Last month’s Blogger’s Book Club choice was Anne of Green Gables chosen by Jennifer Svajlenko Smith. I was happy to see this suggested as, with exams and projects and other stuff going on, I didn’t want to be getting into any heavy reading.
It’s a book that I feel is geared towards young teenage girls. It’s a lovely, easy read, and full of the most fabulous descriptions of characters and landscapes. I don’t know how it escaped my attention when I was younger as it’s exactly the sort of book I would have loved.
Marilla and Matthew Cuthbert (brother and sister) of Green Gables make the decision to adopt a boy who will help them with the work around their farm. They are, therefore, surprised when Anne (with an ‘e’) Shirley is sent to them. Anne is a talkative little girl whose imagination and outspoken nature have a habit of getting her into trouble. Matthew, a shy, retiring sort, warms to her instantly. Marilla, who is more reserved, initially attempts to send Anne back but has a change of heart.
Anne’s red hair and freckles are the bane of her life and she laments them often, but when others pass comment she flares up, resulting in her having to apologise for her actions. When she reacts to Mrs. Lynde’s comments on her appearance she does so by insulting her and is then made to stay in her room by Marilla until she apologises. When eventually she apologises she does it so dramatically that Marilla is astonished by how Anne relishes the drama.
Anne attends the local school, where she enters into academic competition with Gilbert Blythe after he teases her over her hair and calls her ‘carrots’. She desires to engage with ‘kindred spirits’ and finds one of these in Diana who becomes her ‘bosom friend’.
As Anne matures, Marilla begins to realise how much she means to her, and Anne, in turn, realises how important Green Gables has become in her life. The book culminates in Anne having to make a life changing decision in relation to her future and that of Green Gables. It takes an unexpected, romantic twist at the end that hooks the reader into wanting to read more. Luckily we can find out what happens next in the rest of the series – eight books in total.
Personally I feel I can’t stop at reading just the first one, and look forward to reading the rest of them very soon.