- Author L. M. Montgomery
I knew very little about this before I started reading, and after the first couple of chapters, I was expecting it to be another “wild child tamed by good home” story. It was that to a certain extent, but there was quite a lot more to it. One of the most astounding things about the book is the degree of chatter there is, all from Anne’s own mouth. I adore her ability and enthusiasm for imagination - allowing her an endless optimism that her mind can carry her away from tough situations. All those speeches that she makes, you get out of breath just reading them.
Incredibly, even though the monologue can go for pages, it doesn’t get boring. The non-stop talking feels as though it is coming directly from the child’s mouth, and it’s very well done to be both realistic and not irritating. I mean, it does get slightly wearing, but only as much as it does for Marilla, who is always quick to point it out. Marilla is also very grounded, which is helpful for Anne who has the ability to get completely carried away and overwhelmed at the very slightest news - good or bad. Sometimes Anne’s reactions feel a bit silly, but they are mostly good-natured, and it’s fun to see her grow to handle her emotions better.
Whilst Anne very much takes centre stage, there are a host of warm (and less so) characters who you can form an excellent mental picture of. From the adults who put up with Anne and her amusing but trying ways, to her friends who she bonds with most carefully. The rivalry with Gilbert, whilst over the top, is very believable, to the point that you almost feel it yourself, and the resolution is marvellous. As I knew little about this, I didn’t know it was the first part of a series, but now I do, I’m intrigued to know what happens next.