Anne Shirley is a red headed, freckled, opiniated girl of eleven who is full of enthusiasm and zest for life. With her queer ways and boundless imagination Anne has a natural aptitude for getting into trouble. The novel begins by Anne being brought to Green Gables to be adopted by middle aged siblings, Marilla and Mathew Cuthbert. Although the siblings wanted a boy for farm work, instead of sending Anne back they agree to keep her. She instantly wins the heart of the bashful and reserved Mathew .Being a chatterbox, Anne initially gets on Marilla's nerves, but the pragmatic, old lady too falls for her queer, loving ways and begins to love Anne as her own. The book takes us further with Anne’s adventures and mishaps, her relation with Mathew and Marilla, her fights with Gilbert Blythe who teases her for her red hair and her friendships especially with Diana whom she lovingly refers to as her ‘bosom friend’. The novel winds up with Anne graduating from Queens academy with a teaching license. With time a friendship develops between Anne and Gilbert and the relation is further reinforced when he leaves his job at Avonlea, so that she can teach there instead of him and at the same time be home with Marilla.
The novel is set in the nineteenth century in Prince Edward Island of Canadian province. The story highlights the importance of the church and the protestant moral education in those times. Girls were supposed to behave “like a proper young lady”. Women spent time knitting and doing household chores. The conversation between Mrs.Rachel Lynde and Marilla shows the aversion to foreigners and Catholics in their society during that time.
Lucy Montgomery has an impressive sense of humour and her way with words is exceptionally awesome. In the book the author has used a third person narrative mode to unfold the plot. The vivid descriptions of nature and Anne’s beautiful portrayal of the places in her day dream as well as her surroundings makes Lucy Montgomery a detailed oriented writer.
There is a sentimental simplicity about this novel that I just adore. It is impossible for anyone after reading this book to not love Anne not only because she is one of a kind, but mostly, because we can all relate our childhood to hers. Though the book is known to be a children’s classic, it never ceases to impress readers of all ages. Me being an adult, reading this book brought memories of my childhood, and teenage years when the most simple things in life could make you happy. Happiness then was not in having an iPod or play station , all you needed was a ‘bosom friend’ with a’ kindered spirit’.The book is a delightful read,not to be missed.
Book Reviewed By Hala Hassan
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