Classics Challenge #12- Re-read a favourite classic
Anne of Green Gables, by L.M. Montgomery
My original plan was to read Corrie Ten Boom’s The Hiding Place for this challenge. I did re-read it, and it remains a great favourite, but then I looked at the printing date. 1971. Oh, shame. Too young to be considered a proper classic. However, I did read another favourite classic this year: Anne of Green Gables.
For a couple years now I’ve been saying that the Anne series was due for a re-read, but I admit that it was slow starting. I took the book with me to the Realm Makers conference, for a little piece of comfort from home. But I never read it. I was far too giddy on the way there and far too distracted by newly acquired books on the way back. When I finally managed to sit and read, however, I found I couldn’t put the book down.
“Pretty? Oh pretty doesn’t seem the right word to use. Nor beautiful, either. They don’t go far enough. Oh, it was wonderful– wonderful. It’s the first thing I ever saw that couldn’t be improved upon by imagination. It just satisfies me here”– she put one hand to her breast– “it made a queer funny ache and yet it was a pleasant ache. Did you ever have an ache like that, Mr. Cuthbert?”
Coming back to Avonlea was incredibly refreshing. Yes, I had said ‘I want to re-read’, but I didn’t realise how much I needed to do so. I was re-discovering vivid characters, lyrical prose, and sweet, silly scenarios that I should not have forgotten. But, although the words don’t change, a book is never the same way twice (or thrice, or however many times you read it). When I had first read Anne of Green Gables (or, rather, when my grandma read to me as I sewed,) I was about Anne’s age. Now I’m around twice her age. Anne’s antics seemed sillier now, her imaginings even more comedically extravagant. “Oh, that child…” I would think with a snicker. But behind my condescending grown-up smile was a delightful sheepishness. I have been guilty of similar things…and at times I still am.
Marilla stared. “The Haunted Wood! Are you crazy? What under the canopy is the Haunted Wood?” “The spruce wood over the brook,” said Anne in a whisper. “Fiddlesticks! There is no such thing as a haunted wood anywhere. Who has been telling you such stuff?” “Nobody,” confessed Anne. “Diana and I just imagined the wood was haunted. All the places around here are so– so– commonplace. We just got this up for our own amusement.”
At Realm Makers, people were there from all over the map. When folks asked me where I called home, “Canada” was my reply. More than once I heard “Canada… like Anne of Green Gables?” I thought it funny that the second largest country was best known by its tiniest province. But its good to see that L.M. Montgomery’s classic is still so widely known and loved.
The Joys of sincere work and worthy aspiration and congenial friendship were to be hers; nothing could rob her of her birthright of fancy or her ideal world of dreams. And there was always the bend in the road! “‘God’s in his heaven, all’s right with the world,'” whispered Anne softly.