Monday, February 27, 2012
208. ANNE of GREEN GABLES
The Book Blurb:
Matthew and Marilla Cuthbert had decided to adopt an orphan. They wanted a nice sturdy boy to help Matthew with the farm chores. The orphanage sent a girl instead -- a mischievous, talkative redhead who the Cuthberts thought would be no use at all. But as soon as Anne arrived at the snug, white farmhouse called Green Gables, she knew she wanted to stay forever. And the longer Anne stayed, the harder it was for anyone to imagine Green Gables without her.
What Hooked Me:
The lush beauty of the Green Gables farm on the Prince Edward Island in Canada as a very enticing setting for this wonderful story is perfect. The character of Anne as a spunky, energetic, always positive-looking and amazingly insightful red-headed orphan with an infinite zest for life is absolutely delightful. And if you add two lovable, albeit innocent and naïve parents, Matthew and Marilla, the formula for a heart-warming story results in a children's classic that it is and a must-read for all ages.
'Mrs. Rachel Lynde lived just where the Avonlea main road dipped down into a little hollow, fringed with alders and ladies' eardrops and traversed by a brook that had its source away back in the woods of the old Cuthbert place; it was reputed to be an intricate, headlong brook in its earlier course through those woods, with dark secrets of pool and cascade; but by the time it reached Lynde's Hollow it was a quiet, well-conducted little stream, for not even a brook could run past Mrs. Rachel Lynde's door without due regard for decency and decorum; it probably was conscious that Mrs. Rachel was sitting at her window, keeping a sharp eye on everything that passed, from brooks and children up, and that if she noticed anything odd or out of place she would never rest until she had ferreted out the whys and wherefores thereof.'(opening lines)
'He walked jauntily away, being hungry, and the unfortunate Matthew was left to do that which was harder for him than bearding a lion in its den -- walk up to a girl -- a strange girl -- an orphan girl -- and demand of her why she wasn't a boy. Matthew groaned in spirit as he turned about and shuffled gently down the platform towards her.'(11)
'Its beauty seemed to strike the child dumb. She leaned back in the buggy, her thin hands clasped before her, her face lifted rapturously to the white splendor above. Even when they had passed out and were driving down the long slope to Newbridge she never moved or spoke. Still with rapt face she gazed afar into the sunset west, with eyes that saw visions trooping splendidly across the glowing background. Through Newbridge, a bustling little village where dogs barked at them and small boys hooted and curious faces peered from the windows, they drove, still in silence. When three more miles dropped away behind them the child had not spoken. She could keep silence, it was evident, as energetically as she could talk.'(18)
"Do you know," said Anne confidentially, "I've made up my mind to enjoy this drive. It's been my experience that you can nearly always enjoy things if you make up your mind firmly that you will. Of course, you must make it up firmly."(37)
"I suppose I was very awkward," said Anne apologetically, "but then, you see, I'd never had any practice. You couldn't really expect a person to pray very well the first time she tried, could you? I thought out a splendid prayer after I went to bed, just as I promised you I would. It was nearly as long as a minister's and so poetical. But would you believe it? I couldn't remember one word when I woke up this morning. And I'm afraid I'd never be able to think out another one as good. Somehow, things never are so good when they're thought out a second time. Have you ever noticed that?"(56)
"Oh, Marilla, looking forward to things is half the pleasure of them." exclaimed Anne. "you mayn't get the things themselves; but nothing can prevent you from having the fun of looking forward to them. Mrs. Lynd says, 'Blessed are they who expect nothing for they shall not be disappointed.' But I think it would be worse to expect nothing than to be disappointed.'(93-94)
'... one can't stay sad very long in such an interesting world, can one?'(138)
'Kindred spirits are not so scarce as I used to think. It's splendid to find out there are so many of them in the world.'(161)
"I'm so sorry for people who live in lands where there are no Mayflowers," said Anne. "Diana says perhaps they have something better, but there couldn't be anything better than Mayflowers, could there, Marilla? And Diana says if they don't know what they are like they don't miss them. But I think that is the saddest thing of all. I think it would be tragic, Marilla, not to know what Mayflowers are like and not to miss them. Do you know what I think Mayflowers are, Marilla? I think they must be the souls of the flowers that died last summer and this is their heaven."(162)
'For Anne to take things calmly would have been to change her nature. All "spirit and fire and dew," as she was, the pleasures and pains of life came to her with trebled intensity. Marilla felt this and was vaguely troubled over it, realizing that the ups and downs of existence would probably be hardly on this impulsive soul and not sufficiently understanding that the equally great capacity for delight might more than compensate.'(179-180)
'Folks that have brought up children know that there's no hard and fast method in the world that'll suit every child.'(200)
'That's the worst of growing up, and I'm beginning to realize it. The things you wanted so much when you were a child don't seem half so wonderful to you when you get them.'(235-236)
'I like more snap and color, like Diana Barry has or Ruby Gillis. Ruby Gillis' looks are real showy. But somehow -- I don't know how it is but when Anne and them are together, though she ain't half as handsome, she makes them look kind of common and overdone -- something like them white June lilies she calls narcissus alongside of the big, red peonies, that's what.'(251)
"I'm not a bit changed -- not really. I'm only just pruned down and branched out. The real me -- back here -- is just the same. It won't make a bit of difference where I go or how much I change outwardly; at heart I shall always be your little Anne, who will love you and Matthew and dear Green Gables more and better every day of her life.'(277-278)
'For we pay a price for everything we get or take in this world; and although ambitions are well worth having, they are not to be cheaply won, but exact their dues of work and self-denial, anxiety and discouragement.'(289)
'Anne's horizons had closed in since the night she had sat there after coming home from Queen's; but if the path set before her feet was to be narrow she knew that flowers of quiet happiness would bloom along it. The joys of sincere work and worthy aspiration and congenial friendship were to be hers; nothing could rob her of her birthright of fancy or her ideal world of dreams. And there was always the bend in the road!'(310)
a Bantam book edition
More convincing reviews from Jinky @ Jinky is Reading are HERE.