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“Anne of Green Gables” by Lucy Maud Montgomery

Book Title: Anne of Green Gables

Author: Lucy Maud Montgomery

Genre: Children’s Literature, Bildungsroman

Rating: 5/5

The book ‘Anne of Green Gables’ is a beautiful classic children’s novel by Canadian author Lucy Maud Montgomery which belongs to the genre of bildungsroman. Even though it falls into the category of a Children’s classic, the book is read and enjoyed by both young and old alike. I being an adult can vouch for that because I thoroughly enjoyed this book 😜

Set in the beautiful landscapes of Prince Edward Island, a Canadian province, the story follows the life of Anne Shirley, an orphan girl with a highly imaginative mind who believes in finding beauty and goodness in the world and the people around her. The story starts with the aging siblings Mathew and Marilla Cuthbert of Green Gables, a farmhouse in the fictional town of Avonlea, who decide to adopt a young boy from an orphanage to help them on the farm but instead unexpectedly receive a girl of eleven named Anne Shirley as a result of a misunderstanding. Disappointed at first, they decide to leave Anne back to the orphanage but somehow this weird, redheaded, freckled face child finds a place in their hearts with her talkative, imaginative, and high-spirited nature. Hence, the Cuthbert siblings decide to take Anne in and that’s where the life for the three of them begins to change for better. Anne finds a home with the shy yet kind Mathew, and hard on the outside but soft on the inside Marilla. She goes to school and discovers a whole new and different world, makes new friends, and starts to live a life that she never knew could exist for her.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It is a light, cheerful, and wholesome story of a girl and her discovery of a new and beautiful world. Since the novel belongs to the genre of bildungsroman, it illustrates Anne’s coming-of-age journey. It shows Anne’s growth from an imaginative, talkative, clumsy yet lively girl of eleven to a sober, mature, and thoughtful person. I loved Anne’s imaginative mind and found her the most hilarious. The best thing about Anne is that she tends to make many blunders but knows how to own them, learn from them, and move forward from them. According to her, she never makes the same mistakes twice which I believe is true and a very positive personality trait. Moreover, she is not just a breath of fresh air for Marilla and Mathew but also for the whole of Avonlea town. She is adored by almost everyone around her due to her pure heart and lively spirit.

Except for the last few chapters, the book was quite comical. What I found the most hilarious was the Raspberry cordial incident in which Anne invites her best friend Diana to her house for tea and accidentally makes her drunk by giving her wine instead of Raspberry cordial. I have to admit that like Marilla, I too felt a little sad when Anne began to grow up. I found her more fun and entertaining when she was a chatty little kid.

Apart from the story, and Anne’s character, another thing that I appreciate in this book is the underlying message of adoption that the writer leaves for the readers to ponder. I love how the writer has shed a positive light on adoption. Anne is an orphan and finds her home at Green Gables with Marilla and Mathew. They all build a life together. Having a home and a supportive family gives Anne a chance to make friends, get an education, appreciate the beauty around her, explore new opportunities, and become comfortable in her skin. Moreover, it makes her find good in other people. Through Anne’s perspective, we get to understand the importance of a home and family life.

The character of Anne reminds me of the poem ‘Leisure’ by W. H. Davies who says in the poem,

“What is this life if, full of care,

We have no time to stand and stare.

No time to stand beneath the boughs

And stare as long as sheep or cows.

No time to see, when woods we pass,

Where squirrels hide their nuts in the grass….”

You can read the rest of the poem yourself. Just trying to make the point that Anne is the complete opposite of what Davies complains about in his poem. She has all the time to “stand and stare” and to turn at “Beauty’s glance” as Davies puts it. And if she doesn’t get the time, she finds it to appreciate nature and its beauty around her. Davies would have liked Anne very much.

I highly recommend it to all those who need to read something light and fun. For me, this book deserves five stars.