Tuesday, 8 May 2018

Anne of Green Gables - L M Montgomery (and more!)

Well!  here's Anne Shirley, arriving at Green Gables to live with Marilla and Matthew, brother and sister both over sixty. They had "ordered a boy" to adopt;  to help out on the farm, and Anne is what they got.  What a shock she's going to be for them.  She's an orphan, who never thought she would have a "real" home;  she can't stop talking, she makes up stories, she invents names for the places around her (The local pond becomes The Lake of Shining Waters).  She makes friends, particularly Diana who lives nearby.  She's always in trouble too because she's had no-one to guide her - Marilla "harrumps", and Matthew smiles and gradually Anne settles in to life at Green Gables, doing chores, going to school, making friends. There is joy, laughter and tears too in this tale of a child who is finally loved and who loves back fiercely.

This was going to be a one off as they say these days, but the book was so enjoyed by its readers, the publishers demanded a follow up.  That became Anne of Avonlea, and Anne is now seventeen.  No chance of college for her, she has become the local schoolmistress, and new children are at Green Gables too, for a second cousin of Marilla's has died and there is no-one to take on the six year old twins.  So Davy and Dora come to Avonlea to live with Marilla and Anne.  More adventures ensue, and every page is a delight.

Were these books written for children?  Of course they were - but children of all ages.  I read Anne of Green Gables in my early teens, and now, many years later I came to it afresh and loved it so much I decided to read the whole series which I had never read previously.  Next up will be Anne of the Island  followed by Anne of Windy Willows, Anne's House of Dreams and Anne of Ingleside.

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