Anne of Green Gables had been on my “to be read” (#tbr) list or faaaar too long (probably since watching the classic ’80s TV series). But for alas, it took me until now to finally get around to it. And either way, I’m so glad I finally crossed this one off my list! There was probably no better time to read it as the seasons begin to change.
The setting of Avonlea and the way L.M. Montgomery introduces each chapter with a romantic description of its changing seasons was a highlight for me. Anne, Marilla, Matthew, and Diana were all very charming characters, but Avonlea itself, the Lake of Shining Waters, the Haunted Forest, and the Snow Queen were my favorites. The natural setting was a meditative escape and had me dreaming of a visit to Prince Edward Island.
Also, I was surprised at what a fast read it was. I’d expected it to be more like a traditional “classic,” with a fair amount of tangents and portions being a little over-written. But I found the writing style very approachable, yet poetic. Which I guess makes sense since it was originally meant for a broader audience. I can really see why this book is so beloved. Seeing the world through Anne’s eyes you can’t help fall in love with all of Avonlea, and it was really refreshing reading the world through such bright and hopeful eyes.
I will say Anne’s arc was the only thing that threw me for a loop. A young girl who begins full of life and awe and passion is whittled down to a more adult, muted woman with practical notions. Which I guess the reader can interpret as they wish. I certainly didn’t feel like Montgomery was making a commentary one way or another on who Anne should aspire to be. In fact quite the opposite, maybe her intention was to share in a remorse that she’d dimmed a bit over time. So although part of me wishes we’d seen Anne’s fanciful notions carried on as she grew, I suppose that’s not how growing up works.
Overall this was a 5 out of 5 start read for me. Definitely a new favorite! And hopefully one day soon I’ll get to re-read it with my girls.