Saturday, March 27, 2010

Anne of Green Gables - Lucy Maud Montgomery

Rating: 10/10

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!


Astrid (Mrs.B) said...

I'm ashamed to say I haven't read this yet. I really must. Thanks for the fabulous review!

JoAnn said...

I've never read Anne of Green Gables, either. Your review makes me want to pick it up - today!

couchpapaya said...

So excited to see this review Kals, I love this book!! It was my favorite as a young teen .... if you are into series, then there are 8 in total with the last one being Anne's daughter's book. They're all pretty good, but of course for the hard-core Anne fans since the charm of Green Gables, the farm and the childhood experiences arent there. But, I still enjoy them immensely. I think there's an additional book Chronnicles of Avonlea which are short stories but I've never read this.

I've only watched the TV version with Megan Followes as Anne Shirley, this version is great though if I recall correctly it condenses the first 2/3 books in the series. Have fun with the movie-watching, I would love to hear of you found any other versions which were fun to watch!! :)

Kim said...

I'm shocked and dismayed there are still some who haven't read this book. :0 Anne is a kindred spirit of mine. She is on my new 100 Best Books list.

I read the book Before Green Gables by Budge Wilson -- an interesting point of view of where Anne came from before arriving at Green Gables. A little sad, but what orphan's life back then wasn't? Her indomitable spirit, optimism, curiosity, and thirst for knowledge were still present in this writing.

Kals said...

Mrs.B, JoAnn - Thanks :) Don't miss out on this lovely book.

Couchpapaya - I'm definitely going to read all the books in the series. Thanks for telling me about it. It's always tough for sequels to live up to the original but I'd love to know more of Anne so I'll keep reading :) And yes, I'll be sure to post about the movie I see!

Kim - LOL. Better late than never! 'Kindred spirit' - aww..that sums it up quite well. I adore Anne. She's a refreshing heroine. I'll add Before Green Gables to my TBR list :)

Vaishnavi said...

I am so glad that you wrote about Anne Shirley! She is one of my favouritestest heroines and if you loved this first book, you will LOVE the sequels. They are all great. I am soooo happy, it is like revisiting Anne again. These books gave me some of my happiest reading hours :) I m going to write about this one too, pretty soon.

Shweta said...

You reviewed Anne ! WOO HOO!! Sorry for going a little hysteric but love her and Gilbert and Avonlea and all. I have read it nearly 5 times and the series is one of my comfort reads.

Rilla Of Ingleside is the only sore point of the series because Anne in it is so different from what we have imagined. Also partly because it about her daughter Rilla.

The Megan Follows version is the best, though the BBC version which we saw in school was kind a boring. I own the Kevin Sullivan's Megan Follows starrer and it's a joy to watch. Hope you are able to get that DVD.

Paperback Reader said...

I adore Anne and Prince Edward Island was somewhere I visited often as a child (through the books, not in person). The Megan Followes DVD collection is fabulous and I've been considering a re-watch lately.

I've also been wanting to read L.M. Montgomery's Emily series recently as I never did.

Meredith said...

What a lovely review! I haven't read this one yet, and now I want to more than ever!

Booksnyc said...

The Anne of Green Gables series is a favorite of mine from childhood. Thanks for bringing me back to a favorite with your great review!

Kals said...

Vaishnavi - I'm glad you're happy and enjoyed reading about our favourite Anne! I think the book is a wonderful comfort read like Shweta says :)

Shweta - This book has so many fans and I'm glad to join the club! I'm looking forward to the movie and the rest of the series :)

Claire - Another of my friends recommended the Emily series too, saying she liked it more than Anne's series! I'd love to read whatever L.M.Montgomery wrote :)

Meredith - Thanks for visiting my blog and be sure to read the book :)

Booksync - Thank you so much for the compliment!

Priya Iyer said...

i ADORE this book :) am glad you read it.. anne is such a cute heroine, she can charm the socks off your feet, isnt she?

look forward to reading the other books in the anne series..

Hannah Stoneham said...

I love love love this book - I read it when I was a child and it is still with me. Anne is probably the most touching heroine that I have ever come across!

Great post - thanks


Eni said...

I have always wondered whether some of Enid Blyton's books were inspired by Anne of Green Gables. Nonetheless, I am heartened of youe mentioning taking characters of an Enid Blyton book. Well, I am glad to inform you that i have published a book on Enid Blyton, titled, The Famous Five: A Personal Anecdotage (
Stephen Isabirye

The Book Mole said...

This book has been on my TBR pile for a long long time, and you have now given me some motivation to read it soon. It sounds delightful, and I like the comparision to Enid Blyton and Jane Austen - two of my favorite authors!

Kals said...

Priya - She sure is charming and I can't wait to get more of her!

Hannah - I think it would have been an even better experience to have read this book when you are young! It sure does leave an unforgettable impact and thanks :)

Eni - Ah..since I've read Blyton first and then Anne, I felt it was this way round. I'll check out that book!

Book - Do read it! I'm sure you'll love it :)

Heather G. said...

Kim, I am one of the crazy ones who has not read one of these books! I loved the movies, though, and they've been on my list for far too long. Great review, Kals!

I have some awards for you!

Kals said...

I need to see the movie and I'm glad you loved it :) The book is great too and thanks :)

Thanks for the awards as well!

Anonymous said...

I read and liked the first three books of this series but somehow, it started to get a little repetitive. I couldn't manage to finish the 4th book, and then I dropped it.

But, I remember loving the innocence of the character and the lovely decriptions of Prince Edward Island. Really made me dream of visiting the place

Anonymous said...

I absolutely adore this book and count it among my best-loved stories! Sometime, I am going to read the rest of these books. Good review Kals :)

Alyce said...

You know I haven't ever met anyone who has read Anne of Green Gables who hasn't at least liked her, and most absolutely love her story. I watched the movies first and love them just as much as the books (except for the 3rd one which doesn't follow the books at all and is better skipped).


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