This book is part of the BBC’s Big Read – Top 100 books.
When this book was mentioned multiple times on this blog (which I read regularly, though I am a lurker), I knew I had to read this book. I have been catching up with left out children’s books this year, so this fit in perfectly. Anne of Green Gables is about Anne, an orphan, who is adopted by a brother-sister duo. The book shows how Anne wins the heart of her foster parents and her neighbors with her vivacious nature, her wild imagination and her constant blabber.
Matthew and Marilla Cuthbert are siblings who reside in Green Gables and decide to adopt a boy who can help Matthew with his farm work. Owing to some misunderstanding, they end up adopting Anne. Marilla is hesitant to adopt a girl – who is a bigger responsibility and who can’t be of any help in the farm, but decides to keep her anyway because she can’t see the girl sad.
Anne is proud of her imagination and uses it whenever she can. She imagines that she is a very pretty girl with royal dresses and beautiful hair whereas in reality she is far from it. Whenever she is in a fix or an unwelcome situation, she imagines herself to be in a wonderful situation and get through. When all her other friends in school wear puffed sleeves dress and she is the only one with plain sleeves, Anne imagines that her sleeves are puffed too. What a way to solve your problems. I was so inspired by Anne’s strategy that I used it myself a couple of times and it works really well.
The book shows us how Marilla brings up the talkative, imaginative child into a responsible and caring girl. We see how Anne saves her “bosom friend” Diana’s sister’s life, how she serves cake with liniment to a guest, how she goes to Queen’s to train to be a teacher. As the book progresses, we can clearly see Anne maturing with age. The talkative kid blossoms into an admirable girl.
Though I was inspired by the above mentioned blog to read this book, I don’t share her opinions. I did find Anne very likeable, but she is not a character I would call memorable. Same goes with her foster parents – Marilla and Matthew. Could it be because I am reading this at a wrong age? It’s a children’s book and I, for sure, am not a kid. I might have liked Anne more if I had ‘met’ her at a young age. Who knows?
I recommend this book to kids – there are lots of ‘moral’ education in there. How one should say prayers before going to bed, how kids get into trouble for not listening to elders, how values are more important than vanity and so on. To someone my age, I would say you are not losing anything by not reading this book. If you want to try a children’s book, then The Secret Garden is a much better one.