms need uppers. :)

  6. I agree. This is a wonderful book. I think it's when I first heard the phrase "kindred spirits" and I've gone on to use it many times.

    I also agree that Matthew is not a weak character. Still waters run deep, right? I loved his sensitivity.

    Marvelous books that definitely deserve re-reading. I have several that my godfather sent me from Canada many, many years ago.

  7. I loved the series on PBS; now I HAVE to read the book. Which my parents brought me back from their visit to 'her' island so I have no excuse.

  8. Les,

    Oh, yeah. I love "kindred spirits".

    That's a good way to describe Matthew. There's more than what you see on the surface.

    I've only read the first book, obviously, but it's a keeper. When I'll find the other two I own is probably a good longshot bet.

  9. I have six books in the series but for some reason have never gotten around to reading them! I'm not sure why. Maybe I can remedy that with my own daughter. Hmmm.

    Enjoy your break! I'm sure you will have read lots by the time you come back!

  10. I loved this book! I read it for the first Canadian Book Challenge and hope to read the next one for the 2nd challenge. I can't believe it took me so long to finally read this book. It's a gem.

  11. I think CBC ran it and "My American Cousin" at least 4 times a year in the 80s didn't they?

    I only read the book for the first time a few years back to a class of third graders in Rankin Inlet.

  12. Bellezza,

    How cool that your parents brought a copy back from the real PEI! You definitely must read it. I loved the series, too. Funny how so many of us have dragged our feet about reading, in spite of the fact that we enjoyed watching the show.


    If you've got 6, I believe you have the entire series. Anne would be loads of fun to read with a little girl!

    I'm not getting an awful lot of reading done, so far, but I hope to amend that. :)

  13. Teddy Rose,

    I know, nutty isn't it? I've wanted to read Anne for ages, but I just couldn't get myself motivated to pick it up. Thank goodness for the challenge!


    I don't know about CBC, but I do think the Public Broadcasting System ran it repeatedly in the U.S. I haven't heard of "My American Cousin".

    Oh, good. I'm rather relieved to know a Canadian took his time reading, too! :)

  14. I agree about Matthew. His still waters run deep. He usually gets his way by not saying anything. Glad you finally read it!

  15. Yep. And, that makes him pretty strong, in my mind. Me, too! 'Bout time I got to Anne of Green Gables!

  16. I completely agree with you about Matthew. And this is a timeless classic indeed! I read it for the first time last month and I'm so glad I did.

  17. Nymeth,

    I remember reading your review. Matthew is a lovely character, isn't he? Me, too -- sooo glad I finally got around to reading Anne and I'm looking forward to continuing the series when I locate my copies of the 2nd and 3rd books.

  18. Anonymous7:11 AM

    Not sucky at all. I agree that Matthew is not a 'weak' man. Thx!!

  19. Care,

    Thank you. And, yep, I thought Matthew was admirable.


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