Skip to main content

Review: Anne of Green Gables, by LM Montgomery

Pages: 308
Original date of publication: 1908
My edition: 1998 (Bantam)
Why I decided to read: re-red of an old favorite
How I acquired my copy: Amazon, July 2011

Anne of Green Gables is a book that’s obviously a classic. Everyone knows the story of Anne, Marilla and Matthew Cuthbert, Anne’s “bosom” friend Diana, and Gilbert, and it was a pleasure to re-read this book—inspired by recently reading The Heroine’s Bookshelf, a collection of essays about life lessons learned from fictional characters. The lesson to be leaned from Anne is happiness—despite her circumstance as an unloved, unwanted orphan, she can still use her imagination to see her situation in a positive light. Anne could easily come across as too sugary-sweet for most people, but I think her optimism is refreshing.

What I’d forgotten about the book is how much time passes in the course of the story—Anne is twelve when she arrives at Green Gables, and sixteen or thereabout when she finishes school. So there’s a lot of character development that goes on in this book, with Anne learning to control her temper—and her personality never really changes. Anne still has the same outlook on life at the end of the book as at the beginning.

It intrigued me to learn that Anne of Green Gables was originally written as a book for adults—but it’s the kind of book, and series, that has universal appeal. It was also interesting to learn than Green Gables is actually modeled on a real house in Cavendish, PEI. The author also apparently modeled Anne physically after the model and actress Evelyn Nesbitt, an odd choice considering that Anne is supposed to be ugly and freckled. What I’d also forgotten about the book are the excellent descriptions of Avonlea and Prince Edward Island.


Great review. I agree that Anne was almost too sweet at times, but her enthusiasm made me forget about that. :)
Karen K. said…
I just finished rereading this! I'd never read it as a child -- she just sounded too sweet to me. I think I was mixing her up with Pollyanna. I finally read it as an adult a few years ago and loved it, now I have to read the entire series. It was the September selection for my library book group and I'm really looking forward to the discussion -- we have one man in the group, I wonder what he thought of it!
scribeswindow said…
I love Anne of Green Gables and I love the series with Megan Follows too. My all time favourites. I intend to read the first book to my children when they get older.

Popular posts from this blog

Review: Forever Amber, by Kathleen Winsor

Pages: 972 Originally published: 1944 My edition: 2000 (Chicago Review Press) How I acquired my copy:, 2004

Forever Amber takes place in the 1660s, immediately follwing Charles II's ("the Merry Monarch") return of the Stuarts to the English throne. The book features Amber St. Claire, a young woman who starts out as a sixteen-year-old country girl, naieve to the workings of the world. She immediately meets Bruce Carlton, a dashing young Cavalier, with whom she has a passionate love affair in choppy intervals throughout the book. They have two children together, but Bruce won't marry her for the reason he tells his friend Lord Almsbury: that Amber just isn't the kind of woman one marries.

Upon following Bruce to London, he goes to Virginia, leaving her to fend for herself. What follows is a series of affairs and four marriages, with Bruce coming back from America now and then. Amber's marriages are imprudent: her first husband is a gambler, her second is…

Review: Jane Austen's Letters, ed. by Deirdre Le Faye

Pages: 667 Original date of publication: 2011 My copy: 2011 (Oxford University Press) Why I decided to read: How I acquired my copy:, April 2013
This is a compilation of many of Jane Austen’s letters, most of them sent to her sister Cassandra between 1796 and 1817, the year of her death. Although many of Austen’s letters were destroyed by her sister in order to preserve the family reputation, the collection contains over 160 letters in which Austen gives her sister details about her life in Chawton—as well as giving us a tantalizing glimpse of what was going through her mind as she was writing her novels (especially the novel that was to become Pride and Prejudice, First Impressions). There are other letters here, too, giving advice to her niece and professional correspondence to publishers—as well as a couple of letters that were written by Cassandra Austen after Jane’s death.
To the sisters, the letters acted in the way that phone calls do today; Austen’s news is all about pe…

Review: Midnight in Peking, by Paul French

Pages: 259 Original date of publication: 2013 My copy: 2013 (Penguin) Why I decided to read: How I acquired my copy: Phoenix bookstore, May 2013
In January 1937, the body of a young British girl, Pamela Werner, was found near Peking’s Fox Tower. Although two detectives, one British and the other Chinese, spent months on the case, the case was never solved completely, and the case was forgotten in the wake of the invasion of the Japanese. Frustrated, Pamela’s father, a former diplomat, tried to solve the crime. His investigation took him into the underbelly of Peking society and uncovered a secret that was worse than anything he could have imagined.
At first, I thought that this would be a pretty straightforward retelling of a true crime, but what Paul French (who spent seven years researching the story) reveals in this book is much more than that. Foreign society in Peking in the 1930s was stratified, with the British colonials at the top and the White Russian refugees at the bottom, but…