I wasn’t planning to reread Anne of Green Gables – or any book for that matter – this year, but the book began to call to me several months ago. Suddenly, Anne Shirley is everywhere. Just in the last week, I wrote about the life lessons I learned from Anne of Green Gables, and I learned the CBC is working on a new film adaptation, set to premiere in early 2016. In line with this resurgence, here is my review of L.M. Montgomery‘s most famous novel, Anne of Green Gables.
Let me begin by saying that the 2008 Puffin edition – pictured above – quickly became my favorite. I’m not the biggest fan of change, so, although I enjoyed Lauren Child’s illustrations for her Charlie and Lola series, her version of Anne was not my version. Mine was the 1982 Starfire Anne, who smiled out from the boxed set that had been a bookshelf staple for ten years. This strange, pale impostor bothered me. But the Puffin edition’s recipes and glossary placed it far ahead of the pack. It’s the perfect gift for young readers who may have difficulty navigating the language of early-20th century Canada without assistance.
Speaking of which, I remembered Anne of Green Gables being intimidating in its wordiness, and this perceived difficulty had stuck with me from childhood. That, I believe, is why I put off rereading the Anne books for so long: no one wants to feel ignorant, especially an English major reading a children’s book.
Thankfully, my experience rereading Anne was a perfect one. Montgomery’s prose is the simple foil to Anne Shirley’s flowery speech. The result is a book that’s simple enough to make for a light read, but interesting enough not to bore.
Reading Anne of Green Gables was just as delightful at 25 as it was at 10. Its heroine’s foibles are just as comedic and endearing today as they were years ago. Reading Anne today is like watching your past self navigate life. Sure, you weren’t perfect, and you make yourself cringe at times, but you know it’s all going to turn out right in the end.
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
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Image credit: Starfire