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A 1908 Book that Never Gets Old – Anne of Green Gables

ON OUR BOOKSHELVES

NOVEL: Anne of Green Gables

AUTHOR: L.M. Montgomery

YEAR OF PUBLICATION: 1908

REVIEW:

Anne of Green Gables is commonly considered a novel for children, perhaps because it is chiefly about a child, one Anne Shirley, an 11-year old orphan.  She is mistakenly sent to live with the middle-aged Cuthberts, a brother and sister who had sought to adopt a boy to help them on their farm in Prince Edwards Island, Canada. When the error is realized, Marilla and Matthew Cuthbert decide to keep her anyway, and the story tells of Anne’s life with them, at school, with her friends, and in the (fictional) town of Avonlea.

It’s not a particularly dramatic plot, but Anne thrives (after a rather deprived childhood spent in orphanages and as an unpaid servant in the homes of strangers); she’s a dramatic, romantic, and extremely talkative girl who has various mishaps (being blamed for losing an amethyst brooch and making a false confession; accidentally getting her best friend drunk on wine, which she’d thought was a non-alcoholic cordial; dyeing her red hair green by mistake, and so forth) as she grows into a young woman. She’s sixteen at the end of it, intelligent, kind, joyful, loyal, and hard-working.

Beloved by children, to be sure, Anne of Green Gables is a delight, even for adult readers. There’s a whole series of sequels focusing on Anne as she grows older, and then on her children, and they’re perfectly fine books, and an interesting historical look at Canadian life through the late 19th and early 20th centuries (including the WWI home front). None of them, however, manage to recapture the utter charm of the original. Try it. You may find yourself pleasantly surprised at just how enjoyable Anne’s coming of age is.

RATING (one to five whistles, with five being the best): 4 Whistles

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HOW TO PURCHASE: Amazon

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Lead-In Image Courtesy of Verena Matthew / Shutterstock.com

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Laura LaVelle is an attorney and writer who lives in Connecticut, in a not quite 100-year-old house, along with her husband, two daughters, and a cockatiel.

Laura can be contacted at laura@newswhistle.com

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