This is my wrap-up post for the fabulous ANNE OF GREEN GABLES Read-A-Long I participated in, hosted by PAGES UNBOUND REVIEWS.
I am also going to be featuriung some of the many many covers that have graced these books over the years.
This read-a-long was a reread for me. I originally read the book aloud with my 12 year old sister when I was nearly 30 years old. She was living with me and it was a chapter (or two) a night book for us. We read the next two books on our own. That was 30 years ago!
I enjoyed the story so much more this time. Now that I have been a mother I appreciate the differing views on parenting between Marilla and Matthew. Also at my age, of almost 60, the "stop and smell the roses" scenes have much more meaning. I love Anne's upbeat outlook on life...
However, the book isn't only about happy times and cheerfulness, we cry with Anne as well as laugh; we feel her sorrow and hopelessness, and experience her embarrasments as well as her triumphs.
One of my biggest reasons for adoring Montgomery's writing are her setting descriptions.
"She had made friends with the spring down in the hollow-- that wonderful deep, clear icy-cold spring; it was set about with smooth red sandstones and rimmed in by great palm-like clumps of water fern; and beyond it was a log bridge over the brook.
That bridge led Anne's dancing feet up over a wooded hill beyond, where perpetual twilight reigned under the straight, thick-growing firs and spruces; the only flowers there were myriads of delicate "June bells," those shyest and sweetest of woodland blooms, and a few pale, aerial starflowers, like the spirits of last year's blossoms. Gossamers glimmered like threads of silver among the trees and the fir boughs and tassels seemed to utter friendly speech."
So calming and centering.
It is also wonderful to read about the customs, manners, food, fashion, and entertainments of that time. It's interesting to see how women and girls were viewed and what their goals and expectations were in life.
It was a refreshing read.
As most of you know Blogger abracadabra disappeared my add-on updating post where I had all of the read-a-long's weekly discussion questions and my answers, so I am just going to answer two of my favorites from each week below...
WARNING: spoilers beyond this point!
1. What do you think of Anne’s knack for naming things? What is your favorite name in the book so far? I have always named things, so I understand completely! My sister and I named favorite or special clothes. Ha ha. I always name the homes we live in. Right now we live in The Rabbit Hutch so named because our apartment is small. Some of the previous residence names have been: Birch Haven, Gooseberry House, and Toadstone Cottage. My favorite of Anne's is Idlewild.
2. If you met Anne, what would you think of her? Would you be kindred spirits? I would love her. We could commiserate about our freckles together, but she will have to hate her red hair on her own because I have always loved mine. I would love to name things and write stories together with her!
1. What do you think of Mrs. Barry’s reaction to Diana coming home drunk? Who was at fault in the situation? As a parent I know the first reaction when your child does something wrong is to think the other child was a bad influence, or was outright at fault, but after Marilla explained the circumstances Mrs. Barry should have changed her mind. I hold Marilla totally responsible for leaving the girls unsupervised while consuming alcoholic beverages no matter how weak. And even though Diana drank the watered down wine and not the cordial, in those days cordials did have some alcohol content. My proof, beyond my grandmother talking about them, is it would not have been possible to leave it out on a shelf for an extended period of time, "... left over from the minister's last visit," without some alcohol in it. Plus Marilla said if she had consumed as many full tumblers of the raspberry cordial she would have gotten just as sick.
2. Anne lets her imagination run away with her in the Haunted Wood! What do you think about imagining spooky things into your everyday life. Is this a bad decision? Yes! It is a bad decision because I do this to myself every time I watch a ghost hunting show! If my son is not home I go around turning every light in the house on. Ha ha.
1. Anne gets into a number of scrapes in these few chapters: flavoring the cake wrong, falling off the ridgepole, nearly drowning, dying her hair green. Which was the most fun to read about? And which do you think would be the worst to experience? The most fun incident to read about was the green hair fiasco because it wasn't nerve wracking. Nearly drowning would be high in my list of worst experiences because it has happened to me three times. Ha ha. And I will take green hair over death any day!
2. We also get more of Matthew in this chapter! What do you think of his insistence on puffed sleeves for Anne? Were they worth the torture he endured? I think he loved Anne so much he was willing to go through his own personal hell to make sure she fit in so she wouldn't have to feel uncomfortable and different like he feels most of the time. It is a true indication that he felt like a proper parent to her because parents tend to not want their children to experience bad things they themselves have had to endure.
1. What do you think of Anne’s competitive spirit studying for and then getting into Queen’s? Were you expecting her to do so well academically? I think she was trying to prove that she was not only smarter than Gilbert, but better than her supposed standing as an orphan; and I also believe she was motivated a bit with wanting to show girls can be just as smart and/or smarter than boys. I remember I was expecting her to do well, although I didn't know if she would be first.
2. Overall, how did you like the book? Do you have any plans to read the rest of the stories, or more books by Montgomery after this? I know I loved it more than the first time I read it, so I will say this time I loved and adored it. I think because of my age I appreciated the "stop and smell the roses" elements more. Having raised a son, and done some parenting of my own since my original read, added to my enjoyment of the story this time, too. I have the Anne ebook bundle so I have already started Anne of Avonlea. Ha ha. I plan to continue reading the rest of the books. Past the third book will be first time reads for me. I think I might do a personal challenge of reading the other Montgomery books next year!
*You can read this entire last update post: HERE.
PAGES UNBOUND REVIEWS is planning on having a L.M. Montgomery event in October! I can hardly wait.
Have you read Anne Of Green Gables?