Because I've had such a weight of books sitting on my nightstand I decided to actually listen to an audio version of Anne of Green Gables as this would permit me to "read" the book while working on chores around the house or even while in the car. I know some people believe this to be cheating, but I don't. If you listen to the complete book (not abridged) it should count just as much as if you sat down and read the book line by line. There are certainly disadvantages to listening versus reading, but there are likewise many advantages. It has been a while since I listened to an audio book, I think since last spring, but of all my recent reads this was a good one to listen too.
I had forgotten how much I love Anne Shirley and the others of Avonlea and Prince Edward Island. I also didn't realize how much my memories of Anne and her story are based off the 1985 film, which while excellent, is not totally accurate to the book.
L.M. Montgomery's writing is easy to follow -- whether it is read or listened to. The story flows from description to dialog and back again without any rough interruptions. I found myself laughing at Marilla's dry wit. I even liked Rachel Lynde more, but then my memories of her were again based on the film, where while I liked her, she never became as dear as she is in the book. The only thing I didn't like about the character Matthew was his constant use of "Well now..." whenever beginning to speak. After a while it got a little annoying, but over all I enjoyed his quiet loving relationship with Anne and was able to overlook this irritating habit. As for Gilbert... I look forward to becoming reacquainted with this character in the upcoming books. Although he says little in this first book there is something so romantic about him. Diana and Anne's friendship reminded me of one of my own childhood friends, whom I miss very much. And Anne... she is such an endearing heroine -- even in her moments of drama or silliness. There are few heroines in literature that can affect a reader as Anne has over the years.
Reading/listening to Anne of Green Gables made me very nostalgic. Memories from my past floated to the surface and for a little while I almost wished I could step back in time... but only for a little while. I had the blessing of being able to spend two vacations on Prince Edward Island when I was 14 and 16. Memories of those vacations are woven with the story of Anne and I can't remember one without the other. PEI is truly a beautiful place and I wish I had the chance to go back once more.
I've noticed there tend to be two different camps of readers when it comes to Anne of Green Gables. There are those who have read the books and loved them and there are those who have never read them. I've yet to meet anyone in a third camp -- someone who has read them and disliked them. That says a lot about L. M. Montgomery as a writer, even Jane Austen can't take claim to that and she's an all-time favorite author!
If you have read the Anne books I can't encourage you enough to go back and re-read them. They are truly a treasure, which sadly I must admit are not a part of my personal library. (However I do plan to rectify that!)
For those of you who have never read Anne of Green Gables, you are missing out! Without a doubt Anne of Green Gables is a must for your list of books to read before you die. And if you love it, as so many people do, you may find yourself wanting to add the rest of the series to your reading list as well.
In addition to being a wonderfully delicious read for yourself, this book makes an excellent read-aloud for those with young daughters. I don't know a library that doesn't have a copy of each book in the series, they are classics, so there should be no reason you can't include them on your list to read or re-read in the next year.