Thursday, July 5, 2012

Canadian Spotlight Month: Book Review + Giveaway - Anne of Green Gables by Lucy Maud Montgomery

Anne of Green Gables by Lucy Maud Montgomery
Series: Anne of Green Gables, Book #1
Published: August 1st, 1983 (originally published in 1908)
Publisher: Seal Books
308 pages (paperback)
Genre: Classic, young adult, coming-of-age
Acquired this book: As a gift
Warning: May contain spoilers
{GoodReads || Purchase this book: Book Depository || Amazon}

Synopsis: As soon as Anne Shirley arrived at the snug, white farmhouse called Green Gables, she knew she wanted to stay forever...but would the Cuthberts send her back to the orphanage? Anne knows she's not what they expected--a skinny girl with decidedly red hair and a temper to match. If only she could convince them to let her stay, she'd try very hard not to keep rushing headlong into scrapes or blurt out the very first thing she had to say. Anne was not like anybody else, everyone at Green Gables agreed; she was special--a girl with an enormous imagination. This orphan girl dreamed of the day when she could call herself Anne of Green Gables.

I don’t know if I can call this a review so much as a tribute to the awesomeness that is Anne of Green Gables. As a Canadian, this book is practically required reading. I’m not sure how old I was when I originally read it, but I remember loving it, and I loved the movies, as well as the TV spin-off, Road to Avonlea.

For those of you who haven’t read this book (what are you waiting for?!), it follows Anne Shirley, a young orphan girl who comes to Avonlea, a village on Prince Edward Island, to live with Matthew and Marilla Cuthbert at Green Gables. The Cuthbert siblings thought they were getting a boy to help on the farm, but instead what they got was Anne. They originally wanted to send her back, but quickly realized she needed a good home, so they kept her. The story follows Anne’s adventures (or misadventures) from the time she’s 11 to the time she’s just over 16. 

Anne…oh, Anne, where do I begin? Anne has an imagination like no other, and it runs away with her more often than not. She lives in a dream world of her own making, which often gets her into trouble because it makes her forgetful and ‘featherbrained’ as Marilla says. It was hilarious how much she talked, and how many times her train of thought derailed during one speech. There were times when she would talk for two pages straight, and no matter what she was on about, it always made me laugh.

She was so innocent, and even though she thought she was often wretched or bad or unable to be the good little girl Matthew and Marilla deserved, she tugged at my heart stings like no other character has ever done. Unbelievably smart, unintentionally funny, eager to please, and a loyal friend, Anne is an unforgettable character. As a child (and still as an adult), I desperately wished I’d had Anne in my life to be my kindred spirit and bosom friend.
My Anne of Green Gables collection
This book is so beautifully written. I could picture everything so clearly, and when I went to Prince Edward Island as a child, I fell in love with it the way Anne did. I felt like I was seeing it through her eyes - everything so lovely and wonderful and alive. The descriptions, the dialogue, just everything about this book make it such a pleasure to read.

Anne isn’t the only character who makes this book come alive. Matthew and Marilla are brilliant. Matthew made my heart melt with his shyness, and then his intense love and devotion to Anne. Marilla made me laugh with her sarcasm and how exasperated she would get over the foolish, careless things Anne did, but it was obvious she loved Anne, despite herself. Diana - well, everyone needs a friend like Diana. Loyal and true like Anne, Diana would have done - and did do - anything for Anne. Rachel Lynde, the girls at school, Mrs. Allan, Miss Stacy - every character had a purpose and made this story that much richer.

Then there’s Gilbert. This book was written over a hundred years ago, but Ms Montgomery knew how to write a swoonworthy boy. We didn’t actually get to see that much of him, but what we did see made it impossible not to fall in love with him. His initial teasing of Anne led to her hating him for years and refusing to forgive him. That was the one thing about Anne that drove me crazy - I kept thinking ‘forgive him already!’ Her pride tended to get the better of her, but despite that, it was always comical to see how she’d deal with things.

Despite Anne acting like he didn’t exist, Gilbert still tried, and he clearly cared about her more than even Anne’s active imagination could comprehend. Even though I’ve seen the movies and know what happens, I can’t wait to read Anne of Avonlea and see where things go with Anne and Gilbert. You just know their love story will be one of epic proportions.

