Anne of Green Gables by L. M. Montgomery


Oh, don’t roll your eyes. You think you know dearest Anne from the clips you’ve seen on PBS during phone-a-thon weekends. But, you don’t.

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.

Librarians Amy and Ryann (right) at Green Gables.

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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Interested in reading Anne of Green Gables? Add it to your GoodReads, find it at your local library or purchase it from one of the retailers below.

In print:
Amazon | Barnes and Noble | Powell’s |

Kindle $1.99 for the series! | Nook Also $1.99 for the series!

9 Responses

  1. Anne is a kindred spirit…down to the toes of her melodramatic soul. I adored her books and saw so much of myself in this character…and I see flashes of Anne in my daughter, who often wears her strawberry blonde hair in two long braids…and who had trouble with a mischievous boy who couldn’t resist pulling them. 😉

    I directed this play several years ago and loved having the chance to share Anne’s story…from the laughter when Anne walks in with her green hair to the tears when Matthew…well, you know – it was a winner with the audience.

    1. How fun to see Anne in your daughter. Kindred spirits are all around us. 🙂 Was your play a musical version? If not, I’ll share with you my CD from the musical on PEI. Thanks for the comment, Melonie-with-an-E.

  2. I, too, first read Anne when I was 11. I was kind of baffled by the present from my aunt since I had never heard of it, and I didn’t read it until I was desperate for something new. And of course, I fell in love, and felt that I had died and gone to heaven when a friend of mine lent me an old copy of Rilla of Ingleside, which wasn’t available at the time. I read some of the others (Emily of New Moon, for example) later and didn’t enjoy them as much–they were a little sweeter, maybe? But Anne remains a huge favorite of mine and I would LOVE to visit PE Island some day.

    The other series I loved and read repeatedly was the Betsy-Tacy series that goes through high school and a year abroad and marriage. Did you read those?

    1. Oh, yes, and now I’m the aunt giving the books! I didn’t get into the Emily series, although I keep telling myself I should try again! 🙂 PEI makes a great family vacation and is known for nice golf courses, I am told. It is also a stop on some of the fall color cruises! *This reply not brought to you by PEI tourism bureau.*

      Oh, Betsy-Tacy! Would you like to review it for a future post? 🙂 thanks for the comment!

  3. Can you believe I didn’t read Anne until adulthood? But I’d go to PEI in a minute, too. Some stories will do that to you.

  4. I absolutely love the entire Anne series. And I love how the books grow up with you, especially as you re-read them over time. As a child, Anne of Green Gables was my favorite. Rereading the series in college, Anne of the Island was my favorite. How I wanted to live in Patty’s Place! And now, as an adult with children, Rainbow Valley and Rilla just read like a hug. Anne fades to the background and let’s her children’s stories unfold. *sigh*
    Kindred spirits.

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