Re-Reading Anne of Green Gables

Last year I found the time to re-read the Harry Potter series and it was magical.


But seriously, it was wonderful to go back and visit with Harry, Hermione and the Weasleys, to rediscover the magic of the Wizarding World, and find that the whole thing was every bit as fantastic as it was the first time.

The other series I’ve been meaning to re-read is Anne of Green Gables so when Lindsey at Reeder Reads was like ‘I’m going to host an Anne of Green Gables Readalong” I was like I’m IN!  

It was just the nudge that I needed to allow myself to get back to Avonlea.

I’m right on schedule for this readalong – a book a month til August (there are 8 books).

The last time I read Anne of Green Gables was probably when I was a teenager. There was some concern that maybe I would be too old to enjoy these the same way I did then. Anne Shirley is 11 when the first book starts after all, what could I possibly have in common with her now?


I definitely look at Anne differently now than I did when I was closer to her age. Now she make me smile with her irrepressible optimism, her incredible imagination and her inability to filter anything she says but it’s the way an indulgent adult would smile. I recognize bits of the child that I was in her but I’m not that person anymore. When she thinks her world is over because her hair is green or when she flies into a rage because Mrs Lynde calls her ugly – I sympathise with her but I also understand that it’s not the end of the world as she isn’t able to do just yet. I used to think that Marilla was kind of harsh but now I see her in a whole different light. She adores Anne in a way that probably terrifies her at first. She can’t help but laugh at Anne but knowing how important it is to Anne to be taken seriously and how important it is to her that she teach Anne certain things, she doesn’t laugh at her to her face.

I’m not sure that I ever noticed before how much Anne grows up in the first book. She goes from being a wild dreamer who bursts forth with a stream of consciousness and is always getting herself into scrapes, to being a thoughtful young woman who hardly hesitates before giving up her dream to help out at Green Gables.

And even though Anne is swept up in all kinds of romantic notions of courtship in her imagination, in her real life she could not be more practical and as such she’s a refreshingly real heroine. I never noticed before that she isn’t interested in boys at all. She works hard in school so that she can be first in the class, ahead of all the boys. She holds a grudge against Gilbert Blythe for years because he calls her Carrots but when it starts to thaw it’s not because she’s falling in love with him. Rather she recognizes that they could probably encourage each other as friends and help each other to carry on with their studies. She thinks of him as an equal in a way that’s not actually that common in literature.

If none of this makes any sense and you don’t even know what Anne of Green Gables is, then I think you need to sign up for the Readalong too. It’s not too late.

I will just be over at the bookstore, buying the entire series. Again.

PS you can follow the fun on twitter! #GreenGablesReadalong

27 thoughts on “Re-Reading Anne of Green Gables

  1. Your books are gorgeous! I am enjoying Anne as much as ever. And, I agree that it is pretty special that her studies come first and she cares about doing well. Especially considering when it was written. I think it says a lot about Lucy Maud.

    • I actually just took that picture in a bookstore. I didn’t buy that lovely 100 year anniversary edition. BUT I have started buying the Tundra paperbacks and they are a delight.
      Lucy Maud was not at all like what I thought she was. I assumed she was kind of like Anne. No. She married for convenience, could not connect to her children and struggled with mental health issues. Given all of that, it’s an even grater wonder that she created such a force of nature character in Anne.

      • I like to think that she gave everything she wished she could be to the characters in her writing.
        I have always been curious about Lucy Maud’s life, but sad when I read about it.

    • YES! Do it! I think the first 2 or 3 books probably get re-read quite a lot but the later books deserve some love too. I thought I cried hard in the first book but by book 8 I was so invested that I cried even harder.

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  3. I totally suck with readalongs but I do desperately want to read the entire Anne series! My mom and I read Anne of Green Gables when I was about 10 and I adored it. I felt like Anne was my people. I’ve never re-read it, but I really really have to.
    I loved that you said her “irrepressible optimism” because that was always my favourite thing :). Loved this post!

  4. I’m participating in the readalong too. What you said about not before noticing how much Anne grows up in the first book – that is definitely one of the same things that I saw when reading it too. It surprised me, especially when Marilla commented on it… like it had been happening slowly and I didn’t really notice it until one of the characters pointed it out. 😛

    • These books are obviously classics for a reason. We’re still able to relate to and enjoy these books even when we’ve moved past the age of their heroine. I’m so glad Lindsey decided to do this readalong because it was just the excuse I needed to read them again. I had a big smile on my face the whole time I was reading.

  5. I’m so glad that you’re participating in the readalong – my post is scheduled to go live on Thursday about the first book in the series and we say a lot of the same things; especially how much she grows up in the first book. I think it’s because L.M. Montgomery wasn’t expecting to write a whole series about the book. I think she thought of it as a one shot deal, but I’m so glad that it wasn’t just one book!

    • I’m looking forward to reading yours! I’m so glad that you’re hosting this readalong. I’m honestly surprised at how much I loved re-reading it. I think it’s better now than it was when I was a kid. I’d never thought about how LM Montgomery likely meant it to be a standalone book. I’m so glad it wasn’t (even though I bet we would have got Matthew longer if she didn’t know that at the beginning).

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