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Getting to Know Anne

  • Jun 28, 2010
The captivating tale of Anne of Green Gables, written by L. M. Montgomery and originally published in the early 1900s, has sold over 50 million copies and spawned film, theatre and television adaptations. It is one of the most popular works of Canadian Literature, and has endured in the domain of children’s fiction for over a century.

So what about this novel renders it such a timeless classic?

The novel follows the story of an unconventional orphan girl, Anne (spelt with an “e”) Shirley, who is accidentally sent in place of a boy to live and work on a farmstead in Prince Edward Island. A homely and “high strung” waif of a girl with a wild imagination, she does not immediately seem to fit into any niche of orthodox Avonlea. Through a series of trials, tribulations, and ultimately triumphs, however, Anne grows into an admirable young lady, with loving friends and a steady home at the heart of Avonlea society.

I think the greatest reason for this novel’s perennial popularity is its protagonist. Sensitive, obstinate, prideful and hot-tempered, Anne talks with the tree outside her window, dyes her hair green, and at one point emphatically claims that she “never cared about [God].” Yet despite being “next door to a perfect heathen,” something about Anne captivates not only the Cuthberts who take her in, but also the readers.

We are drawn into her world, a life fraught with temper tantrums and ruined cakes, but also of high ambitions, steadfast friendships, and lessons of growing up. Her experiences are common and ageless, another reason for this novel’s persisting popularity. Disliking one’s appearance, being humiliated in front of peers, not having the “in” clothes (be they puffed sleeves or skinny jeans) are all worldwide and time-prevailing concerns. Montgomery, with rich prose full of descriptive imagery and scraps of poetry, writes about a girl who manages to overcome these issues and find a place for herself in society while still retaining those aspects which are most endearing of her: her ability to dream, look forward optimistically, and love unconditionally.

I believe many people, girls especially, would not only enjoy reading about Anne, but benefit from it as well, as Anne is a very positive sort of character who grows up in a commendable way. Therefore, if of the 50 million copies of Anne of Green Gables sold, not one is yours - I recommend you go buy this book. Getting to know Anne (and rave passionately about her) will be well worth it. 

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June 29, 2010
What a well-written review! I agree that Anne serves as an positive character for girls. She's so darn likeable!
June 28, 2010
This excellent review made me think about why I was so happy that my daughter enjoyed the Anne books. I think the series' focus on an independent young woman who deals with life's problems bravely and is intelligent rather than beautiful sends a message that all moms want their daughters to hear. Our family "pilgrimage" to Prince Edward Island to see the setting for these novels was memorable. The area is a tourist attraction, but not a tourist trap. (As an aside, many Japanese are married on PEI because the novel is a standard English text in middle school -- a romantic location for many young ladies!)
June 28, 2010
Great review and I certainly agree this is a book all girls should read! I have always been a big fan and don't believe it will ever go out of "style".
More Anne of Green Gables (book) reviews
review by . June 21, 2010
This book is one of the cutest, sweetest, and may I say quaintest, novels I've ever read. It's positively heart warming and even the not-so-nice characters strike a loveable chord in my heart.      Every child should read this book, but girls in particular. It's something to escape from all the sex and drugs of the modern world and drags you back to a time when things like dying one's hair was a very naughty thing to do and the name Diana was considered "dreadful …
review by . June 24, 2010
   L.M. Montgomery’s Anne of Green Gables is A charmingly warm story.   When elderly siblings Matthew and Marilla Cuthbert contact an orphanage to adopt  A boy to help with the chores they can no longer handle on their own,  imagine their surprise when they are  sent  A little girl by mistake.  And not just any little girl, but one Anne Shirley;  A skinny little 11-year -old waif with a head full of bright red hair, fantastical ideas  …
review by . July 27, 2010
I have always loved this story, ever since I’ve read it I realized how lucky I am as a person. I am so amazed with the main character’s high spirit and enthusiasm despite of her impoverished life. I am definitely convinced that this story is a must-read for readers of all ages. It’s a moving story about an orphan who was adopted by a childless old couple Matthew and Marilla Cuthbert. The couple lives on their farm called Green Gables of Avonlea in Prince Edward Island, Canada. …
review by . July 07, 2010
This review might be totally biased because I absolutely adore Anne of Green Gables (I have even been to Prince Edward Island to see the Green Gable). I think you should not stop at this book, and definitely get The Complete Anne of Green Gables Boxed Set, because our lovable redhead's story continues on and many people don't even know about it! (Yes, Gilbert Blythe will still be around!) I won't go into explaining the plot because it is so famous. But I love that as a girl growing …
Quick Tip by . August 08, 2010
One of the seminal influences in my life growing up. Worth a good read, especially for nostalgia's sake.
Quick Tip by . July 12, 2010
Not a lot of action and kind of long, but there's good humor and Anne is a great heroine.
Quick Tip by . July 09, 2010
I read these books just before my teens. Totally loved them.
Quick Tip by . July 07, 2010
Amazing especially if read in L M Montgomery's green setting Prince Edward Island Canada, the most beautiful place I've ever been which makes the read even more inspiring!
Quick Tip by . July 02, 2010
Good young adult literature.
Quick Tip by . July 02, 2010
Such a nice series for young girls
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Swadhi Ranganee ()
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About this book


Anne of Green Gables is a bestselling novel by Canadian author Lucy Maud Montgomery published in 1908. It was written as fiction for readers of all ages, but in recent decades has been considered a children's book. Montgomery found her inspiration for the book on an old piece of paper that she had written at a young age, describing a couple that were mistakenly sent an orphan girl instead of a boy, yet decided to keep her. Montgomery also drew upon her own childhood experiences in rural Prince Edward Island. Montgomery used a photograph of Evelyn Nesbit, clipped from an American magazine and pasted on the wall above her writing desk, as the model for Anne Shirley, the book's main character.

Since publication, Anne of Green Gables has sold more than 50 million books. In addition, this book is taught to students around the world.

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ISBN-10: 0399154787 (hbk : anniversary ed.)
ISBN-13: 9780399154782 (hbk. : anniversary ed.)
Photographer: George Gibbs (illustrator), May A Claus (illustrator) , William A J Claus (illustrator)
Author: L. M. Montgomery
Genre: Juvenile Fiction
Publisher: Putnam Adult
Date Published: February 21, 2008 (100th Anniversary ed.)
Format: original cover art by George Gibbs ; interior art by M. A. Claus and W. A. J. Claus
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