Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery

You know when you hear that song. You know the one. The one that makes a bad mood better or a tired body and mind suddenly re-energized. 
Anne of Green Gables is the novel equivalent of that song. 
It has been years since I read this series.I used to re-read them all of the time when I was a teenager and didn't have as many other books to read. I read Anne out loud to Abi when she was really little but didn't read the rest of the series to her. 
So, the last time I read this book was about 8 years ago, even longer for the rest of the Anne books. 
Reading it again meant so much to me. 
I was happy while reading it, I learned valuable lessons even after having read it so many times before, and I felt a real call to that part of myself that has always loved Anne. 
I am suddenly finding myself dying to go to Prince Edward Island again. Lucy Maud Montgomery influenced so much of who I am because of this book and reading it again reminded me of that. 
The other day my daughter, Abigail, said to me, "Mom, you know my personality is like 3/4 My Little Pony." 
It was funny at the time but then upon reflection I realized I feel the same way about reading in general for me. Books have influenced my life so much and continue to do so every day. I would say that most of the books that I read are just entertainment. They transport me to somewhere else, to the life of someone else. They let me see through the eyes of another and a world different from my own. There is something to be said for that. There is also something to be said for the rare book that takes you home.... even if it is not a home you have ever had. 
You hold that book in your hands and you know it was meant for you to read. 
That is Anne for me.

As I read I was also struck by how many times I thought to myself, "Lucy Maud Montgomery was a genius."
She could introduce you to a character in one sentence. 
For example on the very first page of the book we read, "...for not even a brook could run past Mrs. Rachel Lynde's door without due regard for decency and decorum;"

The next few pages introduce us to her husband Thomas and to Matthew Cuthbert: 

"... a meek little man whom Avonlea people called "Rachel Lynde's husband"..."

"...for Matthew Cuthbert had never been known to volunteer information about anything in his whole life."

Later we meet Marilla, " Here sat Marilla Cuthbert, when she sat at all, always slightly distrustful of sunshine, which seemed to her too dancing and irresponsible a thing for a world which was meant to be taken seriously."

Later on I plan on writing another post on what Anne herself meant to me as a child and what she means to me now as an adult but for now I want to point out a few of the other things I noticed during this read through. 

I love Marilla. She is hard to love at first. She is so stern and strict. Next to Matthew, who is an angel of a man, she seems downright unpleasant. However, as you read the book you see the things that you don't always think of when you think of Marilla. You see her falling in love with Anne. You see the things she thinks but doesn't say. She is truly a kindred spirit. 

Also, in the mini-series they don't show us Anne's friendship with Mrs. Allan, the Reverend's wife. They have such a wonderful friendship and I had forgotten all about it. I really enjoyed getting back to all the details and back stories that I didn't remember because I have, at this point, watched the show more. 

Gilbert was my first love. I think he was a lot of people's first love. It is easy to be frustrated with Anne and her mistreatment of Gilbert but when it comes right down to it, I think it was good for him. 
We learn early on that Gilbert teases all the girls... and she is the first one he has apologized to. 
I imagine that Gilbert was a product of the "boys tease you if they like you" mentality and maybe Anne taught him that it isn't supposed to be that way. 
In the end, Gilbert respected her and her wishes. He let himself fade into the background hoping someday she would realize that he was still there. He sacrificed for her and that finally allowed her to let go of her pride and face the fact that for a long time she had been wishing to reconcile with him. 

"We are going to be the best of friends, " said Gilbert, jubilantly. "We were born to be good friends, Anne. You've thwarted destiny long enough. I know we can help each other in many ways."

As I finished reading Anne of Green Gables my thoughts echoed the last words, 

"God's in His Heaven, all's right with the world."


The Kings said...

Wow! What an awesome write-up on the book! I can tell that Anne (and many other important characters)is a big part of your life. It makes me want to start reading it again!

cheryl said...

Thanks Mom! It was fun to write. I am excited for more posts about these books and I continue my read-through this year.