“‘Yes; but cakes have such a terrible habit of turning out bad just when you especially want them to be good,’ sighed Anne, setting out a particularly well-balsamed twig afloat. ‘However, I suppose I shall just have to trust to Providence and be careful to put in the flour. Oh, look, Diana, what a lovely rainbow! Do you suppose the dryad will come out after we go away and take it for a scarf?'” (Anne of Green Gables by L. M. Montgomery)
How could I have spent 20 some years of a reading life and missed Anne of Green Gables? Whenever I read something that really blows me away, I always have two reactions simultaneously: first, a reaffirmation that spending so much time looking for the perfect book is a life well-spent and secondly, a nagging concern about not having found that book earlier. If I had read Anne as an overly imaginative child, would I have been happier, more serene about the future? It is possible.
I had been saving the last few chapters of Anne for a time when I needed her, but my reading economy turned out to be futile when I learned that Anne of Green Gables is not only a series, but that the rest of the books show Anne as she grows up and gets married. Why did literature stop popularizing such a wonderful practice? I can name three girl’s series written between 1900 and 1950 that follow the majority of the lives of their characters off the top of my head (Anne, Betsy Tacy, and Patty Fairfield) but none more recently. The idea of following a young character for such a long time seems equally lovely whether the audience is a child or adult. The children would satiate their curiosity about adult life, while the grown-ups could be reminded of their childhood selves. I suppose that the stumbling block must be the modern publishing industry, because how would one classify and advertise a series spanning decades nowadays? We have enough trouble with Harry Potter.
If you, like me, have somehow missed Anne over the course of your life, you must take it upon yourself to remedy this error immediately. If you have nothing to do with the rest of your day, or even if you have plenty to do, your course is clear: you must spend it dreaming of Green Gables.
Recommended Action: Buy –
Borrow – TBR – Avoid
Ending: utterly satisfying