Monday, March 23, 2009
Anne of Green Gables is the first book in an eight-book series by Lucy Maud Montgomery. These books feature Anne Shirley, a feisty red-headed orphan girl who usually finds herself in a spot of trouble. Anne comes to Green Gables--the home of Marilla Cuthbert and her bachelor brother Matthew--by mistake. The Cuthberts had sent word to the orphanage for a boy to help with the farm work now that Matthew is getting on in years.
Little did they know how much that tiny mistake would change their lives.
Through this classic series for young girls, Anne grows and changes, but always remains true to the spirited young girl readers meet in Anne of Green Gables.
At the behest of Rachel Lynde--the Cuthbert's nosy neighbor--Marilla enrolls Anne in school. On the first day, Anne breaks a slate over Gilbert Blythe's head because the boy dare to call her "Carrots". And from this moment on, Anne and Gilbert's lives would always be connected, whether in rivalry or love.
But what has all that to do with our March theme of "Giving Up"? Well, both Anne and Gilbert will do a great deal of giving up as they travel through this series.
In the second book, Anne of Avonlea, Anne has grown up and done so well in her studies that she must leave Green Gables to go and study at Redmond College. Gilbert would also be going to Redmond, as he hopes to become a doctor. In Anne of the Island, Anne makes many friends during her time at Redmond and also attracts a few potential suitors. Her friends are all off getting married, but Anne's proposals are embarrassing affairs. After graduation, she returns home to Green Gables, leaving behind all the fun of college, but open to the future laying before her.
And then there is Gilbert, who Anne believes may have feelings for her; but their days at Redmond are often spent in the company of others, and Anne must admit he isn't her idea of the perfect suitor. Besides, there is talk that he and Christine Stuart will be engaged any day now, so what's the point of thinking on it any longer. But when Gilbert becomes gravely ill, Anne is forced to reveal her true feelings for Gil to herself, even if she may never have him.
The remaining books in the Anne series bring many more disappointments for Anne and Gilbert, but also many moments of joy and triumph. And when World War I threatens to change their lives forever, the faith and loyalty of Dog Monday is an example to all.
Many years after these books were written, Sullivan Entertainment, captured some of Montgomery's books on film. Anne of Green Gables and Anne of Avonlea, were followed by Anne: The Continuing Story and Anne of Green Gables: A New Beginning. While Sullivan totally went away from Montgomery's beloved books with the last two movies, the first two captured the essence of Lucy Maud Montgomery's Anne perfectly, even when the storylines were decidedly different.
Anne of Green Gables has remained one of my all-time favorite series of books. Through the work of the Lucy Maud Montgomery Institute, Sullivan Entertainment, and the many Anne fans worldwide, the feisty red-headed orphan girl lives on and will continue to attract new fans for generations to come.