You know those books which give you a really warm fuzzy feeling. Anne of Green Gables is one such book. I first read it a couple of months back (don't be shocked, I'm quite behind on my classics), but it struck me as a very Christmassy book. It’s a book that makes you happy, and also stays with you long after you finish reading it.
Matthew and Marilla Cuthbert of Green Gables in Avonlea have decided to adopt a boy, but imagine their surprise when they find a girl waiting for them. The girl is no ordinary girl; she is the imaginative eleven year-old Anne Shirley, who on the drive from the station to the Gables, talks more than Matthew did in his entire life! After some initial hesitation, the Cuthberts decide to keep her, and thus a ray of sunshine enters their lives. The ray does get into numerous scrapes, is dreamy and scatter-brained, but wins the heart of everyone she meets.
Anne is one of the best heroines I have come across in a long, long time. She is highly imaginative, a chatterbox, vivacious and cheerful. I loved her flights of imagination and her honesty. She is uncomplicated, takes life as it comes and opens her mind to a variety of experiences, both real and imagined. She sees beauty in even the most mundane of things, enjoys the little things of life with as much enthusiasm as you would enjoy the big ones. You instinctively know you’d be great friends with her if you met her. I can’t tell you how much I enjoyed reading this book, especially in a time when the other books I had at hand were irritating, to say the least. The book has an old-worldly charm to it, so different from the current whiny teen lit. I can’t say I wish we could be back in the olden times, but I dearly wish we could have some of the writers of those times back. I’ll leave you with an excerpt from the book, which captures the essence of Anne.
“ ‘The Haunted Wood! Are you crazy? What under the canopy is the Haunted Wood?’
‘The spruce wood over the brook,’ said Anne in a whisper.
‘Fiddlesticks! There is no such thing as a haunted wood anywhere. Who has been telling you such stuff?’
‘Nobody,’ confessed Anne. ‘Diana and I just imagined the wood was haunted. All the places around here are so— so—COMMONPLACE. We just got this up for our own amusement. We began it in April. A haunted wood is so very romantic, Marilla. We chose the spruce grove because it’s so gloomy. Oh, we have imagined the most harrowing things. There’s a white lady walks along the brook just about this time of the night and wrings her hands and utters wailing cries. She appears when there is to be a death in the family. And the ghost of a little murdered child haunts the corner up by Idlewild; it creeps up behind you and lays its cold fingers on your hand—so. Oh, Marilla, it gives me a shudder to think of it. And there’s a headless man stalks up and down the path and skeletons glower at you between the boughs. Oh, Marilla, I wouldn’t go through the Haunted Wood after dark now for anything. I’d be sure that white things would reach out from behind the trees and grab me.’ ”