Anne of Green Gables by L M Montgomery

Anne of Green Gables by L M Montgomery is a children’s classic, set in Canada in the early 20th century. I read it myself when I was 14, when my Canadian pen friend (who I’m still in touch with) sent me a copy. I would never have picked it up of my own accord, but after years of reading mainly Agatha Christie, it was a breath of fresh air. Recently I was looking for something new for my own daughter to read, so picked up a copy of Anne of Green Gables for her.

My daughter has just turned 14 and reads mainly Jacqueline Wilson, even though she is ‘too old’ for them. She struggles with YA novels, which are often disturbing. Either that or they are love stories or fantasy stories, neither of which she likes. Would Anne of Green Gables be a good choice for her?

Yes. It was a brilliant choice.

Matthew and Marilla Cuthbert are 60-something siblings, who want to adopt a boy to help them on their family farm. But when Matthew goes to the station to collect the boy, he finds a little girl with red hair sat there. Not knowing what to do, he picks the girl up and takes her home to Marilla at Green Gables. But he will definitely return her to the station the next day.

Anne Shirley is a 10-year-old girl with a big imagination, who talks endlessly and hates her red hair with a passion. Right from the start, she charms Matthew, but will Marilla be so easily won over? Anne doesn’t get off to the best of starts with Marilla’s friend, Rachel, but Marilla doesn’t have the heart to send her back.

Soon Anne falls in loves with Green Gables and the surrounding countryside, with Matthew and Marilla, and her beloved friend, Diana Barry. And they fall in love with her. Life with Anne isn’t plain sailing. She can’t resist a dare and gets herself into a lot of scrapes, but soon Matthew and Marilla couldn’t imagine life without the orphan girl.

Anne of Green Gables follows Anne from the age of 10 to the age of 16. There are a further seven books in the series, which we will work through over the course of the next few months.

When I started reading the book with my daughter, I feared she wouldn’t like the language. The sentences are very long, the language old-fashioned and there is a lot of description. My daughter has a particular dislike of description in books and we’ve previously had to abandon books with very long sentences as she found them too complicated. But the language wasn’t a problem, and she absolutely loved Anne.

If you’re looking for an enjoyable and gentle read for a young teenager, I would highly recommend Anne of Green Gables. It would also be the perfect feelgood read for an adult during these troubled times.


Anne of Green Gables, L M Montgomery, Book review, Anne of Green Gables by L M Montgomery

Author: Sarah Mummy

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  1. I loved these books as a kid and still do! As you can imagine they are very beloved here in Canada. The CBC recently put out a fantastic series, Anne with an E, which both my kids enjoyed (though neither of them has been tempted to read the books yet).

    Next you might want to try Little Women? (Though I never loved them the way I loved the Anne books.)

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    • I think Anne with an E has been showing on a channel over here as one of my daughter’s friends mentioned it. It will almost certainly be on a channel we don’t have!
      Little Women is a good call. I loved that when I was a kid and my daughter wanted to see the film, but of course we didn’t get round to it!

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  2. My all time favourite book and I read it with my daughter too. I tried when she was about seven but it was too complicated for her but at 11 she loved it. We followed up with the film – had to be the one with Megan Fellowes as Anne as that is perfection in my eyes and the characters are exactly as I pictured them. I hope she enjoys the rest of the series.

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    • How lovely that you shared it with your daughter too. I can imagine that 7 was definitely too young! I always thought that I was really old in reading it at 14 myself, but when I looked at it again, I realised that was probably a good age, as the language is quite complicated. We will have to look out for the film, thanks!

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  3. Oh gosh, I’m glad I read this. I had no idea that the sentences were complicated, I’d completely forgotten details like that. I read the whole series when I was 5 to 6 years old and I’d been thinking of getting them for my seven year old but I don’t think she’d manage them if that’s the case, perhaps it’s one for me to read to her rather than shoving the book in front of her. It’s funny how things change, she’s where she should be academically but children just do different things these days don’t they? All I ever used to do was read so books didn’t seem challenging. I had read everything in the school library by the time I was 6 and these were my absolute favourites. I’d definitely read them again now.

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    • Wow, I’m amazed that you read this when you were so young! The sentences really are incredibly long. I read a lot when I was little too, but it was all Famous Five for me when I was about 6, then I started on Agatha Christies when I was 11, so I was kind of surprised to enjoy this when I was 14, but I absolutely loved it. x

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  4. Anne with an E is on Netflix here! Currently working my way through it with my daughter who is the same age as yours. Really lovely adaptation I think you’d enjoy it!

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    • Damn! We don’t have Netflix. I think we’re the only people in the world who don’t have it. I’m sure we would love to watch it.

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  5. My daughter is reading classics right now. She loved Flambards, Little Women and Treasure Island. Anne of Green Gables is also in the box she has so we plan to read that one together. I loved it as a child and really want to read it again :o)


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    • I think my daughter would like Little Women too. I think it will take the best part of a year to get through all the Anne books as she reads very slowly.

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    • I only remember how old I was when I read it because I thought I was ‘too old’! I’ve heard about a recent series called ‘Anne with an E’, but I don’t remember any from back in the day.

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  6. It’s a personal failing that I’ve not got to Anne as yet! A goal for this year I think…

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  7. I have to admit that I’ve never read this book, perhaps I should rectify this. Thanks for linking up with #readwithme

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    • I’m sure you would love it, and I think your daughters would too. I’ve seen a couple of adults say they’ve gone back to it over lockdown as it is a lovely, gentle read.

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