on 14 June 2007
I hope you have already experienced this book yourself, but if you haven't I can only begin to tell you how wonderful it is, the rest you will have to discover for yourself.
I grew up reading it, loving the fact that year after year I could watch Anne growing up, just like I was. I always wanted to be just like her and, to tell the truth, I still do! She is the sweetest, loveliest character ever to grace the pages of any book. She is bubbly, imaginative and irrepressible, and always positive no matter what the situation may be. This book shows her through the highs and lows of her childhood after coming to live with the Cuthberts.
I picked the book up the other day after many years of not reading it, semi-expecting that my memory of it would be better than the book actually is. By the end of the first page I was enthralled once more by this beautiful, sparkling world of fun, imagination, minor catastrophes ("always look before you leap, especially into spare room beds") and the sweet innocence of times gone by. The writing is so flowing and touching that no matter how many times I read it and think I'm immune, it still manages to make me laugh out loud, both at the whole story, and at the lovely little hidden touches of humour that I missed while reading it as a child, and also cry buckets when the situation calls for it.
This is a book that everyone should read and have as part of their childhood, or indeed adulthood. It's certainly one that I'll never stop reading.
on 5 November 2001
Every child (and hopefully every adult who has not lost the child within) can identify with our heroine, Anne (most definitely spelt with an "e"),
who is the typical poor and plain child who lives in a world of fantasy in order to compensate for her reality, and who eventually turns out to be both beautiful and clever. On the road to this end, we encounter Anne's adopted parents, the seemingly harsh Marilla and the adorable, shy Matthew together with her "kindred spirit" Diana,
the much hated (?) Gilbert Bly and many other full and rounded characters who you will sadly miss when you have finished the book.
I first read this wonderful book when I was around 10 years old, then again at 25 and have just reread it with my daughter - it loses none of its charm over the years. Joy, sadness, hope, love and much laughter are all contained within - not to be missed!
on 13 February 2002
It does not seem to be four years ago, when I was ten, that I ripped open the wrapping paper on a birthday present from my aunt to discover this book. I started reading it, but had to read the first page three times before I understood it - I was ten years old and not used to the style of language that it was written in.
But as I got further in I realised that this book was something special. I took my time and after seven enjoyable weeks, I had turned the back cover. This had kick-started my love affair with books.
Eleven-year-old Anne Shirley is an orphan, mistakenly adopted by Matthew and Marilla Cuthbert who are expecting a boy to help on their farm in the small, quaint village of Avonlea in Canada. The book takes us through her first few years of existence in Avonlea, and all the scrapes she gets into, the acquaintances that she makes, and the brilliant relationships between her and both "bosom-friend" Diana and the brilliant character, Gilbert Blythe.
You really have to read the five other books in this series, I managed all six in under a year - that was when I was ten so I challenge anybody to defeat me!
But really, I thought it was a cliche not to be able to put a book down until I started this series. I came out breathless and amazed at the reality of such a book. I did not know such literary excellence existed, and if you think that being only ten I was bound to be impressed, I have read Anne of Green Gables four times since I first read it! At the end of the series I had to go back to the first book and read that again to make the difference between little Anne Shirley and adult Anne Shirley become more prominent.
I urge you to read not only this book, but all six books in the Anne series, they are pure genius.
on 26 November 2011
I can't add much to the actual reviews here: lots of useful, interesting and perceptive comments about the entire 'Anne of Green Gables' series have been submitted already, at both Amazon.co.uk and American Amazon.com.
However, I'm not as familiar with the books as I was during my library ticket prime some three decades ago, and I needed to piece together a reading order now that I'm re-discovering them with younger members of the family.
Pinning this order down is surprisingly difficult - the 'Anne' books were not written in chronological order, and there are two books of short stories that are set in Avonlea, but not about Anne Shirley. Also, 'Anne of Windy Poplars' and 'Anne of Windy Willows' are one and the same novel; the latter title was used in the UK upon first publication, but now appears to be used only in the Penguin paperback edition. There are two 'sequels' that are actually about Anne's children, and then several more books by L. M. Montgomery that sound similar but are not part of the `Anne' series.
