Book Twenty: Anne of Green Gables

Anne of Green Gables, L.M. Montgomery

Can you believe I never read this book as a little girl?! Seriously, what kind of little girl was I? I now feel, after having finished this at the age of 34, that I must have been much less a girl and, hence, a woman for not having read this until now.

I finished it yesterday morning, sitting in Blackbird Bakery on Bainbridge Island, drinking coffee and wiping away tears. Every few sentences near the end up the book had me choked up and misty eyed. I want to quote endlessly from the book, just to show any of you few people out there who have never read this, how beautiful and perfect in every way this book is. But I will select just a few of my favorite bits.

Here's a moment after Marilla has chastised Anne for something or other, and Anne has proclaimed that she is improving all the time, and will surely soon be more practical and less daydreamy and romantic.

But Matthew, who had been sitting mutely in his corner, laid a hand on Anne's shoulder when Marilla had gone out.

"Don't give up all your romance, Anne," he whispered shyly, "a little of it is a good thing - not too much, of course - but keep a little of it, Anne, keep a little of it.

Or how about the moment that Anne and Diana have returned home to Avonlea from their visit to the Exhibition and to stay with Miss Barry in town?

"Oh, but it's good to be alive and to be going home," breathed Anne.

Or, after the concert where Anne does her recitation, and her friends are all exclaiming over the rich women with their diamonds and jewels and envying their wealth, and Jane says:

"Wouldn't you just love to be rich, girls?"

"We are rich," said Anne staunchly. "Why, we have sixteen years to our credit, and we're happy as queens, and we've all got imaginations, more or less. Look at that sea, girls - all silver and shallow and vision of things not seen. We couldn't enjoy its loveliness any more if we had millions of dollars and ropes of diamonds. You wouldn't change into any of those women if you could."

Or all the little things that Anne says, that are so simple and yet so right.

"Dear old world," she murmured, "you are very lovely, and I am very glad to be alive in you."

I honestly do feel like I have found a kindred spirit in Anne, and I can only hope that she would have found me to be a kindred spirit, too.


Blogger Make!Do! said...

I am so happy you loved this book - it is absolutely one of my favourite favourites. I also personally feel that the rest of the Series lives up to the first - oh and how I love Matthew and Marilla.

June 29, 2009 at 7:37 AM  
Blogger librarianista said...

Oh, me too. I really enjoyed reading your review--almost as good as reading again myself for the first time.

July 28, 2009 at 4:18 PM  

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