Anne of Green Gables was a defining book of my childhood. I don't remember how I got my hands on the first volume of the series, but I remember obsessing over it and cherishing a copy of Anne's House of Dreams that I got at our yearly visit to After Words in Ann Arbor on a drive from Chicago to Detroit. I remember reading it in the car and shipping Anne and Gilbert so hard that they helped define my view of romance at a very young age. I remember writing fan fiction about Rilla of Ingleside (before I even knew that fan fiction was a thing that existed) and tuning into PBS every weekend hoping that they would, yet again, be screening the Anne of Green Gables films. I was a fangirl, and I barely knew it.
Despite all of that, I don't think I'd reread a single one of the novels since I was maybe twelve years old. I left the books Stateside when I moved to Europe six years ago, not yet knowing that I would come to regret the decision. I've since made friends who similarly loved the books and made me want to reread them.
Because he's the absolute sweetest and because I've told him about my childhood love of Anne of Green Gables so many times (and because he somehow remembered that I also love Rifle Paper Co. a ridiculous amount), A came home from England with a gorgeous, Anna Bond-illustrated copy of the first book. I hadn't been planning on rereading it this summer, but I couldn't resist the book and stuck it in my suitcase to Italy this week.
With all the darkness in the world lately, the book's proved to be just what I needed. I'd forgotten just how cheerful it is and just how preciously (and naively) positive Anne is as a character. Every page is making me smile, and though I'm only halfway through my reread so far, I already feel much better for having revisited the book. It's everything that's wonderful and right with the world, and I'm going to need to find a way to get my hands on my copies of the rest of the series once I'm through with it. I'm falling in love with Avonlea and Prince Edward Island all over again, and I understand why – now, as an adult – why Anne of Green Gables has been so beloved over time. It's fluffy but substantial, and it's inspirational not just to children but to all with its cheerful attitude. Plus, with all the importance it gives to imagination and friendship, I'm not at all surprised that I fell for the world as a child.
So if you still have your copy of the book and are feeling blue these days, I'd highly recommend diving back into L.M. Montgomery's world and being reminded of the innocent pleasures hidden in reality.
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I'm Olivia, a twenty-six year old grad student studying in Switzerland. This is where I share my thoughts on the academic journey, culture, travels, baking, and my daily life abroad. Read More.