So, in the hope other customers find this useful, here's the reading order for the series, at least as far as I can make it out:
1)'Anne of Green Gables'
2)'Anne of Avonlea'
*2.5) Short stories 'Chronicles of Avonlea'
3)'Anne of the Island'
4)'Anne of Windy Poplars' (also known as 'Anne of Windy Willows')
5)'Anne's House of Dreams'
6)'Anne of Ingleside'
7)'Rainbow Valley' (a sequel, in which Anne is an adult background character, with her daughter Rilla taking up the juvenile protagonist role)
*7.5) Short stories 'Further Chronicles of Avonlea'
8)'Rilla of Ingleside'(another sequel primarily featuring Rilla, obviously!)
There are also at least two further sequels and short story compilations which opportunistic editors and publishers have assembled in recent years from previously discarded manuscripts. I haven't read these, and probably won't - L.M. Montgomery had a fifty year writing career, and I'm reluctant to read material that she herself rejected lest it diminishes my huge fondness for her works.
Now, having sorted out the running order, here are a few cautions to avoid disappointment when you decide to read the whole series:
Firstly, at least at the time of writing, not all the books in the series are available on Kindle. I downloaded all those that are, but had to go back and fill in the gaps with hard copies; now we have an incomplete set of paperbacks and an incomplete set on Kindle, so not ideal.
Secondly, as seems often to be the case with Kindle editions, there are a surprising number of typos. This is confusing when L.M. Montgomery has certain characters employ Prince Edward Island dialect, and you're not sure whether the eccentric vocabulary is intentional, or a misprint. A few are so key that they actually affect comprehension.
Finally, some - but not all - of the Kindle editions use American spellings. This didn't bother me, but if you're buying these books for a child still learning to be confident in their reading, I'd strongly recommend you stick to the actual books rather than the Kindle versions, despite the temptations of money-saving and convenience.
Individually, not all the books merit five stars; some are better than others, and 'Anne of Ingleside' is probably my favourite. The Kindle editions don't do justice to the books as yet, and need further revision. But overall, I loved these books, it was great fun to return to them, and you don't need children in the house to enjoy them all over again.
on 2 August 2007
I first read Anne of Green Gables when I was 8... I loved it then and still love it now (some years later). It's an all time classic, heartwarming story, with everlasting appeal for age 8s to adults. First published in 1908, it's every bit as readable now as I'm sure it was 100 years ago.
Naughty, dreamy, emotional Anne is a wonderful role model - with her fiery temperament and endless chatter, she can sometimes be a nuisance, but her adoptive parents, Marilla and Matthew, wouldn't have her any other way. She's bright, hard-working, caring and sociable and they soon find it hard to remember ever being without her.
Marilla and Matthew originally applied for a "boy" from the orphanage to help with work on their farm in idyllic Avonlea (Canada), but when Anne turns up lost and lonely, and immediately falls in love with Green Gables, they find they haven't the heart to send her away. Follow Anne's story from her arrival, age 11, to when she's 17 and leaving college, and then be sure to follow on with the rest of the "Anne" books - they're all delightful, and I can't recommend them enough!
on 5 October 2000
For those of you who enjoyed the first book in this series, Anne of Green Gables, you'll find this second book about Anne's adventures just as enchanting. In Anne of Avonlea, you can follow Anne into her teens and smile at her new and mirth provoking exploits such as chasing ornary cows out of neighbor's fields, teaching for the first time in the local school, forming a village improvement society and helping Marila to raise the mischievous Davy and his twin sister Dora. Of course, old friends like the unquenchable Mrs. Rachel Lynde and also Anne's childhood "bosom friend" Diana, still feature largely in her life and add to her colourful adventures. The handsome Gilbert Blythe, whom Anne once swore to hate forever, has finally been found to be a kindred spirit, and he strives to be worthy of her friendship...and perhaps something more? For Anne is growing up and becoming a graceful and sweet young woman who will win your affection as surely as she did as a child. All in all, this book follows in the footsteps of the first and like me, you probably will not be able to put it down until you are through.
