I so desperately wish I would’ve met Anne when I was a child, because we would’ve been bosom friends. However, I didn’t first read this book until I was in my 20s, and I was really missing out on something wonderful. But better late than never, right? I’ve since read this book 4 times, and I’ve loved it more every time I’ve read it.
Anne Shirley reminds me so much of myself as a child, minus the red hair. She’s doggedly optimistic, though she can be incredibly dramatic when things don’t go her way. She’s always getting into scrapes that seem impossible, even though she always means well. She’s a dreamer and a lover of nature and novels. I was all of those things as a child, and I think I’ve done a pretty good job of maintaining those characteristics as an adult (even the propensity for getting into trouble, unfortunately). Anne’s greatest gift is her imagination, and so is mine. I’ve visited thousands of different worlds and time periods through that imagination, and it’s one of the things I’m the most thankful for.
Anne adores Green Gables, the little farm where she comes to reside in Avonlea. She loves Matthew and Marilla, the siblings who take her in. Anne is one of the biggest nature nuts I’ve ever come across, and I love how she renames things with more “appropriate” (in other words, more romantic) names, such as The Lake of Shining Waters instead of Barry’s Pond. I can’t express to you how very “me” that is! When I was a little girl, I was always naming parts of our land and pretending they were far away places.
I have always been incredibly thankful to have been raised in the country, where my imagination could run wild every single day. I’m thankful for spring flowers, summer fruit, rambunctious goats, and mockingbird song outside my window. I’m thankful for summers in the pool and for wild thunderstorms as I go to sleep. I’m thankful for the nearness of my family and the distance of the rest of the world. I’m thankful for the freedom to take a long walk without worrying about my safety. And I see that same thankfulness in Anne Shirley. We are without a doubt kindred spirits, even if she is fictional.
Another thing I have in common with Anne is a passion for stories, both the reading and the telling of them. I know of nothing else that can transport a person and allow them to live a thousand lives instead of only the life they’ve been given. There is something magical about the ability of letters on a page to create something new in the minds of whoever reads them. Anne of Green Gables is no different. I felt completely at home in Avonlea, and I thoroughly enjoyed following Anne’s adventures (and misadventures) through her late childhood.
If I could reach into the world of fiction and adopt any literary orphan, Anne would be one of my top two picks alongside Harry Potter. I have to confess, though, I’m pretty sure Anne would come out on top if I could only choose one. She’s enchanting and lives life to the fullest, and she’s a much better person than she believes herself to be. I love Anne with all of my heart, and I can’t wait to share her with my niece. She’s a character that I’ll keep revisiting for the rest of my life, and I can’t imagine ever tiring of her. Kindred spirits are hard to find, but I definitely found one in Anne of Green Gables.
Also, isn’t this edition lovely?!