Title: Anne of Green Gables.
Author: L.M. Montgomery.
Genre: Fiction, YA, children's lit.
Publication Date: June 1908.
Summary: As soon as Anne Shirley arrives at the white farmhouse called Green Gables, she is sure she wants to stay forever... but seeing how the Cuthberts had intended on a boy to help Matthew with his chores, will they send her back to the orphanage? Anne knows she's not what they expected - a skinny girl with fiery red hair and a temper to match. If only she can convince them to let her stay, she'll try very hard not to keep rushing headlong into scrapes and blurting out the first thing that comes to her mind. Anne is not like anybody else, the Cuthberts agree; she is special - a girl with an enormous imagination that knows how to win the love of everyone around her and spread light wherever she goes..
My rating: 8.5/10
My Review: I had discovered Anne when I was quite a lot older than the target audience, but the moment I read this book I could sense she would be a life-long friend, to whom I'd come back again and again. And I have. From the first, Anne conquers your heart.
♥ ...but an ordinary observer would have seen this:
A child of about eleven, garbed in a very short, very tight, very ugly dress of yellowish gray wincey. She wore a faded brown sailor hat and beneath the hat, extending down her back, were two braid of very thick, decidedly red hair. Her face was small, white and thin, also much freckled; her mouth was large and so were her eyes, that looked green in some lights and moods and gray in others.
So far, the ordinary observer; an extraordinary observer might have seen that the chin was very pointed and pronounced; that the big eyes were full of spirit and vivacity; that the mouth was sweet-lipped and expressive; that the forehead was broad and full; in short, our discerning extraordinary observer might have concluded that no commonplace soul inhabited the body of this stray woman-child of whom shy Matthew Cuthbert was so ludicrously afraid.
♥ “Why must people kneel down to pray? If i really wanted to pray I’ll tell you what I’d do. I’d go out into a great big field all alone or into the deep, deep woods, and I’d look up into the sky - up - up - up - into that lovely blue sky that looks as if there was no end to its blueness. And then I’d just feel a prayer.”
♥ “Somehow, things are never so good when they’re thought out a second time. Have you ever noticed that?”
♥ “Its lovely to be going home and know it’s home,” she said.
♥ “If you’ll be a good girl you’ll always be happy, Anne. And you should never find it hard to say your prayers.”
“Saying one’s prayers isn’t exactly the same thing as praying,” said Anne meditatively.
♥ “You set your heart too much on things, Anne,” said Marilla with a sigh. “I’m afraid there’ll be a great many disappointments in store for you through life.”
“Oh, Marilla, looking forward to things is half the pleasure of them,” exclaimed Anne. “You mayn’t get the things themselves; but nothing can prevent you from having the fun of looking forward to them. Mrs. Lynde says, ‘Blessed are those who expect nothing for they shall not be disappointed.’ But I think it would be worse to expect nothing than to be disappointed.”
♥ “When twilight drops her curtain down
And pins it with a star
Remember that you have a friend
Though she may wander far.”
♥ “It makes me very sad at times to think about her. But really, Marilla, one can’t stay sad very long in such an interesting world, can one?”
♥ All things great are wound up with all things little.
♥ “Ruby Gillis says when she grows us she’s going to have ever so many beaus on the string and have them all crazy about her; but I think that would be too exciting. I’d rather have just one in his right mind.”
♥ “Miss Barry was a kindred spirit after all,” Anne confided to Marilla. “You wouldn’t think so to look at her, but she is.You don’t find it right out at first, as in Matthew’s case, but after awhile you come to see it. Kindred spirits are not so scarce as I used to think. It’s splendid to find out there are so many of them in the world.”
♥ “Marilla, isn’t it nice to think that tomorrow is a new day with no mistakes in it yet?”
♥ “That’s the worst of growing up, and I’m beginning to realize it. The things you wanted so much when you were a child don’t seem half so wonderful to you when you get them.”
♥ “And I came to the conclusion, Marilla, that I wasn’t born for city life and that I was glad of it. It’s nice to be eating ice-cream at brilliant restaurants at eleven o’clock at night once in awhile; but as a regular thing I’d rather be in the east gable at eleven, sound asleep, but kind of knowing even in my sleep that the stars were shining outside and that the wind was blowing in the ferns across the brook.”
♥ “Did you see all the diamonds those ladies worse?” sighed Jane. They were simply dazzling. Wouldn’t you just love to be rich, girls?”
“We are rich,” said Anne staunchly. “Why, we have sixteen years to our credit, and we’re happy as queens, and we’ve all got imaginations, more or less. Look at that sea, girls - all silver and shadow and vision of things not seen. We couldn’t enjoy its loveliness any more if we had millions of dollars and ropes of diamonds. You wouldn’t change into any of those women if you could. Would you want to be that white lace girl and wear a sour look all your life, as if you’d been born turning up your nose at the world? Or the pink lady, kind and nice as she is, but so stout and short that you’d really no figure at all? Or even Mrs. Evans, with that sad, sad look in her eyes? She must have been dreadfully unhappy sometime to have such a look. You know you wouldn’t, Jane Andrews!”
“I don’t know - exactly,” said Jane unconvinced. “I think diamon would comfort a person for a great deal.”
“Well, I don’t want to be anyone but myself, even if I go uncomforted by diamonds all my life,” declared Anne. “I’m quite content to be Anne of Green Gables, with my string of pearl beads. I know Matthew gave me as much love with them as ever went with Madame the Pink Lady’s jewels.”
♥ “I don’t know that she is as amusing as she was when she was a child, but she makes me love her and I like people who make me love them. It saves me so much trouble in making myself love them.”
♥ “I’ve done my best and I begin to understand what is meant by the ‘joy of the strife.’ Next to trying and winning, the best thing is trying and failing.”
♥ But Anne, with her elbow on the window sill, her soft cheek laid against he clasped hands, and her eyes filled with visions, looked out unheedingly across roof and spire to that glorious dome of sunset sky and wove her dreams of a possible future from the golden tissue of youth’s own optimism. All the Beyond was hers with with its possibilities lurking rosily in the oncoming years - each year a promise to be woven into an immortal chaplet.
♥ For we pay a price for everything we get or take in this world; and although ambitions are well worth having, they are not to be cheaply won, but exact their dues of work and self-denial, anxiety and discouragement.
♥ He smiled his shy smile at her and went into the yard. Anne took the memory of it with her when she went to her room that night and sat for a long while at her open window, thinking of the past and dreaming of the future. Outside the Snow queen was mistily white in the moonshine; the frogs were singing in the marsh beyond Orchard Slope. Anne always remembered the silvery, peaceful beauty and fragrant calm of that night. It was the last night before sorrow touched her life; and no life is ever quite the same again when once that cold, sanctifying touch has been laid upon it.
♥ “I am sure that we should not shut our hearts against the healing influences that nature offers us. But I understand your feeling. I think we all experience the same thing. We resent the thought that anything can please us when someone we love is no longer here to share the pleasure with us, and we almost feel as if we were unfaithful to our sorrow when we find our interest in life returning to us.