For the fifty-fourth book in the challenge, I read Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery, the first in the Anne of Green Gables series.
You guys, I read this whole series so many times growing up that I can’t even begin to describe these books with any sort of objectivity. I was so upset that I wasn’t as creative as Anne Shirley, and that my hair was only the tiniest, slightest bit reddish (my mother is red-headed, and all of her sisters, and her mother, and her mother’s siblings, etc.), and why didn’t I get into any scrapes or adventures? It wasn’t at all fair, I would think to myself, until I got thoroughly embarrassed by something so easily preventable that Anne did, and squirmed and wallowed and skipped through the worst of the humiliation parts (which is rather a lot of the books). These books colored my childhood.
If you’ve never read it, the first book starts out with an older couple, a brother and sister with no living relatives, deciding to get an orphan boy to help them out with their farm. It’s hard work, and they are not getting any younger (especially Matthew), and one of a friend’s friends got one from an orphanage and was quite happy with their decision, and the opportunity presented itself for a boy to be fetched along as well.
Except, when Matthew arrives at the train station, there isn’t a boy sitting there waiting, there’s a girl. He is very, very shy, especially around women and girls, and there isn’t anyone else there to complain to, and she can’t go back right then, and she can’t stay the night in the station, so he takes her home. On the ride to Green Gables, their farm, she completely charms him with her fanciful imagination and near-constant stream of chatter. Marilla has no such compunctions about talking in front of anyone, and fully intends to send her back as soon as she can be sent; but that will be several days, at least. In the meantime, they get to know her a bit better and start to wonder if maybe, just maybe, they shouldn’t send her back.
It’s cute, and Anne is ridiculous, a handful, and a good soul, and she gets herself into so much trouble (in such a straight-laced, rules-bound, judgmental society) with her free-spirited ways, but she accepts her flaws (they are so hard on her, for reals you guys) with good grace…most of the time.
I gave this book 4 out of 5 stars. I TRIED not to let nostalgia color my rating. Tried.