Saturday, September 13, 2014


About the time I hit middle school, my aunt and cousin gifted me with a thick volume. Beyond school assignments--most of which I can't remember--that was the first time someone handed me a book and told me I absolutely had to read it. Of course, the story I wanted to read most (Anne of the Island) wasn't included in the volume, but I've always been a stickler for doing things in the right way. So, I started at the beginning and made the acquaintance of Anne of Green Gables.
Something in this young girl--a short-tempered orphan who overuses big words and bumbles through life trying to find her place--resonated with me. While other girls were looking for grand romantic gestures, I daydreamed of a comradely friendship that would grow into love. Gilbert Blythe became my first book boyfriend. I've probably reread Anne of the Island twenty times and Anne's Book of Revelations twice that many times. No matter how I have changed over the years, L.M. Montgomery's series has always brought me comfort and hope.

Admittedly, it's probably Lucy Maud Montgomery's writing style that moves me as much as anything. She has a flare for blending humor and reality with dreamland. If there's ever a writer I'd like to meet, it would be her. 
Maud lost her mother to tuberculosis when she was still an infant and was left in the care of her grandparents. Her lonely childhood fueled her creative mind because, like Anne, she conjured up friends and imaginary worlds for company. After receiving her education, Maud worked as a teacher and wrote, wrote, wrote. Over the course of her career, she published 20 novels, 500 short stories, a book of poetry, and an autobiography.  Anne of Green Gables was the first book she published. In my opinion, she poured much of herself and her experiences in life and love into Anne.
Why do I love Anne and Maud so dearly? These women faced challenges, succeeded and failed, rallied and tried again, loved and lost, and kept going. We all need heroes (fictional and otherwise) to look up to and these two women are mine. If you have yet to be acquainted with either of them, take my recommendation and learn more now. And yes, do feel free to read Anne of the Island first.

My only question is where is my Gilbert? As my first book boyfriend, Gilbert holds the place of honor in my heart and has yet to be uprooted. He's wriggled his way into many of my stories (watch for his kindness, humor, and friendliness in a certain Becoming Beauty character) and even though his real-life counterpart has yet to make an appearance, my next hero-in-the-making, based on Rumpelstiltskin, is a mischievous tailor named Gil. A girl never forgets her first love.

To learn more about Ann, Gilbert, or Lucy Maud Montgomery, please head over to Goodreads or Wikipedia. The Anne books are available for free on Goodreads or for 99 cents for the entire series (and three bonus books) download it on Amazon Kindle.  You could start them today!


  1. I loved those books too and passed that love down to my daughter. I went to the Anne of Green Gables website and found recipes from the book and pinned them They will be perfect for a Tea or literary luncheon!

    1. How fun! I think I even found an Anne of Green Gables cookbook! Sounds like something lovely for winter :)

  2. Being an Anne with an E myself, I loved those books too. I enjoyed reading about the author's background here and the parallels with Anne's. This is also covered in some depth by Samantha Ellis in How to Be a Heroine which I reviewed here
    Do take a look if you're interested