(The copy I read was a beautiful hardcover that my mom brought me from P.E.I. It's very cool, with a foreword by Ms. Montgomery's grands.)
Yup yup! I'm totally writing a review of a book that's been in print for over a hundred years. I know; no need to "sell" this one, but I do want to rave about how much I LOVE LOVE LOVE this book. My blog; my prerogative. :)
I LOVE THIS BOOK! (So this "review" is unapologetically biased.) I'm going to open with a little story from my childhood. Don't worry; I wont' take long. When I was about 11 years old or so, my mom purchased a box set of the entire Anne series. She gave me the first one, Anne of Green Gables, told me I might like it, and to let her know when I finished. I immediately connected with the spunky redheaded Anne and flew through it! When I finished, my mom gave me the second book in the series. I loved the immediate gratification! And like Anne, I was occasionally a little mischievous. It was round about book 3 or 4 that I figured my mom must have the entire series stashed somewhere in the house. The first time I was left unsupervised, the hunt began! Oh, how I must have tried my mom's patience as a kid. She just wanted a fun surprise for me over summer break, and my impatience ruined it a bit.
But that was when my love affair with Anne began. I identified with her. No, I'm not adopted, but I identified more with her personality than her circumstances. When she flew into a temper at Mrs. Lynde, I saw myself and my own flash temper. When she worked so hard at school to be head of class, I saw myself and how upset I'd get if I got less than a "B" on any assignment. Anne and I are "kindred spirits" in our love of books and our penchant for imagination. And I still, as an adult, sometimes get lost in a book or other thoughts and leave dinner to burn or remain unthawed.
I think that's part of the magic of this book, and the key to it's longevity: almost everyone could identify with at least part of Anne's personality or situation. Everyone must have experienced, a least a little bit, a desire to please an adult in their life. And everyone had a childhood best friend they were fiercely loyal to. Everyone played and had to work at school.
Anne of Green Gables also has a bit of timelessness to it. No, of course Anne and Diana didn't have computers or cell phones. But they did have curfews and played in their yards and went to school together. They may not have had movies or malls to go to, but they attended live recitations and concerts. Anne didn't long after leggings and crop tops, but she did crave puffed sleeves on her dresses. (Anyone who has read this book will never again be able to hear "puffed sleeves" without thinking of Anne!)
I've now read this book 5 or 6 times, at different ages, and each time I read it a different aspect resonates with me. I will continue to reread it occasionally for the rest of my life, and will share it with nieces and library patrons. :)
*I own my copy of Anne of Green Gables. In fact, this is my third copy. I read the first two to death.