Anne Shirley loves big words and wishes that her name was something romantic, like 'Cordelia'. She loves to use her imagination and lets it run wild. She can talk and talk and talk and can sometimes do the most unbelievable things, shocking all and sundry. She has flaming red hair that she hates and an equally fiery temper. And there's no way one cannot fall in love with her.
It's been a while since I was totally charmed by a protagonist. But Anne Shirley, the girl who turns up when Matthew and Marilla Cuthberth of Green Gables had wanted to adopt a boy who would help in the farm, is a heroine like no other. I'll admit I wasn't really excited about the idea of a 'vivacious, energetic, lively, chatterbox of a girl' because several times, authors get the character wrong and she turns out to be irritating, pretentious and annoying.
But Lucy Maud Montgomery is a fantastic writer who knows exactly what she wants her characters to be like and she gets it right. Anne is a most original heroine. There are dialogues where Anne speaks for pages, but never is the dialogue boring or pompous. Nor does Anne sound too mature for her age, which is another problem I've seen in books with young protagonists.
Anne of Green Gables is all heart and soul and makes for a beautiful read which will make you emotionally bond with the characters. It made me smile, laugh, reminisce with nostalgia and indeed cry at some parts.
The book is a bit like taking characters out of an Enid Blyton book, but giving a Jane Austen touch to the narrative. The girls are wonderfully adorable, have their own flaws and it's fun to see them grow up. All the women in this book are fabulous characters, skilfully crafted. There's harsh yet caring Mrs. Lynde, the 'bosom friend' Diana, the inspirational teacher Miss Stacy and of course, perhaps my favourite secondary characters, Marilla and Matthew Cuthbert. And as for Gilbert Blythe...don't you known that strange feeling when some character you read in a book resembles someone you know?
This book is an easy read with a witty narrative, excellent dialogues and some breath-taking descriptions of nature that bring Green Gables to life and make you feel as though you're walking past Lover's Lane and seeing the beauty of the Lake of Shining Waters. Lucy Maud Montgomery is a joy to read and her Anne, our Anne, is an unforgettable heroine whom I look forward to following as she goes about her life in the sequels to this book. I'm planning to watch the BBC version and movie version of this great book.
If you haven't become part of Anne's wonderful world, I suggest you go pick the book and read it. It's never too late!