Everyone’s favorite redhead, the spunky Anne Shirley, begins her adventures at Green Gables, a farm outside Avonlea, Prince Edward Island. When the freckled girl realizes that the elderly Cuthberts wanted to adopt a boy instead, she begins to try to win them and, consequently, the reader, over.
I read this book many years ago so this time around I decided to listen to someone else tell it. Mary Sarah does an amazing job of capturing the magnificent world that Lucy Maud Montgomery created. Anne is full of descriptions in her imagination. From the Lake of Shinning waters to the White Way of Delight and Mary Sarah holds nothing back.
This book takes on different meanings reading it first as an adolescent and then as an adult. I remember thinking what a wonderful story and how much I just loved Anne. Now however as an adult with children of my own I think how fortunate Anne was that the mistake was made and that the Cuthberts decided to keep her. She has a very hard childhood before them. No childhood at all actually. She grew up being the adult and it’s no wonder her imagination takes over. It is an escape for her.
Anne’s friendship with Diana is important aspect of this book. Up until this point Anne never had a real friend. She throws herself at this friendship full force and Diana happily complies. Diana is truly the Kindred Spirit Anne has always wished for.
Then there is Gilbert Blythe. Oh how Anne hates Gilbert after her calls her carrot. Being a red head myself I can tell you this is one of my most hated nicknames. The extend Anne goes to not to forgive him is pure redheaded stubbornness.
Mary Sarah did such a wonderful job of narrating this that I have already picked up Anne of Avonlea with her as the narrator. It takes a special voice to bring this book to life and she captures all the grandeur of this magnificent series.
Some of my favorite Anne quotes:
“People laugh at me because I use big words. But if you have big ideas, you have to use big words to express them, haven’t you?”
“Why must people kneel down to pray? If I really wanted to pray I’ll tell you what I’d do. I’d go out into a great big field all alone or in the deep, deep woods and I’d look up into the sky—up—up—up—into that lovely blue sky that looks as if there was no end to its blueness. And then I’d just feel a prayer.”
“Red hair is my life long sorrow.”
“You’re not eating anything,” said Marilla sharply, eying her as if it were a serious shortcoming. Anne sighed.
I can’t. I’m in the depths of despair. Can you eat when
you are in the depths of despair?”
I’ve never been in the depths of despair, so I can’t say,” responded Marilla.
Weren’t you? Well, did you ever try to IMAGINE you were in
the depths of despair?”
No, I didn’t.”
Then I don’t think you can understand what it’s like. It’s very uncomfortable a feeling indeed.”