maricar's Reviews > Anne of Green Gables

Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery
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Apr 26, 11

bookshelves: classics, fiction-for-youngsters, series

Anne of the ann-with-extra-‘e’, I luff your life…

This novel was one which I’ve always come across in the ‘Classics’ shelves – whether it be under the cheerful, bright lights of our local bookstore or among the dim, musty corners of my uni library. And precisely because it’s been readily accessible, I never really felt the need to get hold of it. Don’t judge me!

Deciding which books to read first and which ones to set aside for a later time is proving to be a real dilemma. And the fact that it took me only now to read Anne of Green Gables is a profound testament to the ass-hattery that is my reading priorities.

The short of it: I loved the pace, the serenity, and overall seeming little cares that never reallyworried the denizens of Avonlea.

If the greatest preoccupations back then were finding a bosom buddy to love “…as long as the sun and moon shall endure”, hosting a successful and very “grown-uppish” afternoon tea engagement, and pulling off a token – but still highly-dramatic – adaptation of an Arthurian legend by the side of a brook, I think I’d very much want to swap places with someone from said time.

Anne is a gem of a character. From her surprisingly-unannoying flair for the dramatics, endearing sincerity and earnestness, deep love for nature… not to mention, that propensity to imagine, and imagine big, she is one terribly unforgettable gal.

What’s even more engaging (and, indeed, proved to be the novel’s more comic parts), her vivid imagination and wayward tongue is almost always met with a long-suffering sigh or sarcastic quip from the indubitable Marilla. Trust her to bring Anne humorously down from the heights of ecstasy brought about by musings gone overboard.

In a way, I echo Marilla’s sentiments when she later on admitted feeling a sense of loss for the girl that Anne was. This novel, I think, inadvertently shows the intangible tragedy that comes with growing into adulthood – no matter how much one might wish it so, there’s a piece in every one that’s inevitably lost or shed off which can never be regained. And adulthood will be there to show you how tough, demanding, bitter, and full of worries life is.

Satiric as this whole novel might be, what with showing the lengths with which young girls back then comically worried more about their toilette and sleeve puffs and being ungainly paired off with a boy from school, and perhaps highlighting just how utterly provincial a quiet, tucked-in village could be from the world at large, Montgomery nevertheless drives her message home.

For me, it’s a nostalgia for one’s childhood innocence and phase of carefree abandonment (wholesome abandonment, mind!), a deep envy of living in the country where trees and brooks and profusions of wildflowers vie with one’s space, and the utter ease of knowing that, since one is brought up unaware of the existence of superfluous things like the latest gadgets or the apparent fashion to be jaded about life in general… the biggest pleasures could actually be had from the simplest of things.

And one is, indeed, incredibly richer for it.

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