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As soon as Anne Shirley arrives at the snug white farmhouse called Green Gables, she is sure she wants to stay forever . . . but will the Cuthberts send her back to to the orphanage? Anne knows she’s not what they expected—a skinny girl with fiery red hair and a temper to match. If only she can convince them to let her stay, she’ll try very hard not to keep rushing headlong into scrapes and blurting out the first thing that comes to her mind. Anne is not like anyone else, the Cuthberts agree; she is special—a girl with an enormous imagination. This orphan girl dreams of the day when she can call herself Anne of Green Gables.

Title : Anne of Green Gables
Author : L.M. Montgomery
Series : Anne of Green Gables (book one)
Format : eBook (overdrive)
Page Count : 308
Genre : classic / children’s novel
Publisher : L.C. Page & Co.
Release Date : June 13, 1908

Reviewer : Hollis
Rating : ★ ★ ★ 

Hollis’ 3 star review

It’ll perhaps be a shock to some that I, a Canadian, had never before read Anne of Green Gables. Or watched any of the various adaptations. I, in fact, knew little to nothing about this beloved world. Somehow this one just passed me by and, considering all the reading I had done as a wee child, I couldn’t tell you why. It being a favourite of my blog buddy’s, however, was a source of constant gentle mockery and side-eye. So she didn’t hesitate a moment to recommend this to me when I said I was tackling the Twelve Books in Twelve Months as suggested by friends challenge. And so here we are.

I admit, I had some trepidation going into a novel that so many grew up with and cherished and few likely experienced for the first time as adults. Compounded by the fact that it’s a classic and obviously written for the time, well. I didn’t expect this would work for. But I was surprised how much I found myself enjoying the read.

My one major complaint, of course, were the pages and pages (and pages.. and pages..) of monologues by little miss Anne Shirley herself. At first, it was cute. By the mid-point? I was tired. My eyes started to glaze. Any feelings of cuteness had expired amongst the endless recitations and constant dramatics. And just when I thought I’d have to put the book down and try again later, we turned a corner. Anne grew up just enough. Became more introspective (there was a lovely passage I forgot to highlight, something about how she’d pruned herself a bit, something she reflected on when other characters questioned why she wasn’t as much as chatterbox as she’d been) and I really appreciated that — not just because it gave me a break from the monologues but because it was such a timely and lovely bit of maturity. But unfortunately some of the damage was done and, character growth or no, I was looking forward to the story wrapping up (for now).

As for the other characters, well. I’ve always heard or seen of things related to Anne and Gilbert but sans context I never knew much about it beyond that there was some kind of hate or rivalry between them. And, now that I understand some of it, I really adored their dynamic. I especially liked how she always stopped herself from saying his name outright. And I liked, most, their little truce at the end of this first book.

Matthew and Marilla Cuthbert were the other standouts. I thought their differences, their dynamic with Anne, and how everything about what they expected out of this little orphan changed so quickly, was sweet. My favourite scene of the entire book might be the chapter we first meet Anne on the drive home with Matthew. That stuck with me.

While this might not have any lifechanging impact on me, the way it has for so many (though it’s still early to say for sure!), overall, I had a pretty good time in Avonlea and will definitely be reading on. Hopefully I’ll enjoy things a little more as Anne continues to get older but really it was only those endless, tiresome, eyes-glazing-over, monologues that hurt my experience. Because I was invested enough in this little place, with these people, to even get a wee bit emotional over a certain sad chapter. So, that says a lot, even if I am a notorious sap.

So thank you, Micky, for this recommendation and I hope to add this series to my various goals for the year so as to read them all before the end of 2023.