October 5, 2015

Return to Green Gables: Re-read Reflections

"I'm so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers", as Anne Shirley once said. And this October, more than any other, my heart is gladder than glad to be bringing you Return to Green Gables! Rachel of Hello Chelly, Hannah of So Obsessed With & I have been scheming about this event for ages, and it's such a thrill to finally be able to share it with all of you. Be sure to make the rounds on all three of our blogs for the rest of the week in order to see all our posts, each and every single one inspired by or tribute to the classic Anne of Green Gables.

I haven't read Anne of Green Gables in years. So, I went into it this time around with very minimal expectations. I was truly looking forward to was getting reacquainted with the delightful Anne Shirley, who had remained a bright light in my mind. Happily, that was still very much the case! I found myself completely charmed by Anne, desirous of being one of her friends "of the race of Joseph". And her incredible saga, with its highest highs and lowest lows, was still something I easily found myself getting invested in, and longing to be a part of. There is just so much to love about these books, and I'm so glad I had the pleasure of revisiting them!

Anne Shirley, as I've already mentioned, is a wonderful heroine. From the moment she makes her first appearance at the train station, it's impossible to remain immune to her charm. She's got brains and imagination in spades; she's got sass and vivaciousness for days. Her sweet, loving nature makes her an ideal; her flaws - the impulsiveness, the temper - make her human. It was all too easy to love Anne, and I was delighted to discover that she was still the incredible gal I had fallen in love with years ago. Her journey from girlhood to motherhood is quite incredible to read about, particularly because no matter what her current situation in life is, she remains her truest self always - romantic, intelligent, courageous and imaginative.

As a teen, I just devoured each of these eight books one after another, eager to soak up all the details of Anne's life as fast as I could get them. But as an adult, I felt I savored each tale, taking my sweet time to really soak in the loveliness of Montgomery's stories. In Anne of Green Gables, I tagged along for Anne's impish, well-meaning antics in her early days at Green Gables, pleased as punch to play witness as she makes a place for herself in the world surrounded by people who loved her. In Anne of Avonlea, Anne of the Island, and Anne of Windy Poplars, there's a growing maturity in Anne as she gets older, gains more life experience at college and as a teacher, and finds herself surrounded by places and people new to her. In Anne's House of Dreams and Anne of Ingleside, we settle in with Anne in her life as wife to Gilbert and mother to their brood, which I felt a stronger personal connection with as an adult. And Rainbow Valley and Rilla of Ingleside, we are treated to stories of Anne's children and their friends, which have the very essence of Anne as a child (with all the shenanigans and sweetness).

Each novel features triumphs and trials, moments sweet and surprising, and characters to love or despise (or perhaps a little of both). It's such a gift to pore over the entirety of Montgomery's writings on Anne.  Because she depicted experiences that are still true in people's lives currently, her novels are truly timeless and will continue striking the fancy of readers for years to come. I certainly believe I would revisit these novels, whether on my own or with my own children someday, if only for the pleasure of spending time with the rambunctious, lovable Anne Shirley (Blythe).

Favorite Book | Anne of Green Gables serves as the gateway into the world of Anne Shirley, with her long-winded imaginations, and beloved new home and family and friends. Readers are given the chance to fall in love with Miss Shirley, even as they find themselves unwittingly entertained by all of the trouble and fun she finds herself in.

Favorite Character | Anne Shirley is, without a doubt, one of my favorite literary heroines. She's got the spark of life in her, and it shows in her expressive, dreamy nature. Her eccentricities are what make her Anne, and I wouldn't give them up for the world! But it's a lovely thing that they go hand in hand with her core nature of being loving, smart and thoughtful.

Favorite Secondary Character | Gilbert Blythe has his very own spot in my heart. He's just as smart as Anne is, and just as clever at expressing himself. But it's his steadfast loyalty and unwavering feelings for Anne that really had me falling head over heels in love with him.

Favorite Animal | First Mate holds my heart, though I never thought I'd say that. Just the idea of him keeping Captain Jim company those many years makes my heart feel all warm and fuzzy. And I certainly think he sounds like a beautiful feline!

Favorite Place | The House of Dreams is undoubtedly my favorite place. It's the secluded, tiny home where Anne and Gilbert live for their first few years of marriage, and it sounds like heaven. There are trees, there's a brook; it's a walk away from the shoreline and the lighthouse. I have always wanted to live near the sea, and this is basically the epitome of that life.

Favorite Quote 

Favorite Anne-ism | "Oh Marilla, looking forward to things is half the pleasure of them," exclaimed Anne. "You mayn't get the things themselves; but nothing can prevent you from having the fun of looking forward to them."

Favorite Sassy Moment | Really, you can't get any sassier than the moment that Anne has had enough of Gilbert's teasing and cracks her slate over his head! I love that she wasn't afraid to stand up to him and to let him know that it was not okay to insult her hair. 

Favorite Sad Moment | It is so, so bittersweet when Captain Jim passes away. I love how triumphant it was, in a sense, since his life-book had been published. But I also felt so sad to be losing such a beloved friend after really enjoying his presence.

Favorite Sweet Moment | I have to pick the scene Gilbert asks Anne to be his wife.,, again. It's just a quiet little scene between them, but it's so Anne and it's so beautifully done! The way things are said evoked such a strong emotional response from me, and I'll always remember it.

Favorite Surprising Moment | When Diana and Anne go on a ramble one day, they come across Echo Lodge - home to Miss Lavendar Lewis and Charlotta the Fourth. It's a ridiculously unique discovery, particularly when they are invited to take tea and meet the echoes. It was certainly unexpected in my book, but in the best kind of way.

Favorite Silly Moment | Susan, the housekeeper for the Blythes, tries to kick Doc the cat... with both feet. It obviously ends with a bit of hilarity (just imagine what it must have looked like)! I had to pick this moment when I realized it was one of the very ones that made me laugh out loud.

And come back tomorrow for some stylish finds.


  1. I love this post, especially the way you broke it all down! (so much that this is the third time i'm attempting to comment. hahaha) I adored these books as a kid and read through them at least 3 times and watched the movies so many times I lost count! I've been wanting to reread them as an adult, but keep hesitating for basically the same fears that you had! These books are so magical and Anna is truly one of a kind!! I am so afraid that they won't live up to the status in my head! That would hurt my heart! It's awesome that you were able to have a new perspective and new respect for the series reading it from a different phase in life! I'm anxious to do the same, and even more excited to read these with the Baby Bettys in a few years!! <333 SO MUCH LOVE FOR ANNE!! And Gilbert!!! ;)


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