Anne of Green Gables (200-word review)

Marilla and Mathew Cuthbert live on idyllic Prince Edward Island. They want a boy to help Mathew on the farm but end up with 11-year old Anne instead. Anne has red hair, a big heart and a wonderful imagination that gets her into trouble more often than not. She loves Avonlea, loves Marilla and Mathew and is enraptured by all the natural beauty around her. She gets into all kinds of scrapes, makes a bosom friend (Diana) and one enemy (Gilbert), breaks her ankle, is rescued (by Gilbert) and allows her imagination to run riot. She also comes top of her class and wins a scholarship to University but gives it up to look after ailing Marilla and teach at the local school. She also makes up with the once-hated and now admired Gilbert by the end. In short, she grows up.

I loved it but I also found it a touch sentimental. Anne as the darling orphan was a wonderful character but I wanted more depth. Margaret Atwood says that without Marilla, Anne is a bit two-dimensional and that Marilla and Anne together make the story. It’s also interesting to see the parallels in Lucy Maud Montgonmery’s own life.

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10 Responses to Anne of Green Gables (200-word review)

  1. verbivore says:

    I’ve always wondered how this book would stand up to an adult read. I loved it as a young teenager, absolutely loved it and wanted to be Anne.

    I think Atwood’s comment is right on, Anne alone wouldn’t give the story enough tension. It really does need Marilla to strike a balance.

  2. Marilla is wonderful. And she is played by Colleen Dewhurst, a great actress in the movie with Megan Follows as Anne.

  3. couchtrip says:

    Verbivore – Yes, I think it still works. And did you know that Anne is a huge hit with the Japanese too? Apparently they visit PEI and snap up Anne memorabilia (maybe not just the Japanese).

    Lilian – Well I did love the book so maybe I should watch the movie (especially since you recommend it). By the way, I don’t seem to be able to comment on your blog anymore. Akismet thinks I’m spam ;-(

  4. litlove says:

    I have never read this, but I’m not that keen on sentimental books. I’m intrigued by your mention of Margaret Atwood. Did she come round to have a chat about it with you? 😉

  5. couchtrip says:

    Litlove – I’m sure you’d like this one. Marilla is so sensible and down-to-earth and Anne is so flighty and earnest, it’s hard not to be amused and drawn in. As for the Atwood comment, I should have clarified in my review but I was trying my hand at a 200-word review so there wasn’t space! Margaret Atwood wrote an excellent introduction in the Folio Society edition which I read. I should scan one of the illustrations in that edition as well – it really enhances the reading pleasure. (Not sure about these 200-word reviews since they leave so much out but I think a compromise will be to do the review and then to comment afterwards.)

  6. litlove says:

    Ahhh, I see! Well, I thought it was probably something like that, but I could not resist teasing. Bear in mind that writing a review in 200 words is something I could never discipline my verbosity to do! So I’m very impressed. I will have to think about reading AoGG – that relationship does sound fun.

  7. Trin says:

    Thank you for the review I just completed listening to the audio-book and I truly loved it. You, and Ms. Atwood are right the relationship between Marilla and Anne are really what makes the story. Marilla did a wonderful job raising Anne and by the end you can see how much she has effected Anne. I posted a link to your review in mine.

  8. I still enjoy this book as an adult … though the writing is a bit flowery, and as a critic, I would have preferred it if Anne had some “real” faults, as opposed to the faux-faults of too much imagination and a “red-headed” temper. As an observer of psychology, of course I find Anne’s open-heartedness, after her terrible early childhood, to be either completely unbelievable, or possibly symptomatic of a dependency disorder that should haunt her in later life. But no, if you read the rest of the series, she goes on her charming Edwardian way, bringing joy and fairies wherever she goes, and then she has a lot of kids to whom she is the perfect mother who never loses her sense of childhood joy, until the last book when one of her sons is killed in World War I.

  9. Pete says:

    Trin – Thanks for the link and nice to meet a fellow Anne-fan. Although as you will see from my comment below, my fan-ship is usually balanced with a lot of healthy cynicism. Of course that sometimes gets in the way of just enjoying the story, but not too much in this case.

    David – I agree completely about Anne’s psychology. It was too unbelievable for me that she could be so open-hearted without some seriously good-enough mothering (which she didn’t appear to get in her early years). We can still love her as a character but the perfectly loving deprived orphan just doesn’t ring true. I was interetsed to read somewhere that Montgomery herself was raised by her grandmother and so wasn’t an orphan in that sense, but there were other similarities with Anne (while her grandmother is echoed in Marilla).

  10. Watch Online says:

    Thank you for this cool posting. My english is a not so good. See you.

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