I finished this book! Remember when I posted here that I was reading it? Well, I finally finished it, on top of all the other stuff I have been doing, like reading the Seventh Sense (another book review for another day). It was “positively providential” that I discovered it in January as it turned many a plain day into a satisfying one. It is the story of Anne of Green Gables before she comes to live with Marilla and Matthew on Prince Edward Island. It is written by a Canadian author, Budge Wilson, who was authorized by the heirs of L.M. Montgomery to write the book. It is just as delightful as L.M.’s books! So if you love the Anne books, you will probably love this one too. I am quite picky about works that are inspired by Montgomery’s books, whether they be books or movies. I loved Kevin Sullivan’s first two “movie miniseries” productions, “Anne of Green Gables,” and “Anne of Avonlea,” even though the latter strayed a bit more from the books than the first one.
But the third one…”Anne of Green Gables, the Continuing Story,” ugh! I didn’t even bother to watch it after hearing from my sister that it was not faithful to the books at all. She described the plotline to me and it left me thoroughly disgusted that the movie writers strayed from the original story. These two quotes from reviewers on amazon sum up my thoughts exactly:
Please pretend like this Continuing Story was never filmed and don’t watch it. Terrible and unnecessary third installment. End your Anne experience with the Anne of Green Gables Sequel and you will have lovely memories of Anne, Gilbert, Marilla and Matthew to sustain you.
and then this quote:
My dislike is that this story has nothing to do with the original Anne books. It is like they took a completely different script idea and threw Anne and Gilbert into the mix just to sell the movie. If you want to know what happens after Anne of Avonlea then just read the books. Don’t bother with this one.
I agree! It wasn’t Gilbert who fought in WWI, it was one of Anne’s sons. Anne was never a spy in Europe, and Gilbert never vanished. The very idea! So I refused to even watch a smidgen, and have gone on my way, thinking that there were no more faithful works sparked by the original story. I have been so sad that there hasn’t been more to feed my fascination with Anne. I read the whole series of 8 books in my teen years, plus almost all of the other books that Lucy Maud wrote, such as Emily of New Moon, Chronicles of Avonlea 1 and 2, Kilmeny of the Orchard, The Story Girl, and Magic for Marigold. I also enjoyed watching some of the episodes of “The Road to Avonlea,” based on The Story Girl, when I could find them. I thought I had read everything there is relating to Anne. Then I discovered Before Green Gables and I got it on CD from my local public library. If you can get it the book on CD, snatch it up! The narrator, Rene Raudman, does a beautiful job bringing Anne to life. I love all the voices she has for the different characters of the story.
For my local book club, we are discussing this book next week, but I also want to discuss it with my blog readers too. So come join me for an online discussion!
Wednesday April 26, 2017
7 PM Utah Time
comment below and I will send you the link to the video chatroom
Now go get the book and dig in! You will learn about where Katie Maurice came from, how Anne knew how to get Minnie May through the dark night of whooping cough, and how Anne got such an active imagination. The book starts before Anne’s birth, and goes right up to the day when Matthew picks her up at the Bright River station.
Btw, I found that audible has the Anne of Green Gables audiobook for sale, performed by Rachel McAdams, so I have been listening to it everyday with the kiddos. They are finally getting exposed to it in liberal doses! It sounds much better than when I read it, which they have studiously resisted. I had forgotten how the book has so much more meaning and nuance than the movie. So go get that too! You buy the Kindle version first for $1.98, then you can add Audible narration for $1.98 on top of that. What a deal! This page by podcaster and homeschooling mom Sarah Mackenzie explains how to get it. It was so fun to listen to Before Green Gables to the very end with my kids, and while their minds were wondering what happened next, switch right over to the rest of the story in Anne of Green Gables in audible format. I love, love, love having audiobooks on my phone with the Audible app!
Enjoy and see you on Wednesday April 26 for a discussion!