Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Green Gables in all its Glory

I, who read so many books during my childhood, managed to somehow bypass Lucy Maud Montgomory's Anne series. These books, some of the most classic in all of children's literature, strangely never made it to my library. Yes, I must have read Anne of Green Gables when I was very young - I have a vague memory of it - but somehow I never expanded into the rest of her books.

Finally, with a trip to Prince Edward Island looming, and the prospect of visiting the actual Green Gables in the near future, I decided to rediscover Anne. And boy, am I glad I did!
The character of Anne Shirley is forever going to be inspirational and appealing to readers of all ages. Good literature is timeless, and the Anne books are definitely good literature!
At Cavendish, in Prince Edward Island, we got to see Montgomory's homestead, as well as the actual Green Gables that the location in the book was based on.

Also in the area are the actual Haunted Wood and Lovers' Lane that Montgomory named as a child. It was fantastic to walk on the paths that Montgomory walked almost every day, and to visit the foundations of her home (the actual structure had collapsed). I was hoping against hope that there would be a real Echo Lodge, but that was only in Montgomory's imagination. (If you don't know what Echo Lodge is, read the books!)
There are numerous parallels between Anne's and L. M. Montgomory's lives. Both were extraordinarily imaginative. Both were schoolteachers. Both were writers, and both got rejected numerous times before finally getting published. In fact, the manuscript for Anne of Green Gables was rejected seven times! Montgomory was so disappointed that she put it away. Finally, after a while, she pulled it out again - this time it was published.
Anyway, here are some of my favorite quotes from the first three books (that's all I've read so far):
"What a splendid day!. . . Isn't it good just to be alive on a day like this? I pity the people who aren't born yet for missing it. They may have good days, of course, but they can never have this one."
~(Anne) Anne of Green Gables

"Ruby Gillis says when she grow up she's going to have ever so many beaus on the string and have them all crazy about her; but I think that would be too exciting. I'd rather have just one in his right mind."
~(Anne) Anne of Green Gables

"It's always wrong to do anything you can't tell the minister's wife. It's as good as and extra conscience to have a minister's wife for your friend."
~(Anne) Anne of Green Gables

"Ruby Gilis thinks of nothing but young men, and the older she gets, the worse she is. Young men are all very well in their place, but it doesn't do to drag them into everything, does it?"
~(Anne) Anne of Green Gables

"There should have been a special commandment against nagging."
~(Marilla) Anne of Green Gables

"God's in his heaven, all's right with the world."
~(Anne) Anne of Green Gables

"You're never safe from being surprised till you're dead."
~(Mrs. Rachel) Anne of Avonlea

"Anyhow, there'll be plenty of jam in heaven, that's one comfort. . . . It was in that question Marilla taught me last Sunday. 'Why should we love God?' It says, 'Because he makes preserves, and redeems us.' Preserves is just a holy way of saying jam."
~(Davy) Anne of Avonlea

"I've been feeling a little blue - just a pale, elusive azure. It isn't serious enough for anything darker."
~(Philippa) Anne of Avonlea

"I think, perhaps, we have very mistaken ideas about heaven - what it is and what it holds for us. I don't think it can be so very different from life here as most people seem to think. I believe we'll just go on living, a good deal as we live here - and be ourselves just the same - only it will be easier to be good and to - follow the highest. All the hindrances and perplexities will be taken away, and we shall see clearly."
~(Anne) Anne of the Island

"The woods were God's first temples. . . . One can't help feeling reverent and adoring in such a place. I always feel so near Him when I walk among the pines."
~(Anne) Anne of the Island

I'm looking forward very much to Anne of Windy Poplars. The Anne books have definitely made it to the list of my favorite books that give me that awesome feeling I'm not sure how to characterize
Highly, highly, highly recommended to everyone.



  1. I used to avoid Anne of Green Gables because I assumed that Anne would be one of those sugary sweet orphans like Annie or Pollyanna. Finally, I checked out the book yesterday, and haven't been able to put it down since. The writing style is fluid and the characters are hardly one-dimensional. For a children's book, this is quite an accomplishment. Often, characters in children's books are more like caricatures, but this is not so in Anne of Green Gables.

    1. I'm so glad that you finally read Anne of Green Gables! I think there are a lot of children's books out there that are written with true quality and depth - you just need to spend some time looking. If you want to see my favorites, here's a list I wrote a few months ago: http://ravens-and-writingdesks.blogspot.com/2013/11/top-ten-tuesday-book-recommendations.html
      Practically anything E. Nesbit or Astrid Lindgren is fantastic!

      Thanks for stopping by!



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