9 February 2016

Anne of Green Gables - L. M. Montgomery

Image from Goodreads
Orphan Anne has always dreamed of being part of a proper family. So when she’s chosen to go and live with the Cuthberts, life looks grand. But the Cuthberts wanted a little boy to help them on Green Gables farm, not a girl. They cannot keep her. . . .

Meet the girl who soon wins a place in everyone’s heart!

I read Anne of Green Gables as my January book for the 12 Months Classics Challenge 's book you've always wanted to read', strictly speaking I haven't always wanted to read it, I have however heard it mentioned in a number of places over the last few years which has built a desire to read it. My particular motivator was when Andrew used it to win Imogen in Neighbours last year. I'm counting that as good enough. 

When looking into this book I saw a number of people had placed it above the Little Women books in their estimation, while others defended Little Women. I have to say that I fall on the Little Women side of the wall. I liked the exploits of the four girls, which involved less sheer stupidity, better than the exploits of the one girl.

Anne of Green Gables is not a bad book, if somewhat a product of its time in terms of rampant sexism. It is a series of three chapter arcs for most of its length and tells the story of Anne growing up and finding a home reasonably well. You can definitely relate to some of the feelings she displays, her isolation and gratitude when she first arrives at Green Gables, through to her anger and humiliation when someone makes fun of her hair. 

At times Anne's flowery language irritated me. I'm not sure it was necessary to name every place more poetically, although it did do a good job of shoving Anne's characteristics in your face. Anne herself grew on me through the book, halfway through I would have said I wouldn't pick up Anne of Avonlea, having finished the book I can no longer say I'm so sure. 

The final thing I feel I have to mention, as it has perhaps coloured my review, is that I didn't realise this was a children's book until I picked it up. It very probably is perfect for its intended audience.

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