Challenges, Fiction, Loved-it, Well known books, Women's

Taking A Literary Vacation From The 21st Century? Please! Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery

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★★★★✬  4.5 stars

Oh, Anne! How I wish I had known I’d love your story so much – then I would have not postponed reading it for so long. A big thanks to Jackie B. @ Death By Tsundoku and Jane @ Greenish Bookshelf for finally giving me a nudge to read this. I am so happy I did!

As you might have heard on my blog already, there’s a readalong – starting in May, with a book for every month of the year to spend with stories about Anne. And I feel like May is just such a good month to begin – because that’s when Anne arrives at Green Gables.

If you’re unaware about what happens in this story (much like I was just a month before), Anne is an orphan, adopted by an elderly brother and sister. She is a very happy-go-lucky, imaginative child that is a true delight to read about. And it’s not just Anne – it’s the old romantic aspect of a life before now, at your folks’ cottage, way over and beyond… Basically, Little House in the Prairie (now don’t start, I need to read that one as well.)

There are so many things I could say about Anne, and at the same time – so few. Most of you have already read this book, probably, so it’s hard to write a review. But why should you read about Anne?

Let’s start at the top then.

You want a reading vacation.

Living in the 21st century is tiresome business, mate. Our pace is just deadly sometimes, especially for some of you who live in concrete jungles. Well, reading Anne of Green Gables has been a true escape for me! I don’t know what it is about this book, but it somehow soothes you and makes you feel slowed down, cozy and peaceful. It’s a true reading vacation for your heart.

You want meaningful quotes.

I can tell you, this book has been a treasure trove for highlights for my Kindle. I kept wanting to throw nice quotes around for my Instagram so often that I even had to restrain myself. It involves both deep thoughts and childish, sincere ideas that you’ve once thought yourself, but couldn’t quite voice. Some weren’t even very deep ones, but just ones that resonated with me so much (like spelling ‘Anne’ with an e? Ever since starting to learn English, I hated it being spelled ‘Ann’… unfortunately, my first text book thought that was pretty much the only way it should be spelled. NOOOOO)

You want to feel safe and cozy.

Cause for some reason that book feels like that! I honestly don’t know why. It just gave me so much comfort.

You want to read a revolutionary book for its time.

It might not feel revolutionary now, but think about it. The book centers on women. It treats female independence as a normal thing. Encourages girls to study. Mentions women perhaps voting? And there’s more than that. While I felt like ‘being Anne’ would be quite normal today (in fact, many kids are encouraged to be like Anne now), it wasn’t back in the day. Anne’s antics are said to be weird so many times, but the general tone of the book shows them as the better way to be. To throw away decorum, to just be yourself. When I was reading this book, I often wondered – would our culture be like it is now, actually, if books like this didn’t talk about it a century ago? I have doubts about that.

You may still ask why I gave it 4.5 stars instead of 5? Well, I felt like the ending was a little bit too sweet, maybe. But that didn’t take away from my enjoyment of the book. Long story short, I’m extremely glad I joined this read-along and can’t wait to get started on the second book in the series. I miss Anne already!

Also, for all you Anne-fans. I know Little House In The Prairie is another tale, but I would not be mistaken in assuming that a lot of you will also have read and loved it! There’s a new release this autumn, called The World of Laura Ingalls Wilder: The Frontier Landscapes that Inspired the Little House Books. It’s a book about the background of the stories, where the author lived throughout her childhood, even the plants that grew there and the ways people traveled, even what foods they cooked! It’s pretty much your encyclopedia to all things Little House. You can still grab it on NetGalley, if you’re a reviewer!

Anyway, I hope my reasons for loving Anne are enough to nudge you into reading this masterpiece of 20th century literature. Or have you read this famous classic already? If not, what’s holding you back?