Anne of Green Gables is one of my favourite books of all time. So much so that it’s difficult to analyse what I love about Lucy Maud Montgomery’s writing. Everything? This isn’t going to be a very balanced book review.
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.Anne of Green Gables, Lucy Maud Montgomery
First and foremost, for me, are the characters. Anne herself is so enchanted, and enchanting. She is different from her peers, but they can’t help falling in love with her anyway. But I love the other characters just as much. There is no more perfect man in literature than Gilbert Blythe, as far as I am concerned. And Matthew and Marilla are so beautifully drawn in their growing affection for this ‘witch child’ that they’ve accidentally adopted. I will concede that a few of Anne’s school friends are a little insubstantial but that makes sense as, from Anne’s point of view, they pale in comparison to her ‘bosom friend’ Diana.
Overhead was one long canopy of snowy fragrant bloom. Below the boughs the air was full of a purple twilight and far ahead a glimpse of painted sunset sky shone like a great rose window at the end of a cathedral aisle.Anne of Green Gables, Lucy Maud Montgomery
Then there’s the setting. Lucy Maud Montgomery makes Prince Edward Island seem like a kind of unspoiled paradise on earth. I’ve never visited, but would love to spend a whole year there soaking up all the natural beauties that make Anne love her home so much.
Though it’s hard to describe the overarching ‘plot’ of Anne of Green Gables, the lack is more than made up for with character-driven moments. I could write a whole list of them, but for brevity’s sake I’ll just mention that Matthew buying Anne her dream dress will never not be touching. And Gilbert giving up the Avonlea school for Anne is one of the most romantic gestures ever, even more so because it fits perfectly with the hints we’ve been given at Gilbert’s character.
I know that Anne of Green Gables isn’t for everyone. But for me, it’s an absolute joy to read and I’m sorry that I let it sit on my shelf for so long between rereads.
Next in the series: Anne of Avonlea.