I have loved Anne of Green Gables since I was about 9 years old. My Aunt Jill bought my sister an illustrated copy of the book and read some of it aloud to us when they visited one time. I think that’s when I found out that my cousin, Anne, is named after Anne Shirley. The “e” in her name suddenly became very important.
Years later my sister and I became obsessed with the Canadian mini-series. We had tapped it off of TV – the Disney Channel, I think – and we watched it over and over again. Years later I bought the DVDs (for Anne of Green Gables and Anne of Avonlea), and I continued to watch the movies whenever I had the chance. Anne of Green Gables was my comfort movie, until the Kiera Knightley version of Pride and Prejudice came along.
I loved Anne, with her red hair and temper. I could probably recite that movie to you by heart. For sure, I can quote along with the movie. But I’d still never read the book until last month when we read it for my YA Book Club. I can’t write a traditional review of such a classic work of literature, but here are my thoughts.
Thoughts on Anne of Green Gables
- The mini-series is very well done. They captured every important scene from the book. Seriously, I think there were a few differences in minor details, but only 1 or 2 things that were different. It felt like a re-read almost.
- Rachel made the dress with puffed sleeves? What?! That kind of blew my mind.
- I listened to the new Rachel McAdams audio version on Audible, and she did a good job.
- The dialog is hysterical! Anne talks so much. It didn’t come across quite as well in the mini-series, but I can’t believe how much of the book is Anne recounting things to Matthew or Marilla instead of the narrator actually telling the story.
- Along that vein though, I don’t know if I would have liked the book if I hadn’t already been in love with the character of Anne. It’s a completely character-driven novel. Sure there are a ton of anecdotal happenings, but there isn’t a ton of overall plot progression (except Anne getting older of course). You know how I feel about character-driven novels.
- There are so many quotable lines in this book. I can see why it’s a classic.
- I love Marilla! She’s so practical. I always related to Anne when watching the movie because she seems like the main character, but I almost think Marilla is the main character of the book. Or maybe it’s just that I listened to it now through the lens of being a mother. I related to Marilla a lot.
- Who is the intended audience of this book? I often hear of people discovering this series when they were young girls, but because Matthew and Marilla play a huge role, and L.M. Montgomery gives us their point of view a lot, is this really a children’s or young adult book? I’m not sure.
- I had a hard time rating this book on Goodreads. If I were rating on enjoyment of the book alone, I think I would have gone with 3 stars because I didn’t love all the descriptions or lack of plot. And because it’s a classic, it seems kind of awful to give it anything less than 5 stars. But because of my love of the character of Anne and my desire to rate my feelings on the book, I settled on 4 stars.