REVIEW: Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery

105. Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery
Publication: originally published 1908, ebook, 320pp
Genre: Children’s Fiction

Read: June 11, 2012
Source: Project Gutenburg

Summary from Amazon:

In this book, the Cuthberts have sent to the orphanage for a boy to live with them and to help Matthew with the farm. The red-haired skinny Anne has already been in situations where as an orphan only her work was wanted. She immediately loves Green Gables and is devastated to learn that Marilla wants to send her back. However after a series of mishaps, the well intentioned but mile-a-minute talker Anne, works her way into their lives and hearts.

Review

This is probably actually a reread, but since I can’t remember the last time I read this I’m counting it as a first read. I enjoyed (re?)reading Anne of Green Gables very much– which was kind of surprising, since I was under the impression that it’d be another Heidi fiasco.1 However! I liked reading about Anne and her life, and although I could do with less of her long speeches I genuinely rooted for her to suceed in whatever she was doing. Plus! Totally love Gilbert and the development of his friendship with Anne. I’m very excited to see what happens next re:their romance.

The author

I’ll admit that I was a little frustrated at the end. Why, Anne?! You had a scholarship and everything! And yes, your adopted mother was going blind or whatever but surely she could have got a companion or something? Although, yeah, you’d lose Green Gables, and apparently that’s something beyond even thinking about. I know L.M. Montgomery has got another book series with a female character who’s so in love with a place she can’t do anything else but be there, so I assume there must be some reason LMM carries that theme through several books. And she does, I think, tie in the importance of people/family into the importance of (a physical) home, so it’s not as annoying as it could be.

Plus, of course, later on Anne goes to college or something anyway, doesn’t she? I kind of admire her2 for taking the difficult, slightly crooked path over the easy, straight one. Makes for a more interesting story, besides!

On an almost completely different note, was anyone else shocked at how easy it was Way Back When to pick up an orphan and take them home? As far as I can tell, all you had to do was go up and ask for one, and you’d get a kid. You could even ask for an orphan for someone else, and it was no problem! Nowadays maybe it’s a little TOO difficult adopting someone, but at least they do background checks to make sure you aren’t a psycho. Sheesh.

Rating


I really liked it!

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Notes

Footnotes

  1. There’s actually a section in AoGG that strongly reminded me of Heidi: when Anne’s adopted mother finds out Anne doesn’t know how to pray. There’s a scene in Heidi that’s almost exactly the same, albeit more saccherine and puke-worthy than what’s in AoGG.
  2. as much as one can admire a fictional character, I mean
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7 Comments

  1. I read all the Anne books last year and fell in love with them. I do see your point about Anne giving up her dreams to care for Marilla, but I suppose that Anne feels so indebted to Marilla that it’s a sacrifice she sees as being worth it. Not to mention that the social norms at the time probably dictated such a thing.

    Also–awww, Gilbert. :)

  2. I just read this one for the first time last year and I was pleasantly surprised by it. In fact, I listened to it and am tempted to re-read with a physical book and continue with the series. I just love Anne’s spunk! Did you know that they even have a PBS cartoon with these characters now too? We love it!!

  3. You know, I’ve never thought about how easy it apparently was to pick up an orphan… :)

    I think a lot of Montgomery’s own life comes out in her novels–she was deeply attached to her own home, which you see here and in Pat of Silver Bush especially, and she also spent a lot of years caring for her aged grandmother, at the sacrifice of wider opportunities. So that may be a factor in the ending of Anne of Green Gables! And Anne does get to college eventually…

    • It seemed to be RIDICULOUSLY easy, which makes me thankful for orphan rights activists or whatever who helped reform that stuff later on.

      Yay for college eventually! I keep meaning to read the next book and see what happens. I’ll add it to my to-do list for next year, I suppose!

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