Friday, August 7, 2009

Book Report: Anne of Green Gables

I can't believe I haven't blogged for a week. I'm so sorry. That doesn't fit at all with my New Year's resolution to blog five days a week. But then again, I'm also not following my New Year's resolution to lose 20 pounds and I've already missed three days of flossing so apparently since my resolutions are shot to hell for '09 I can just skip blogging and feel OK about it.

So, as you know, I'm in Ohio. Eating. I can't blog because my fingers are too fat.

Just kidding. Just because my rings will not longer slide off and on easily doesn't mean cause for too much alarm. Or does it?

Anyway, we've been having a great time and one thing I've been doing here is reading and continuing to work on my Summer of Juvenile Literature. I have discovered that I'm a much slower reader than in bygone years. Either that or my children don't actually want me to be literate any longer because they constantly want me to pay attention to them versus reading.

What a pain.

So I discovered something last week. If I take the kids to the park when there are likely to be many other children there, they begin playing with said children and sometimes I can read for stretches of two and even three minutes without having someone scream, "Mooooooommmmmyyyyy!"

It's very excellent.

And so, with the park strategy in place, I was able to finish Anne of Green Gables by Lucy Maud Montgomery.

I never read these books growing up. Frankly, I thought they were about a prissy English girl. Imagine my surprise, then, when I found that Anne was from Canada, eh? Prince Edward Island to be exact.

Basically, I want to live there now.

I had trouble getting started. Anne is an incessant talker so the book is written in a stream of consciousness style that follows Anne's thoughts, which are all over the place. I found this annoying. But then I realized you all put up reading my stream of consciousness style on a daily basis so I decided to cut Anne some slack and keep reading. Also, my cousin, Cinda, said Anne would grow on me and to keep reading.

I did. Because I try to obey orders.

And I'll be darned if Wednesday afternoon didn't find me sitting at Orange Township Park, the park near our old house that the boys loved (they call it the Orange Fish Park) and crying, yes people, crying, over the ending of Anne of Green Gables.

I know, I know. I can hardly believe it myself. But there I was, nonetheless.

I won't spoil the ending because I know there are. . .I don't know. . .like, maybe one of you who will now race out and read Anne of Green Gables and it's such a bummer if the ending is ruined by some plot spoiler like myself.

The short version of the story though is that Anne is an orphan who is adopted by a very unlikely twosome--spinster Marilla Cuthbert, and her also unmarried brother, Matthew (And, I would like to ask here, why is there not an equally unattractive name for a never-married man like there is for a never-married woman? Spinster? It's so hideous.). Marilla and Matthew are actually expecting to adopt a boy and by mistake, a girl, Anne, arrives. But they decide to keep Anne and the story follows their lives for five years, focusing on the crazy predicaments Anne tends to get herself into. Which made me laugh out loud several times. It was kind of like reading about Finn (and occasionally myself), in many respects.

The "old fashionedness" of the book really appealed to me. Although I'm convinced I should have been born in Jane Austen's time (all those empire waists hide big thighs), I could also picture myself in this early 1900s time period. The entertainment was all about socializing, putting on programs at the town halls, sleigh rides, going to town, etc. OK, so I actually hate socializing and I'd be more like Marilla and sit home and then hear the details when the young 'uns returned, but I liked reading about it. I imagined my grandparents' youths being much like this.

So, there you have it. I loved it. It was just a sweet, sweet book. And the same day I finished it I made Mom drive me to the library to get the second book: Anne of Avonlea.

Nancy Drew has taken a backseat for the time being.


Jane Copes (Professor Sepoc) said...

OH! The puffed sleeves! Read the whole series! They get even better! Hope the rest of your holidays are splendid.

Anonymous said...

So glad you're back - on the Blog that is. I'm going to have to go get me a copy of "Anne" sounds delightful. A+ on your book report! Maryanne

Leesa said...

There are 8 books about Anne you should read them all!
We spent 2 weeks on PEI last summer, in part because it was the 100th anniversary of Anne of Green Gables.
It REALLY is as wonderful there as the books say.
We now want to move there from MO, and have even went so far as to look at real estate.

Anonymous said...

I'm so glad you liked the book. I have my mom's collection from the 50's and have reread them all many times. I was supposed to be named Anne (but mom thought Anne Smith sounded like a fake name) and my duaghter's middle name is Anne with an E. My husband found me a first edition copy for my birthday one year! Keep reading, they are all so good!
Sheila in MN

Anonymous said...

You would love PEI. Great place in the summer. Beautiful beaches, lovely people, you can even visit LMM`s homestead. It still has a lot of old time charm - especially if you stay away from the really touristy areas.

We rented a cottage there for a week last summer. Wonderful holiday!


Lucinda said...

Told ya. Aren't you glad I didn't spoil the ending for you? "You've Got Mail" was on the other night and one of the customers told Meg Ryan's character, "Your mom gave me 'Anne of Green Gables.' Read it with a box of Kleenex, she said." And I immediately thought of you! Go figure. Let me know if you need loaners of any of the series--of course, I have them all.

jean said...

Glad that you are enjoying them. Never read them myself, since my sister read them enough times for the whole family!

Maybe you & Cinda could go on a trip to PEI - she wants to go there, too! :-)

Anonymous said...

Please, please read all 8 of the books in the series! Anne of the Island is my favorite, but they are all just wonderful!
Stephanie in KC

Anonymous said...

FYI - I just found out you can read these books online - literature.org Although it's not as much fun as curling up with a real book - they have the whole series. mh - TX