This is one of those classics that passed my by when I was young. But as soon as I began to read it I could understand how countless young (and not so young) girls over the decades have come to love Anne of Green Gables. Anne Shirley is an eleven year old orphan who is mistakenly sent to live with Marilla and Matthew Cuthbert after they had requested a boy to help on the farm. Their initial reluctance to keep her soon fades away as they become entranced by the bright but odd little girl. Her imagination continually lets rip and she chatters constantly veering rapidly from one idea to the next. (Today we would say she has verbal diarrhoea!) Her "homely" looks, red hair, freckles and skinny body are a continual worry to her but she nonetheless soon makes lots of friends including her "bosom" friend Diana.
The story moves gently through the years as Anne grows up in Avonlea. She is bright and hardworking and eager to please Marilla and Matthew but her imagination and day-dreaming get her into continual scrapes. And lurking in the background is the handsome Gilbert Blythe. He had teased her when she first arrived at school and she refused to have anything else to do with him. But, of course, we know she will relent in the end!
It's a delightful book. I didn't expect it to be so funny - for example when Anne complains that she is sure the teacher is saying her name without an `e' at the end! And I didn't expect to be able to say that Anne could be a role model for young girls of today. She is interested in fashion and hairstyles (nothing wrong with that) but she is also ambitious and really keen to work at school and achieve. And in the end she is willing to put the needs of Marilla before her own. It leaves you with a warm glow!
on 10 August 2007
She's eleven years old. She's an orphan. She has imagination. She has red hair and frekles. She's Anne ( with an E.)
Anne Shirley goes to live with Marilla and Matheww cuthbert in the delightful home of green gables. She makes friends with Dianna Barry and she attends school.
All these books carry on her delightful life story, to school teacher, to college girl, to BA, to wife, to mother.
So sweet and a wonderful old classic every girl aged 10 - 100 should read.
After the great success of "Anne of Green Gables," first published in 1908, Lucy Maud Montgomery had to quickly write a sequel to continue the misadventures of the mischievous red-headed orphan on Prince Edward Island and satisfy her readership. Since the original classic was not intended to be the first in a series, Montgomery had to make some changes and the one that will drive you crazy is that Anne is back to being oblivious about Gilbert Blythe being the love of her life and her perfect match. Even though it was clear at the end of the first book that Anne knew what Gilbert's place in her life would be that was quickly forgotten and in fact it would not be until the third book before the two finally worked out their future together.
The other thing that becomes obvious in "Anne of Avonlea" is that Montgomery was rather uncomfortable with Anne growing up, even though she is only "half-past sixteen." There is an infusion of new children into the story, not only because Anne is now teaching at the Avonlea school and having to deal with her young charges, but also because Marilla Cuthbert has adopted the irrepressible Keith twins, Davy and Dora. Also thrown into the mix are the mysterious new neighbor with his parrot and my favorite addition, the eccentric Miss Lavendar who has been waiting a quarter of a century for her beloved Stephen Irving to return to her.
"Anne of Avonlea" was published in 1909 and along with the fourth book in the series, "Anne of Windy Poplars," is a testament to Montgomery's respect for the teaching profession; the book is dedicated to her former teacher, Hattie Gordon Smith. While this is not one of my favorite Anne novels, it is still a worthy successor to the classic story. However, be warned that if you watch either the 1940 "Anne of Windy Polars" with the actress Anne Shirley (nee Dawn O'Day) or the 1987 "Anne of Avonlea" mini-series with Megan Follows, the two cinematic sequels that follow up on the two "Anne of Green Gables," that very little from this particular Montgomery novel makes it into either version.
on 1 November 2007
I read this book as a child and re-read it again and again. I loved Anne -she was really a child who had spirits and vision. A positive thinker!! Now i have purchased this book for my neice as i think it is a book every child between the age of 8-15 should read. You are never to old for Anne of green gables.