Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery

This book is a classic, and I gave it a rating of four out of five. Anne ("with an e") is adopted from an orphanage by the Cuthberts; the adoption is a story by itself! Anne's personality is...kind, outspoken, respectful, and very imaginative, to name just a few adjectives. The plot relates her experiences with making new friends, going to school for the first time, attending church for the first time, and discovering the world surrounding Green Gables. Anne is in awe of the beauty found in the country, and she uses her imagination to enjoy it even more. She has a tendency, especially early in the book, to speak her mind, which also gets her in trouble. However, she often says what her mother, Marilla, is thinking but is too polite to speak out loud. Marilla has serious doubts as to whether they should have adopted Anne. Her father, Matthew, loves her from the beginning, and Anne is his little angel. Each chapter is a mini-story in Anne's life, and she grows to be a fine young woman. The plot has its days of joy and happiness and its days of anger and sorrow. Anne is a character you will not soon forget.

I found Anne's character very entertaining. One of the first things she did upon her arrival was tell the know-it-all neighbor that she was rude and mean, which horrified Marilla (although she agreed). The also informed Marilla that the pastor's sermons were boring, and he didn't really put his heart into his prayers. She discovered a lifelong best friend in Diana, and they were inseparable. Diana helped Anne learn to deal with people, and Anne helped Diana learn to use her imagination. She won over the friendship of her classmates despite odd habits. The story itself is a challenge to read, so it is not for timid readers. The vocabulary and sentence structure differ from today's novels. Along with that, Anne has a tendency to ramble on and on and on when she gets excited, so that may challenge the patience of readers. Imagine over a page of Anne talking! However, it's part of Anne's character, and I, like her father Matthew, loved her for it.

Lexile level from lexile.com 970

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