Hello, friends! A happy Wednesday to you all! I’ve mentioned before that I’d begun to reread Anne of Green Gables, but I felt like dear Anne deserves a blog post all her own.
I read this book many a times when I was younger, and absolutely loved it. I also watched the 1985 movie centered around Anne. And I’ve begun to watch the show on Netflix, Anne with an E! The show is quite different from the book, and I’ve found it so far to be considerably darker than the book. However, I have only have finished season one, so I can’t fairly give a review on it as of yet.
I’ve always enjoyed this book, but I don’t think that I initially picked up on how beautifully it’s written. I so desperately want to crawl into the world of Avonlea, and reside at Green Gables.
This post may not be as structured as other blog’s book reviews, but this is a new venture for me, and I want to experiment with it. I’ve written so many papers for various English classes that I could scream, and I would like this to be more relaxed than those.
I thought that I would break down this book into quotes, scenes, and overall feelings I have. I suppose if you haven’t read Anne of Green Gables, you may get some spoilers in this post, so be warned…
“Poor little soul,” she murmured, lifting a loose curl of hair from the child’s tearstained face. Then she bent down and kissed the flushed cheek on the pillow.”
Oh, Marilla! You do have a heart! How tender is this moment? Marilla’s heart is quickly warming to Anne. How could it not? A loyal friend, such as Anne, unable to continue being friends with her best friend, Diana. How could your heart not ache? Marilla loves Anne and these special moments of tenderness just make my heart sing! The characters in this book are written so wonderfully, and are near impossible not to love. And the character development of them all, after meeting Anne, is flawlessly done. Marilla, you softie, you…
A scene that I find to be excruciatingly endearing is when Anne comes back to school after being gone for quite some time. It warms my heart to see how excited everyone was to see her. And all of the things they want to give to her! Plums, flowers, teaching her a new pattern of knit lace… so wonderful and simple. I’m sure Anne would agree… how romantic! Pair that with Anne expressing to Marilla how wonderful it is to be appreciated. I couldn’t agree more, Anne.
And oh, Gilbert! All of his attempts to woo Anne are in vain. No strawberry apple given to her by a man who called her Carrots will she eat! No sir! Oh, poor Gilbert. I applaud Anne for sticking to her guns, but how could you not feel a pang of sympathy for ol’ Gil?
Not to mention their rivalry in school, which is stated to be good-natured on Gilbert’s part, but certainly not on Anne’s…
I hope one day to be as wise as Anne… Until then, I’ll just take inspiration from her. I think it’s important to not only find inspiration from those older than us, but also from those younger…
“But really, Marilla, one can’t stay sad very long in such an interesting world, can one?”
I will talk about simple living until I’m blue in the face, but for anyone questioning the validity of a life lived simply instead of lavishly, I recommend this book to you. Anne Shirley says it best when she says…
“All things great are wound up with all things little.”
And our sweet Anne, ever the romantic… How sweet a sentiment! And a sentiment I couldn’t agree more with!
“Ruby Gillis says when she grows up, she’s going to have ever so many beaus on the string and have them all crazy about her; but I think that would be too exciting. I’d rather have just one in his right mind.”
And oh my goodness! When Anne helps save Minnie May’s life and she can be friends with Diane again! How exciting and heartwarming! Their friendship and love for one another is one of my favorite aspects of the book. I think that it’s so wonderful how they were able to find each other, and remain close friends through the years.
“Well, anyway, when I am grown up,” said Anne decidedly, “I’m always going to talk to little girls as if they were, too, and I’ll never laugh when they use big words. I know from sorrowful experience how that hurts one’s feelings.”
This is such a wonderful sentiment, and one that I think is important. As children, the way we are spoken to by adults isn’t always what we wish it to be. And now, as an adult, it’s definitely something I want to remember, to treat all children with kindness and to treat them as I would have wanted to be treated as a young one. Treating them fully as a person who is capable of feelings and unique thoughts. AND able to use big words.
“Kindred spirits are not so scarce as I used to think. It’s splendid to find out there are so many of them in the world.”
It can sometimes be easy to lose faith in the world around us, and the people within the world, but I love being reminded that there are so many wonderful individuals as well. Ones that we have met, and ones that we have yet to meet!
“Marilla, isn’t it nice to think that tomorrow is a new day with no mistakes in it yet?”
I haven’t much to say about this quote, other than it’s a wonderful way to look at life. There’s always tomorrow!
I feel as though any Anne of Green Gables book review wouldn’t be complete without talking about when Matthew buys her a dress with PUFFED SLEEVES! And Matthew’s endearing shyness when going about buying it! I personally think that there is nothing wrong with liking pretty things, and giving something like this to Anne, an orphan who hasn’t had a life filled with pretty things or pretty events… It’s such a kind, kind, thing to do.
“Well, I don’t want to be any one but myself, even if I go uncomforted by diamonds all my life, declared Anne. “I’m quite proud to be Anne of Green Gables, with my string of pearl beads. I know Matthew gave me as much love with them as ever went with Madame the Pink lady’s jewels.”
I love this scene so much. Especially coming from Anne Shirley herself, a character who, at the beginning of the story, wasn’t very happy with herself, inside and out. It’s so heartwarming being able to see her journey through life, growing into a very confident and content young woman.
On a much, much, sadder note… Matthew’s death. The way that L.M. Montgomery chooses to write about Anne’s feelings about his passing away is very true to life, I think. You’re not always sad when you’re grieving or mourning, there are oftentimes where you do find joy in life, and then perhaps a sense of guilt afterwards. As sad as it is, of course, I think that this being a part of the ending of the book only showcases the impact that Anne has made on Matthew and Marilla’s life, and vice versa, all the more. They’ve all changed each other’s lives in truly wonderful ways. Matthew and Marilla gave Anne a house, but I think that Anne really made it a home for all of them. I just cannot express my love for them as a family enough.
I want to end this blog post about Anne of Green Gables on a happy note, so let’s talk some more about Gilbert, shall we? And how Anne and him are FINALLY on speaking terms, and the sacrifice he made for her. I must say, I really enjoy their dynamic. Throughout all the drama that goes on between them, it seems as though they always respect one another. When a book or movie sets up two characters as love interests, they usually go through a phase of absolutely hating each other. HOWEVER, in most love stories, one of the characters is typically truly awful to the other, often doing things that are quite inexcusable. I think what this book does right is that neither of them are every heartlessly cruel to one another. Gilbert jokingly calling her Carrots is about the extent of it. And Anne certainly doesn’t give him any slack for it.
And at the ending, when he gives up the position at the school so that she’s able to stay with Marilla… and she forgives him for calling her Carrots and he walks her home… And you start to jump up and down in your chair a little because FINALLY.
Oh, this book! I’m writing this having freshly finished the book, and goodness, am I feeling a bit weepy. What a wonderful, wonderful story. A book that is so absolutely timeless in nature, having been penned over a hundred years ago. I enjoyed reading it now just as much, if not more than I did when I was younger. I really can’t express my love for this book properly. If you haven’t read it, and even if I have spoiled it a bit in this blog post, I really would recommend still reading it. My writings and ponderings about it are quite clumsy in comparison to the novel itself.
Gosh, I love this book. Onto Anne of Avonlea next!!!
Thank you so much for reading, my kindred spirits!