Anne of Green Gables: Orphans and Kangaroos

“Matthew went to Bright River. We’re getting a little boy from an orphan asylum in Nova Scotia and he’s coming on the train to-night.”

If Marilla had said that Matthew had gone to Bright River to meet a kangaroo from Australia Mrs. Rachel could not have been more astonished. She was actually stricken dumb for five seconds.

—Lucy Maud Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables

I’m not sure how I managed to grow up in this country without reading Anne of Green Gables. It is undoubtedly our best-loved children’s classic (though Wikipedia says it was written for a general audience). Of course I’ve seen the wonderful CBC production with Megan Follows, but I hadn’t ever read the book. I bought a copy last year in honour of Anne’s centenary but didn’t get around to opening it. Finally now I am listening to the audiobook, and, not surprisingly, it is a complete delight. I’m still laughing about that kangaroo comment. Things like that don’t translate to the screen, so even though I know exactly what happens in the story I expect to enjoy this book thoroughly. And since there are a total of 8 Anne books, I have plenty more to look forward to.

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10 comments on “Anne of Green Gables: Orphans and Kangaroos

  1. Jenni says:

    Oh Sylvia, I envy you at the begging of your “Anne-journey”. You're going to love “Anne of Green Gables”! Wikipedia is absolutely correct that they can appeal to a general audience–although it was one of my very favorites as a child, and I still get the urge to read through all the books in succession every 5-7 years or so, even now as an adult. I think “Anne of the Island” is my favorite. I look forward to hearing how you like the rest of your journey, and what little phrases make you laugh out loud!

  2. Sylvia says:

    Thanks, Jenni! I can well believe that the books stand up to much re-reading. I think you can count on more Anne posts here. 🙂

  3. Stefanie says:

    I have never read the Anne books. So many people have commented how much they love them and now here you've jumped on the bandwagon too! There must be some sort of conspiracy! 😉

  4. Sylvia says:

    I think Anne just has a way of growing on people!

  5. Court says:

    Eeep!! You may very well start me raving here! My all-time favourite book is by LMM – it's the eighth in the Anne series (Rilla of Ingleside). And don't just stick with the Anne books – there are SO MANY fabulous books by LMM! The Emily series is really good, as is Jane of Lantern Hill and The Blue Castle.
    But yes, her books were not originally written for children, but for a general audience. All of her books were like that. Nor were they aimed predominantly at female readers, though that seems to be the misconception. And while she made PEI famous around the world, she actually did not live there for a good majority of the time she was writing and publishing books.
    I'm so so so excited that you've started reading this series! There are quite a few good books included in it! (Though, if you start getting a little bored of the series about half way through, keep pushing on to the end – the last book is definitely worth it!)

  6. Sylvia says:

    Go on, Courtney, tell me how you really feel about it! 😉 Such enthusiasm! No wonder people from all over the world make the Anne pilgrimage.

  7. Christopher Gorton says:

    Funny, I just started reading this to my daughter. We read one chapter (sometimes two as the lengths of the chapters can be quite short) a night before her bedtime. I missed reading them when growing up so I am reading them for both of us.

  8. Sylvia says:

    What a good dad! I can't recall my parents ever reading me a novel. I think I went straight from Dr. Seuss to reading for myself.

  9. Kim says:

    Last year, when I was reading about the centenary of this book, I realized that I didn't remember ever reading this classic even though I did remember watching some production of it. As a first-year junior high librarian, I thought it was one of the classics that I needed to catch up on. I checked it out from my school library, but I never got around to reading it and finally checked it back in. I'm sure that I could work it in this summer though. Thanks for reminding me about it.

  10. Sylvia says:

    I think you'll find it easy to work in to your reading schedule. As Christopher said, the chapters are short so it's easy to pick up at odd moments. It's a perfect bedtime book. 🙂

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