by L. M. Montgomery
Well, this one’s been a long time coming, which shouldn’t be entirely surprising. I––like, I suspect, most people who enjoy reading a lot––have accumulated a large stack of books over the years. I mean, I’m slowly getting through it, I think, though it’s hard to tell if I’m actually making any progress with the rate at which books keep getting added to the pile. Anne of Green Gables was a book that made its way into my collection quite some time ago, and although I eventually planned on getting to it, nothing really spurred me along until I read The Promise of Canada and remembered just how far behind I am in my classic Canadian literature. And so, here we are.
When Marilla and Matthew Cuthbert try to adopt a young boy to help Matthew on the Green Gables farm, they accidentally adopt a talkative, imaginative girl named Anne Shirley. Not having the heart to send her back, Marilla strives to bring her up right. Anne of Green Gables follows the trials the impulsive Anne goes through when trying to be good, and to fit in at Green Gables and the rest of the community.
Anne of Green Gables first of all struck me as being Wodehouse-esque, in that we follow a very distinct structure from chapter to chapter as Anne gets in and out of all sorts of scrapes––scrapes that just happen to be much more innocent in nature than those that Bertie Wooster seems to get into on the regular. And, like Wodehouse, the writing is so delightful that I don’t mind it when things get a bit formulaic. In fact, I think “delightful” is a very fitting way to describe the book at large. I love the passages where Anne talks and talks without a breather; all the significant characters are brimming with personality; description of the landscape the author clearly loved was often spectacular; and I frequently found myself touched with certain sentiments, always well-expressed, or different plot-points.
Anne of Green Gables really is lovely in many significant ways. It’s no surprise to me that it has been such an enduring book.