Okay, you might. The PBS series is pretty dead-on. However, we will never speak of the “The Continuing Story” as, in my mind, it does not exist. Ahem.
If this book is one of those treasures that has slipped by you, you are not alone. Even I, destined to be an Anne lover from birth, did not read it until I was 11. Sure, I tried a couple of times to read it before then. But, I just couldn’t get into it. I tried one last time on a Thanksgiving road trip to visit family. Somehow it remained on the bottom of my book bag until we were driving home, through the twists and turns of Brian Canyon in Western Nebraska when–BAM–I was hooked. I still remember the moment as I looked around, disappointed that our six hour trip was almost over!
Anne Shirley is a 11-year-old orphan delivered to a train station on Prince Edward Island, Canada, and expects be picked up by her new adoptive parents–brother and sister Matthew and Marilla Cuthbert. The problem? Matthew and Marilla had requested a boy to help around the farm.
Talkative Anne charms silent, stoic Matthew on their buggy ride back beautiful Green Gables. Matthew doesn’t want to return her to the orphanage, although his pragmatic sister takes a little longer to warm up to the dramatic redhead. Soon, however, they are a family and there for each other through Anne’s ups and downs, such as the time she accidentally gets her best friend drunk or when she dies her red hair green. Anne’s imagination and passionate heart make it easy to love her–even when she holds a grudge against the swoon-worthy Gilbert Blythe.
If you haven’t already guessed, I am a full-on Anne devotee. I’ve been to PEI twice, and would go again tomorrow. Anne is revered in Canada, where the home that inspired Green Gables is a national park and the author’s home is also a national historical site.
Excuse me while I don my librarian cardigan for a moment. When I was in library school (ahem, it wasn’t that long ago, geez people), I took an amazing Young Adult Literature class. The first book on the reading list: Anne of Green Gables! As IF I needed any further proof that I had found the right profession. Or one of them, anyway.
We read the book and discussed the historical ramifications (ask me if you want more on that, go on, I dare you). My favorite part of the discussion was hearing how many people had loved the book, even those that hadn’t thought they would. Men and women alike told stories of being overwhelmed while reading in Starbucks. These stories touched me (me–with the heart of stone!).
So, do yourself a favor this holiday season and read Anne of Green Gables, for the first or for the fifth time. You can even pick up a copy with a hip new cover from Lauren Child. Either way, you won’t be sorry.
Also, let me know if you’re up for a trip to PEI. My carpet bag is already packed.
Anne readers, what is your favorite part of the series? Or, if you’ve never read Anne, do you have a favorite holiday read?
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