Home Book Review Book Review: Anne of Green Gables by L. M. Montgomery

Book Review: Anne of Green Gables by L. M. Montgomery

Title: Anne of Green Gables

Author: L. M. Montgomery

Publisher: L. C. Page

Genre: Classic, Coming-of-age novel

First Publication: 1908

Language: English

Major Characters: Marilla Cuthbert, Matthew Cuthbert, Diana Barry, Gilbert Blythe, Rachel Lynde, Anne Blythe, Anne Shirley

Setting Place: Avonlea, Prince Edward Island (Canada)

Theme: The conflict between imagination and expectation; sentimentality versus emotion

Narrator: Third Person

 

Book Summary: Anne of Green Gables by L. M. Montgomery

Though Anne of Green Gables is written for all ages, it has been considered a children’s novel since the mid-twentieth century.

“Matthew Cuthbert, who’s that?” she ejaculated. “Where is the boy?” Matthew had been to the train station to fetch the child they were to adopt, a boy.

Marilla had insisted on a boy. “There wasn’t any boy,” said Matthew wretchedly. “There was only her.”

He nodded at the girl. He didn’t know her name. And he was embarrassed to realize that he had never even asked her name.

“No boy! But there must have been a boy,” insisted Marilla. “We sent word to Mrs. Spencer to bring a boy.”

“Well, she didn’t. She brought her. I asked the station-master. And I had to bring her home. She couldn’t be left there, no matter where the mistake had come in.”

“Well, this is a pretty piece of business!” ejaculated Marilla.

During this dialogue the child had remained silent, her eyes roving from one to the other, all the animation fading out of her face. Suddenly she seemed to grasp the full meaning of what had been said. Dropping her precious carpet-bag she sprang forward a step and clasped her hands.

“You don’t want me!” she cried. “You don’t want me because I’m not a boy! I might have expected it. Nobody ever did want me. I might have known it was all too beautiful to last. I might have known nobody really did want me. Oh, what shall I do? I’m going to burst into tears!”

And burst into tears the little girl did.

 

Book Review: Anne of Green Gables by L. M. Montgomery

Anne of Green Gables is the story of a young orphaned girl named, you guessed it, Anne. Born in Nova Scotia only to lose both of her parents from the fever at the age of three months, Anne has grown up in many households, never being able to stay in one place for long. As you can imagine, this has left young Anne feeling needy and unwanted.

And when siblings Marilla and Matthew decide to adopt a boy to help work on their farm, they never expect to get a girl instead. Naturally, their first instinct is to give her to someone else; but soon after, under the influence of Anne’s pleading, they decide that with them is where she shall stay.

“It’s been my experience that you can nearly always enjoy things if you make up your mind firmly that you will.”

Anne is a funny child – she’s positive and hopeful and talkative. It’s impossible not to like her. As an adult reading this I understand Marilla because the child definitely was willful and up to getting into accidental mischief, although the beginning where they didn’t want her because she was a ‘useful boy’, it was just a shame of the times. I’m glad she was around to bring so much joy around to Avonlea, Marilla, Matthew and neighbors. When she amused them with her stories, she amused me at the same time.

“Because when you are imagining, you might as well imagine something worth while.”

Each chapter is divided into an incident or event, which worked well for this type of the story. Montgomery’s writing style is a delight, especially considering how old the book is. I can see why this classic has lasted through the ages. Through the afterword I found out how much it meant in particular countries for their hope after the war. Inspiring stuff.

“I’m so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers.”

This book works so well because it takes an unconventional girl filled with hope and wonder in the world, a girl who loves Octobers, nature, beauty, kindred spirits and friends. One loyal and ambitious and full of daydreams. I think this calls to something in all of us, a type of hopeful wonder that the world is always beautiful despite whatever wrenches are thrown in the way. This isn’t the say Anne doesn’t have a funny, frightful temper or that she doesn’t hit with woes when warranted – actually she feels the intensity of lows as much as highs, making her a dramatic sort. This only makes her more endearing.


 

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