In early June, it was a sunny afternoon that Anne Shirley first stepped out of the train at Bright River Station and stepped right into our hearts. There was just something about this unassuming little girl with red hair who was orphaned at a really young age that tugged at our heartstrings. It is not just Anne Shirley but the whole of Avonlea – the village in which the titular Green Gables is situated and Anne’s new home – and its inhabitants that captivates the readers. This beautiful little village in Prince Edward Island, Canada, provides a picturesque landscape with its wholesome inhabitants and makes for a really great setting for the book. Reading this book is an experience unlike no other, an experience that cannot be diminished anytime soon.
Anne of Green Gables (Review)
Lucy Maud Montgomery – a Canadian author who had written more than 20 novels, 530 short stories, 500 poems, and 30 essays throughout her lifetime- first gifted this book to the world in the year 1908. Following the tremendous success of the first book, Anne of Green Gables, L. M. Montgomery wrote eight sequels to this, including a short story collection of the name, The Blythes are Quoted (also known as The Road to Yesterday). These sequels were all centered around Anne, her adventures in Avonlea, and Prince Edward Island. The final books feature Anne and her growing family, with a few of them being based on her kids, their lives, and adventures.
The author had also written a few short story collections set in Avonlea that were based on the lives of the villagers. These short stories only included mentions of Avonlea’s most famous resident, Anne; she was not the central focus of these short stories, unlike the main series of which they were a spin off. Anne of Green Gables was not the only series written by the author; she had also written a few series – the Emily Trilogy, Pat of the Silver Bush, The Story Girl. These series have devoted fans of their own but none so great as the Anne of Green Gables series, which helped to make Lucy Maud Montogomery a well-known international figure who was famous during and after her lifetime.
Anne of Green Gables was the first classic I ever read. Having no interest in reading classics prior to my first foray into the genre, I was initially attracted to the gorgeous edition of the book that was available in my local library. After reading the first few chapters, I was of the opinion that this was not the book for me, I would have ended up not reading it, but I am so glad that I did not end up doing that. I would have missed out on my most favorite book of all time had I given up without reading it fully. Once I started reading it, the book held me in its grips, the story was so enthralling, and the imageries it conjured were so vivid in my mind’s eye.
Anne was a delightful heroine; she was a precocious little thing whose antics and adventures never failed to delight the reader. This book had everything; the beautiful quotes, the breathtaking landscape of Avonlea, the friendship between Anne and Diana, the schoolyard rivalries, the struggles faced by teenagers who had vivid imaginations, the joys of childhood, all written in a language so beautiful as to evoke a sense of nostalgia in the hearts of the reader. Simply put, reading this book was an experience; one could not but help envision themselves as a part of the story as it played out right in front of their eyes.
I was not able to get over this book after reading it just once. I needed to read it again and needed to experience the delights of Avonlea once more. So I read it – once, twice, thrice, again and again until I could quote the lines of the book by heart. Maybe that’s how this book became an important part of my life, from childhood to date.
I was not satisfied with just reading this book. I needed to talk about it to my heart’s content, and that is why I convinced my friends to read it, for no other reason than to have someone to share this joy with. There are memories of so many beautiful days spent in the school library with my bosom friend on the side while we read about Anne and her bosom friends. We considered anyone who read Anne of Green Gables a kindred spirit, someone worth befriending. Such was the impact that Anne of Green Gables had in my life when I was a young schoolgirl, with an imagination that rivaled that of Anne Shirley’s.
Having found out that there were sequels to this book, I made it my life’s mission to find and read them all. I can now state that I am the proud owner of all the books in this series. Anne’s life changed and progressed throughout the different books. The stories would gain more nuance as she grew older, adding more perspectives as it followed the different stages in her life. Throughout these transitional periods, the settings also changed – from a college in Redmond, a house in Four Winds Harbour, Glen St. Mary, and finally to Ingleside. Despite the changes that took place in the story, one thing remained the same, Anne. Anne Shirley will continue to remain the same in the hearts of many readers, new and old.
I can wax poetic about the Anne of Green Gables all day long, but there will only be one conclusion to this monologue, my everlasting love for the series. I love these books unconditionally; I have never closed this book with a heart that was not full or with nary a tear in my eyes. For this, I will always remain grateful to Lucy Maud Montgomery for leaving behind a literary legacy that has touched the lives of so many readers, including mine.
Anne of Green Gables
In early June, it was a sunny afternoon that Anne Shirley first stepped out of the train at Bright River Station and stepped right into our hearts. There was just something about this unassuming little girl with red hair who was orphaned at a really young age that tugged at our heartstrings. It is not just Anne Shirley but the whole of Avonlea - the village in which the titular Green Gables is situated and Anne's new home - and its inhabitants that captivates the readers. This beautiful little village in Prince Edward Island, Canada, provides a picturesque landscape with its wholesome inhabitants and makes for a really great setting for the book. Reading this book is an experience unlike no other, an experience that cannot be diminished anytime soon.
Author: Lucy Maud Montgomery