I think I probably first read Anne of Green Gables when I was in fourth grade. We had recently moved to North Carolina, and I can remember exploring our street with my brothers, pretending to "run away" but never getting past the "haunted" cottage that we glimpsed through the old hemlock hedge at the end of our street. All my memories there are laced with a vocabulary and imagination that reminds me very much of Anne.
My picture of Anne is a cross between Megan Follows' on-screen portrayal of my favorite character and the drawings of Anne on the covers of my copies of Anne of Avonlea and Anne of Windy Poplars. As a child, I admired her courage, smiled at her curious shenanigans, and wished to have such a loyal friend. I identified with her love of the beauty surrounding her and found someone who had similar romantic notions as I.
Before long, I had read all eight "Anne" novels (followed by everything else Montgomery wrote) and was so thankful to get to follow the eleven-year old girl for much of the rest of her life. I always dread a book ending at the "happily ever after" point…I always yearn to know "what's next" and with Anne, I got that.
Tomorrow, Hadleigh will unwrap her first copy of Anne of Green Gables…I'm so excited to share this favorite character with my almost-eleven year old. Autumn always seems to be the perfect time to reread Anne…and I think I will read along with Hadleigh. I understand Anne from a different perspective now…a teacher…a wife…a mother…but when I open my well-worn and well-loved copies and read their pages, I am reminded of the girl I used to be.
Do you love Anne as much as I do? Share your favorite character with me in the comments!