This book made me laugh (and laugh and laugh), cry, cheer, and wish for the simpler times in life. To me, nothing will ever compare to Anne of Green Gables.

Have you read Anne of Green Gables?
This question is one of the extra entries in the giveaway, but if you're not entering the giveaway, I'd still love to hear from you: have you ever had a bosom friend or found a kindred spirit like Anne did with Diana?

For a long time now, I’ve wished I had tons of money so that every time I loved a book I could share it with at least one other person through a giveaway. Well, because I love Anne of Green Gables so much, and because it has such a special place in my heart, I decided to share the love and give away a copy.

Giveaway details:
*To enter, simply fill out the Rafflecopter form below. The only mandatory entry is that you follow Ramblings of a Daydreamer - the others are for those who like extra chances to win.
*This giveaway will remain open until July 31st at 11:59pm EST. A winner will be chosen at random, contacted, and will have 48 hours to respond before another winner is chosen.
*Open internationally as long as Book Depository ships to you. 
This post has been part of the Canadian Spotlight Month. Click the graphic below to check out the schedule and all things Canadian here at Ramblings of a Daydreamer. 


  1. I loved these books when I was younger. I read most of them but I had NO IDEA this book took place in Canada. It just never occurred to me !!

  2. I'm so excited every day to see what Canada related post you have for the day. I know how much you enjoy Anne of Green Gables, and I'm sure it was a shock to find out that I have not read them. You review has pricked my ears up and I'm going to see if they are available from my library tomorrow, if i make it.
    Thanks for a great blog and inspiration :)

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  5. Anne of Green Gables is undoubtedly a Canadian classic. What is even better about the novel is the fact that it is celebratory of the strength that is embodied in a best friend relationship between two women.

  6. It has been YEARS since I read the book, but I always remember it as one of my childhood favorites. I read it at least 5 times. I also read the next three books a couple times each (Anne of Avonlea, Anne of the Island, and Anne of Windy Poplars). Those three are the ones the movie Anne Of Green Gables the Sequel was based on. I do love the movie, but it is so much different than those three books. The only other one I've finished is Anne's House of Dreams. I really wish I had stuck to it back then when the books were fresh on my mind. But... I suppose it gives me the excuse I need to reread them and continue! :D

    To answer your other question, I don't know that I've had a bosom friend. A few have come close, but not quite. But, I do have kindred spirits... and that's exactly how I refer to them! I love kindred spirits. ^_^

    PS: Your review was spectacular. I think almost everything you said would be exactly what I would say.

  7. I never read the books, but I remember watching the show with my mom when I was little. She was a big fan and I think she read the books too.

  8. What an awesome, touching review, Marie! Would you believe that even though I LOVED LOVED LOVED the show AVONLEA as a little girl...I haven't read these books?! For shame, I know. Anne sounds like a tremendously identifiable and awesome heroine, and I can tell how much the book/s meant to you from your review!

    To answer the question...I've had one or two friends like Diana, and considered myself very lucky to have known them. :)

  9. It's been a long time since I read ANNE OF GREEN GABLES. I'd love a copy for my 'library'.

    I have a sister I am very close to. She would be my kindred spirit.

  10. I'm going to be listening to the audio book of this for the very first time. Never read this book yet.

    And my kindred spirit is my BFF Aislynn from <a href=">stitch read cook</a>.

  11. How did I not know Anne of Green Gables is Canadian?! I loved this book as a kid and read it over and over. I'd have loved to be friends with Anne...heck I still would :)

  12. Anne is one of my childhood favorites and I only knew that the author was a Canadian recently, shame on me!

    I wish I had a friend like Diana. I have good friends but I don't think we have the same closeness as Anne and Diana.

  13. I don't remember reading Anne of Green Gables but I watched (and loved) the entire series! It is an absolute classic and I have got a copy of the book in the house that I keep intending to read (or re-read, I'm not sure!) when I get through my TBR pile! My best friend Abi is my Diana! We've been best friends since the last year of primary school when I moved from Ireland to England and even now that I'm living in Ireland again we're still best friends and I visit for weekends a couple of times a year when I can get the funds! Each time it's like we just seen each other yesterday! Like Anne and Diana we're more like sisters then just BFF's!

  14. No, I haven't found anyone like that.


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