Friday, 8 July 2016

Anne Of Green Gables by L M Montgomery

Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery
First published in 1908 by L C Page. Post Hypnotic Press audiobook edition published in 2014.

How I got this book:
Downloaded the audiobook from AudioSYNC

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

'Marilla and Matthew Cuthbert, siblings in their 50s and 60s, had decided to adopt a boy from the orphanage to help Matthew run their Nova Scotia farm. Through a misunderstanding, the orphanage sends Anne Shirley. Bright and quick, eager to please, talkative, and extremely imaginative,' Anne isn't at all what the Cuthberts had in mind, but her exuberance and joie de vivre bring great changes to their lives.

I know I read Anne of Green Gables as a child, but I can’t remember now how I felt about the book at the time. I am sure I must at least have enjoyed discovering so many long words! Revisiting the tale, I found it a thoroughly enjoyable listen and this audiobook version benefits from the excellent narration skills of Colleen Winton.

Orphan Anne is delightfully infuriating and I also love Rachel Lind whose immense self-belief reminded me of Miss Mapp. We meet many Avonlea characters, all convincingly real people, and the clever portrayal of the changing seasons as Anne grows up makes it easy to picture how life must have been within the community. I do think the story loses some of its spark once Anne reaches Queens. I missed the interplay between her and the Cuthberts and that whole year seemed to go by too fast with hardly any of the detail that makes the earlier chapters so fascinating.

Much like Black Beauty, which I also not so long ago revisited, the writing contains an overwhelming amount of moralising and bold statements about correct behaviour. I suppose, reading some thirty years ago, I would have been so used to being told what to do day to day that this would have seemed normal. However reading as an adult, I was surprised at the sheer volume of rigid demands. I had not remembered Anne Of Green Gables being such a bossy book!

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  1. How interesting, I also read this book as a child and I remember that everything had to be just so in the Cuthbert household! Anne's anodyne liniment cake is one of my favourite food quotes:

    1. The liniment cake rang true with me too! It always seems to be when cooking for important occasions that the daftest mistakes are made

  2. As a matter of fact, I never read the Anne of Green Gables books because in Austria they were virtually unknown when I was a child. Only when the TV series was shown in the late 1980s, I fell under the spell of the charming stories. I wonder if I'll find the time to read them sometime...

    1. It's interesting how different childhood books become classics in different countries. I wonder if Anne Of Green Gables is still essential reading for girls in the UK now though or if it has fallen out of favour? Anne is certainly still representative of many children, but much of the moralising seemed dated.