Review: Anne of Green Gables by L.M Montgomery

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’ve read Anne of Green Gables many, many times in the past, but haven’t picked it up in about 8 years or more. I’ve really missed her! I can really remember why I was so very attached to Anne when I was 11 or 12- she was a red headed version of myself, really. I always wanted to be friends with her, but unfortunately no one had worked out how to make book characters come alive yet!

I’ve read the whole series, up until Rilla of Ingleside, but I’ve always come back to the first three books. I bought this copy of the book early this week, as I thought the cover art was just gorgeous! My old bind-up copy of the first three books has unfortunately been read to death, and it seems my brother took it into his head to carve his name on the front cover… he was a charming lad.

I still adore this book, but I’d totally forgotten some aspects of it! For example, I forgot how the structure works- it’s basically a chapter per story arc or “scrape”, with the overarching arc running through and tying them together. Generally, each chapter has a moral- don’t let your imagination get away with you, don’t be too vain, don’t get your friends drunk etc etc.

One issue I had with this particular copy of the book was that the spelling and some of the wording was Americanised. It normally doesn’t bother me too much, but for some reason I found it really jarring, as I’m sure my old copy was written with standard English spelling. I read American books all the time, but never expect classics to be in American English. Honestly, if I’d realised this beforehand, I wouldn’t have bought this copy, despite how pretty the cover is. I bought the first three books in this cover style though, so I guess I’ll have to deal with it!

Also, if anyone else is getting this edition, it seems to be missing a book. I saw the box set of “the first four books”, but it was missing Anne of Windy Poplars/Willows… it just jumped from Anne of the Island to Anne’s House of Dreams, which was odd! From what I remember when I first bought the series, Anne of Windy Poplars (as my edition is called) was a pain to get my hands on… maybe it’s a standard thing, but I’d hate to miss out on a chunk of Anne… I wonder how it would affect the story?

Anyway, back to the review!

I still cried at the end, I still wanted to hug Matthew and hit Mrs Lynde with a frying pan and I still feel conflicted about Marilla for most of the book. I don’t agree with her parenting style at all, but I do believe she had Anne’s best interests at heart.

I love Anne even more now! I really think she’s a wonderful example for little girls that you really don’t have to be perfect to be interesting, clever and good natured. She gets constant ribbing for her looks but has the confidence to fire back if someone is rude. She holds a grudge like you wouldn’t believe, but is willing to admit when she is wrong. She proves that you can be popular AND clever, that topping the class doesn’t mean an immediate social downfall. Yes, she can get a bit annoying at times, but who doesn’t?

I also love her imagination and how it gets her in trouble… especially the Haunted Woods bit, because that is EXACTLY what I do to myself, and has been for years! I’ll totally convince myself that there’s something creepy about, or dream up something about a place and totally freak myself out over nothing at all. I also get so distracted by whatever I’m thinking about that I forget to do stuff, leave the cake in the oven, make half a cup of tea… it’s a bad habit!

I read this while on the train from Sydney to Melbourne in pretty much one sitting, which freaked out the lady behind me! I remember reading it for the first time on that train, so I thought it warranted doing again for nostalgia purposes. It’s such a sweet read that it put me in a really good mood!

If you haven’t read the series before, you should definitely look into it. It’s a lovely read and has some lovely messages, with characters you’ll never forget. It’s funny how many things I’ve thought over the years that I didn’t realise were actually gleaned from this book! It’s totally relatable and while it has a bit of Christian moralising, it doesn’t go completely overboard like some children’s classics do *cough* Narnia *cough*

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5/5 Stars!

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16 thoughts on “Review: Anne of Green Gables by L.M Montgomery

  1. I read Anne of Green Gables for the first time when I was about eleven and I was in love. I still love Anne, as a matter of fact, but I can’t decide if my favorite book in the series is this one or <Rilla of Ingleside. That one was pretty darn good.

    XD You’re right: someone needs to figure out a way to make book characters come alive. I have a list they can start with. 😉

    • I remember really not liking Rilla! Maybe I should have a read of it now that I’m older. I think I found her very self centred and it annoyed me, but it was a very long time ago.

      We should work it out, patent it and become incredibly rich… and have loads of amazing book characters for friends!

  2. I loved Anne of Green Gables as a child. She is among my favourite childhood books along with Harry Potter and Ballet Shoes. I searched my local library system to get my hands on the last two books.

    • I never had ballet books, but if I swapped that with The Silver Brumby, we had a really similar childhood reading life! I think I saw the whole set on Amazon for free/cheap as an ebook if you’re into that sort of thing =)

  3. I laughed so hard: I read it in one sitting, which freaked out the lady behind me. Hahaha
    I don’t believe that I haven’t read it yet and it’s been on my tbr for ages. I know that I should read it when I was young, but as a foreign person I didn’t have tha change.
    Great review!

    • She was! I went to put it back in my backpack on the luggage thing above my head and she pipes up with “Did you seriously just read that entire book?! I saw you open it to page one!”
      Aw it’s never too late! Anne will always be there. I missed out on a lot of the “important” American and British kids stuff which gets into pop culture since I’m Australian, but in turn we have our own things!
      Thank you!

      • You’re welcome. It was a pleasure to read about. Anne has special memories for me – I travelled all the way to ‘Green Gables’ to see the lake of Shining Waters and saw the musical in Charlottetown. Totally fell in love with everything about Anne again. Wish I could live there for real!

  4. I have always wanted to pick this up but been hesitant, wondering if the writing would be easy to understand? Thanks for the review 🙂 Hopefully I get to it soon..

    • The writing is easy, there’s nothing in there that’s very difficult, no odd dialects and the wording is still very modern =) Definitely easier than some of the other children’s classics I’ve come across, that made me feel linguistically challenged! I hope you do get to read it =)

  5. I read this for the first time a couple of weekends ago. I can’t believe it wasn’t a part of my childhood; I would have adored Anne for many reasons, but this one especially: ‘She proves that you can be popular AND clever, that topping the class doesn’t mean an immediate social downfall.’ I loved reading your thoughts about her; you’re making me want to immediately rush onto the second book!

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