Book review: Anne of Green Gables by Lucy Maud Montgomery

As a Maritimer (someone from the small eastern provinces), Anne of Green Gables was a pretty big part of my childhood. I was lucky enough to be the right age to enjoy the original TV series (1985) with Megan Follows and Colleen Dewhurst, and to visit Green Gables on Prince Edward Island. But, unlike so many of my peers, I wasn’t in love with the book. It was a nice story and I enjoyed seeing it dramatized for TV, but it wasn’t a genre that I was particularly interested in. 

This past fall, I Audible offered a free copy as part of their birthday celebrations and I decided that it would be interesting to re-read the story. Of course, I then ignored it for a couple months, but I finally listened to it. It’s still not my favourite genre, but I have to admit that I was utterly charmed by the story and found the production to be utterly delightful. And, I think that I appreciate the story and the description of the landscape much more, now that I’m older.

The performance was impeccable! Rachel McAdams, who did the full performance, was full of Anne’s sweet and somewhat frantic enthusiasm. She was able to convey the vibrant joy and dramatic sorrows in Anne’s life while still being able to pull off that almost military sternness we all expect from Marilla. It was weird not hearing Megan and Colleen’s voices, but Rachel did a wonderful job and I’m very tempted to get the next book in the series based purely on her performance.

This is one of those books that I’ll likely return to, not so much for the story, but for the performance. It was sweet and summery and everything I’d expect from Anne Shirley.

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