Lucy Maud Montgomery was a prolific writer. She left us with the series Anne Shirley series that begins with Anne of Green Gables. A pastor’s wife, she managed to toe the line between giving us homey scenes and chuckle-worthy tales of local gossip in her books. All the while keeping us enchanted and entertained. Though Montgomery wrote many books, she is best known for creating the character Anne Shirley. Anne with an E is an irrepressible redhead, full of daydreams and wholesome wonder. Anne comes to Prince Edward Island as an orphan and captures the hearts of Matthew and Marilla Cuthbert, an aged brother and sister who adopt her after the orphanage mistakenly sends her instead of the girl they had requested. The Anne books, of which there are 9, have been translated and transported all over the world. Now Netflix has made Anne with an E an original series. Let’s take a look at the books, the show, and the unforgettable girl at the center of it all, Anne.
Why Anne is unforgettable.
Anyone who has ever been a daydreamer, whimsical, or hoped to be someone other than they are, can easily find themselves feeling a “kindred spirit” with Anne. The character is full of hope and life, and the reader can’t help but love her. Anne lives in a world of her own. She draws the reader in with story and enthusiasm. As the reader explores her books, they find themselves rooting for her as she navigates through being unwanted, the pursuit of higher education, and beautiful lifelong friendships. One can’t help but feel like a member of Anne’s magical world.
The Anne Books
Lucy Maud Montgomery’s books chronicle Anne’s life from the reader’s first meeting with her in Avonlea to her own marriage and motherhood. Through the passage of time, the reader watches Anne develop from a precocious young girl to a confident, self-possessed young woman. Anne leaves Avonlea for college and eventually settles with her love, Gilbert Blythe, in Four Winds. Throughout the books, readers learn about Canadian culture, and the practices of the time it was written in.
Anne With An E
The former producer of Breaking Bad has given Anne with an E a refresh. Anne Shirley’s story in the series is an excellent adaptation of the original. It isn’t easy to overlook some of the variations from the book to the new story (so call me a purist – I can’t help it). In this new series Anne experiences PTSD resulting from her time in the orphanage and at the hands of some of her former adoptive homes. This Anne, while still loveable, is more outspoken than the Anne in the books. Despite these issues, I found this series to be an excellent introduction to the young Ms. Shirley.
There are two kinds of people in the world: those who read the book and those who watch the movie. If you are a book person surrounded by movie people, this is an excellent way to introduce them to one of the finest characters in literature. Everybody needs to meet Anne with an E.