Sunday, April 26, 2009

Just for the pleasure of reading ...

Anne of Green Gables ~ Anne of Avonlea ~ Anne's House of Dreams
Author ~ Lucy Maud Montgomery

My original plan was just to read the first book of this trilogy, but since I enjoyed it so much and I already owned all three, I decided to read them all. So I guess I'll review them all at the same time.

The basic facts about the books are very simple. A young orphan girl, adopted by an elderly brother and sister, neither of whom had ever married or had much contact with children. Anne (with an "e") provides a breath of fresh air for Matthew and Marilla and they give her a stable home and love, two things that she had never truly experienced before. The first two books tell about her growing up years and the adventures she creates for herself and her playmates. The third book is about her marriage and the first few years after she moves away from Avonlea.

These books appeal to me because they are from a much simpler era. I always wanted to live like those men and women who lived simplistic lives without all the "things" that take up so much of our time today. I enjoyed reading about children who could roam the town and countryside of Prince Edward Island in Canada without anyone worrying about them unless they didn't come home for supper. As a young girl, I dreamed of times just like these, being free to enjoy the simple things of life without the demands or fears of modern society.

I loved these books. I had read bits and pieces of them before, but never all in one sitting, so to speak. I have seen all of the movies, and best I can remember, the first two movies were pretty close to the books, but the third was totally different and I think it even had a different name. Anyway, back to the books. There is one simple reason I loved these books: I can totally relate to Anne. No, I am not an orphan and I wasn't the child always getting into "scrapes" but I was the child who read all the time and could spend hours daydreaming and creating elaborate stories about people and places that didn't exist. Even as an adult, I still enjoy an occasional escape from reality.

I cannot say that these books were life changing, but they provided exactly what I was looking for at the moment. Well written, pleasant reading that would not leave me angry or questioning the world around me. Sometimes, it is okay to read good literature just for the pleasure of reading. Now that I have finished reading the books, I am looking forward to reading them with my daughter, who is definitely a kindred spirit in the realm of daydreaming.

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