Anne of Green Gables, by L.M. Montgomery, is one of those standard-reading books that somehow slipped under my radar until… I think it was after college. And once it was finally on my radar, I didn’t want to read it, because I figured it was a children’s book, and I’d find it boring. But watching a YouTube adaptation (because I love adaptations and retellings, even apparently of books I haven’t read) finally got me to put those preconceived notions aside and pick up the source material.
Quick summary for those of you who haven’t seen one of these posts yet: these reviews are meant to combine my love of travel with my love of reading, and approach books not as books, but as vacations that happen to take place in words. So with that, let’s get to it.
The World: First off, Avonlea is a very pleasant place. So pleasant, in fact, that I couldn’t help feeling that it was all a bit too beautiful, too perfect. Lots of gorgeous nature, idyllic countryside, that kind of thing. But in a sense, that works, because Anne–well, read the back of the book. Er… travel brochure. It will probably tell you why a perfectly beautiful place could be heartbreaking for Anne. Speaking of which…
The People: Similarly, the people are mostly pleasant. They have their little faults, so depending on your pet peeves, you may find some of them annoying, but they aren’t supervillains in disguise, or anything, which given some of the other things on TV and in print these days, is a nice respite. And the narrator, I have to say, makes very good company–if you aren’t a kid yourself, it’s easy to kind of reminisce about childhood with this person. Also, Marilla (who is very much not a kid) helps. As does her brother, Matthew. That’s right, we get to spend some time with adults, too. Quite a lot of it, actually.
Dining and Activities: Avonlea and Green Gables are definitely not places to vacation if you’re looking to take down a dystopian government or something, but I’m thinking you probably knew that already. Instead, expect more ordinary entertainments–parties (ETA, as clarification: like tea parties), concerts, that kind of thing. And some school. As for the food… well, make sure you ask who made it, especially in the early chapters. That’s all I’m going to say.
Other Assorted Hazards: Expect all the ordinary dangers. Getting embarrassed in front of friends, possibly getting hurt or sick, the usual risks from doing reckless things–life stuff.
Things to Pack:
- Tea (because always tea)
- Appropriate attire (because much like with Georgette Heyer’s Regency novels, this isn’t a place where you want to walk around in jeans and a T-shirt)
- For those quiet moments at Green Gables, you may want some books to read, and/or maybe some materials to press flowers, depending on how outdoorsy you are. As I said before, it’s a lovely place, and you may want to keep some of that.
All silliness aside, I enjoyed my stay at Green Gables more than I expected to, largely thanks to a very good narrator-guide. And it was a nice way of seeing a past version of Canada, since I can’t exactly go to the real Canada right now.
Next up: a traveler’s review of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. (season 1)? I just finished watching that. I’ve never done one of these for a TV show before, though. I’m not sure whether it would work. Anyway, I hope you all had a lovely weekend! And that you have some wonderful book vacations (or other vacations, or just good stuff happening) this week.