“This is an exciting edition of Canada’s most enduring literary classic.”

NO MAJOR SPOILERS

 

Anne of Green Gables is one of those classic children’s books that “everyone needs to read”. That is why bookish ten year old me did pick it up from the library … I just couldn’t get into it. So I returned it and forgot about it until a few decades later when a colleague asked me if I have read it, because he re-reads it almost yearly because it is thát beautiful.

At first I was quite surprised to realise that I haven’t actually read it (it being such a classic) … and then, after reading it, I realised exactly why ten year old me couldn’t get into it and why I now really love it.

Anne of Green Gables is the story of a young teenage girl, with all the emotions and blunders of a teenage girl, but told from the perspective of a grownup person. Anne’s life is experienced intimately and graphically, but with the insight of an older person. The other thing I have to note on is the pace of the story line. Chapters are fairly short, dedicated to a specific event in Anne’s life, but most of the words in the chapter describe the surroundings of the event, atmosphere and view and nature. Very little of that is spent on the actual event and Anne herself.

That said, it is a lovely read. Beautiful descriptive language and lots of atmosphere. Green Gables takes up a special place in ones heart and you start to yearn to go live there. A pretty little town with a very close and closed community. Some residents are more shrewd and others more than a little naïve, and you grow to love them – a lot like Anne herself. You’ll find yourself routing for this very candid and eccentric girl all the way. As an avid reader you’ll sympathise with how her lines between day dreams and reality becomes blurred at times and the type of blunders it leads her into. She succumbs to her dreams so whole heartedly that disappointment crushes her completely and the reader sobs with tears alongside her.

Anne is all heart, head in the clouds, adventurous, generous, full of enthusiasm, competitive. A red headed force to be reckoned with. The child every one longs for. She brings laughter and joy to everyone who meets her, even the most stoic gets overwhelmed by the light that shines from within her.

Always looking for a kindred soul on her adventures, she’ll generously allow for those “not quite a kindred soul”. Within the span of 130 pages Anne faces challenges, gets in and out of trouble, and grows into a lovely young lady with an ever free spirit. My soul is richer for having read this book.

 

 

Reviewed by:

Vicky Odendaal

Added 23rd July 2015

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