Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Reader's Diary #473- Lucy Maud Montgomery: Anne of Green Gables

Whew, I've reached book 13 for the Canadian Book Challenge, finally having read a book from each province and territory. I can now admit that I didn't want to use Montgomery for this challenge. While I recognize its place in Canadian literature, I really wanted to give another P.E.I. writer some recognition for a change. But, since I've been reading chapter books to my daughter lately, it was hard to avoid this one.

I'm glad I finally gave in. It turns out, to my surprise, that I'd not read the original before. I'd seen the movie and I now assume the version I'd read before, not as long and not nearly as great, was a condensed version.

It wasn't an easy book to read to a five year old, but it was worth the extra effort. As those of you who've read it know, Anne uses a LOT of big words. That, however, was just one reason the book encouraged a lot of conversations. Times have changed and wow, was Anne ahead of her time. In religion, artistic expression, and a whole lot more, my daughter and I found ourselves agreeing with Anne more than the adults around her. Importantly, she wasn't perfect. She was shallow about her red hair and her inability to forgive Gilbert Blythe was terrible. However, in doing so, Montgomery created a much more believable character, and I think it made Anne even more likable in the end.

I wasn't crazy about all the floral descriptions in the book, but that's more of a personal complaint. I don't have a green thumb at all, nor much an interest in botany. However, I'm sure many gardeners and plant enthusiasts, who would know these plants by name, would have found them described beautifully. They certainly didn't get in the way of our overall enjoyment.


Allison said...

I'm partial to Anne of Avonlea, but I do hold a soft spot for Anne of Green Gables as well. Such a big part of my life going up was that series. I remember it being a bit of a tough read too.

Teddy Rose said...

Congrats on finishing the challenge!

That's wonderful that you read it with your daughter even if she didn't understand all of it!

Francesca Thomas said...

Congrats on finishing.
But you said you did 13 books.
The sidebar says you did 31 books!!! So which was it?

Chrisbookarama said...

Yay! Glad you liked Anne. I always wonder if guys will like it as much as girls do.

I've really fallen behind on the challenge but I haven't given up yet.

Barbara Bruederlin said...

I recall reading Anne of Green Gables many years ago, but somehow it always felt like more of read it because it is good for you book. I should try it again, perhaps.

Well done on finishing the challenge months ahead of time. I am going to request an extra year to complete mine.

John Mutford said...

Anne: I'm open to reading more in the series now for sure.

Teddy: With some help (and I swear it didn't seem like a chore at all), I think she understood most. She certainly liked it.

Historia: How astute of you! Yes, it is actually 31. As you know, I've been reading books from each province and territory for the challenge, but I've also read a lot more Canadian books in the same time frame. I didn't want to include them until I had one book from all provinces/territories read first. Now I've gone back and counted the rest.

Chris: Well, I'm not your average guy ;) And don't give up on the challenge!

Barbara: Yeah, the "you should read it" thing probably made me hold off too-- that, and I thought I already had!

Wanda said...

I love together reads — glad to hear you enjoyed this one with your daughter.

One from each province, I should really try to branch out more with my reading selections. Maybe for the 3rd Canadian Challenge...

Unknown said...

I think it's good for people to read books that confuse them sometimes. Figuring things out can be half the fun.

I've left an award for you on my blog at