Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Anne of Green Gables by L.M.Montgomery


It has been YEARS since I've read this book. I knew I liked it, but it's hard for me to remember the book when I watched the PBS miniseries so many times as a kid. I was curious to see if it would still stand up in my mind. And it did. I love this book!

My older sister had all the Anne of Green Gables books, and I'm sure she's the first one to loan me a copy. I just can't remember when I read it last. We read this for book club, and I'm excited to go see the musical in a few weeks.
So, I think the book works because Anne is such a lovable character. From the beginning her life is so tragic, you want to feel sorry for her. She talks incessantly, so she should be annoying, but she's not. I love the way she charms everyone she meets. They all end up loving her.
Aunt Josephine says, "Anne has as many shades as the rainbow, and every shade is the prettiest while it lasts....she makes me love her and I like people who make me love them. It saves me so much trouble in making myself love them."
A few of my favorite things Anne says in this book:
"Why must people kneel down to pray? If I really wanted to pray I'll tell you what I'd do. I'd go out into a great big field all alone or into the deep, deep woods, and I'd look up into the sky--up--up--up--into that lovely blue sky that looks as if there was no end to its blueness. And then I'd just feel a prayer."
I love all her talk about kindred spirits. I feel the same way, there are those people you meet and you know just know you are going to be good friends. Isn't discovering a new friend the best feeling?
"Miss Barry was a kindred spirit, after all. You wouldn't think so to look at her, but she is.....Kindred spirits are not so scarce as I used to think. It's splendid to find out there are so many of them in the world."
"Oh, I was so nervous, Diana. When Mr. Allan called out my name I really cannot tell how I ever got up on that platform. I felt as if a million eyes were looking at me and through me, and for one dreadful moment I was sure I couldn't begin at all. Then I thought of my lovely puffed sleeves and took courage. I knew that I must live up to those sleeves, Diana. So I started in."
This is one of my favorite passages, I actually laughed out loud.
L.M. Montgomery has a great style of write super descriptive passages without being obnoxious. My 6th grader is working on descriptive writing at school, and with all the adjectives and metaphors he's trying to squeeze in, its often painful to read. But, I appreciate what his teacher is encouraging, and I think Lucy Maud is an amazing example.

It was a pretty road, running along between snug farmsteads, with now and again a bit of balsamy fir wood to drive through or a hollow where wild plums hung out their filmy bloom. The air was sweet with the breath of many apple orchards and the meadows sloped away in the distance to horizon mists of pearl and purple. Really good, right?
When I read this as a kid I had no concept of tragic loss or sorrow. So I'm sure these next few passages didn't mean much. This time they made me cry because they are so perfectly expressed.
"It was the last night before sorrow touched her life; and no life is ever quite the same again when once that cold, sanctifying touch has been laid upon it."
"It seems like disloyalty to Matthew, somehow, to find pleasure in these things now that he has gone...Today Diana said something funny and I found myself laughing. I thought when it happened I could never laugh again. And it somehow seems as if I oughtn't to."
"We resent the thought that anything can please us when someone we love is no longer here to share the pleasure with us, and we almost feel as if we were unfaithful to our sorrow when we find our interest in life returning to us."
"When I future seemed to stretch out before me like a straight road. I thought I could see along it for many a milestone. Now there is a bend in it. I don't know what lies around the bend, but I'm going to believe that the best does...I wonder how the road beyond it goes--what there is of green glory and soft, checkered light and shadows--what new landscapes--what new beauties--what curves and hills and valleys further on."
If it's been awhile since you've read Anne, maybe these quotes will put you in the mood to pick it up again. I'm so glad I did!


Just Julie said...

We read this for book club a couple of years ago and I LOVED reading it again. I used to always wish my middle name had the "e" at the end of Ann and would often write it that way. Definitely a must read for everyone :).

Sharlene, Mom, Grammy said...

Oh,my, excellent report, Kammy. Yes, indeed, your quotes got me in the mood to revisit Anne of Green Gables. Such good, good quotes. I like Aunt Josephine's. And I love the long quote on tragic loss or sorrow.

Love your blog; always gives me good ideas for reading, and if I don't ever get around to reading something, well, I've enjoyed your book review, anyway! :)

The GruCru said...

I read them for the first time not too long ago and they're great.

Betsy said...

I love Anne. When I met two of my best friends from high school for the very first time (they were dramatic twin sisters), they insisted we were "kindred!" I hadn't read Anne then (which appalled them), but I did soon after and had to agree -- we were kindred! :)

My girls and I laughed and laughed at that darling Anne Shirley when I read this book out-loud to them a few years ago. Thanks for that great review -- I think I need to revisit her!!

Have you read AM Montgomery's The Blue Castle? I love that one, too. It's short and wonderful.

Kammy T said...

I haven't read The Blue Castle. I'm putting it on my list!