Reading About Anne

April 12, 2011

When the baby came, I knew that I would need some easy, happy reading.  I went to my beloved bookshelves, and found my copies of the six Anne of Green Gables novels, which I had last read when I was a teenager.  I believe I never finished the whole series, only actually reading the first four novels, and stopping for some reason.  The story of Anne has always been close to my heart, not only because we share the same name, but also because the character is so charming, with an outlook on life that is to be admired.  The tv adapation of the first novels aired when I was a teenager as well, and remains one of the best classics in my mind.  As I grew from a teenager I went back to the tv show over and over again; when I was sad, depressed, or otherwise feeling down it always, always picked me up and made me feel good.  I disctinctly remember my Canadian roomie and I in Boston watching it one gloomy afternoon when she was having boy troubles, crying over the sad parts, being happy at the ending. 

The last three books in the series are encased in a bit of a cardboard sleeve, and obviously haven’t been removed from it since I was a teenager.  I’ve dragged them from my childhood home to Guelph, Boston, Salt Lake, and now Calgary.  I read the first three novels as Althea nursed, and went to get the 4th from the sleeve.  As I pulled it free, out flew a pressed rose in wax paper, and a piece of paper with a name on it, the name of a boy I dated when I was a teenager.  I had drawn a heart around his name, in true sappy teenage fashion.  If I hadn’t done this, I would never have even remembered who gave me that rose so many, many years ago, as I had not only completely forgotten the rose, but the boy as well. 

My handwriting back then was script, very rounded, and fairly neat.  What a difference from how I write now, years of taking down notes in university morphed it into shorthand printing that has a rather unique flair so to speak.  Another way of saying this is that pretty much only I can read it, and sometimes even I can’t.  I like to think of it as a unique expression of my individuality.  Who I am at 38 also feels light years away from the 15 year old girl who wrote that name down, pressed the flower and put it into her favorite books.  It’s not like I wouldn’t know what to say to that girl, it is just that I would have too much to say to her!  And unfortunately until she went through all the experiences I have, she won’t truly understand what I’m talking about.  Life is a journey, and it’s not to be missed, but looking back on where you started can be a bit of a trip sometimes.


4 Responses to “Reading About Anne”

  1. Anne said

    Anne WITH an E. Me too. 🙂

    Weirdly, I am re-reading the set right now too. Although I have found them free on Kindle, so I’m enjoying them that way.

  2. Cheryl S. said

    I recently listened to some of the audiobooks, but the whole series wasn’t available. How funny that it led you to that peek into your past!

    BTW, I too, am Anne with an E. (Middle name.)

  3. Mary said

    I was drawn to re-read Anne of Green Gables and her antics about two years ago. Such a delightful book, and I recall how it took me back to what was going on in my life when I read it as a child.

  4. melanie said

    I read the whole serious for the first time while nursing Fionnuala – but there are eight books in my set. I believe Anne of Windy Poplar ( is the fourth book in the series but was written much later – it talks about what Anne was up to while Gilbert was studying medicine for four years. Is Rilla of Ingleside part of your collection? It is a wonderful book – it talks of the Blythe family during WW1. A very different novel than the others in that their world is changing from being so Island-insular to having a more wordly view and all that comes with it. It is one of my favourites.

    There is, in fact a ninth book for those who can’t get enough Anne:

    And yes, I am a Melanie Anne with an E.

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