Anne Shirley's Book Series Review

Published on 27 November 2023 at 06:32

I want to start by saying that each book in this series deserves an in depth review of its own. I also want to say that I will be writing a review for each book soon. However, this review is necessary to straighten out my major thoughts and feelings on the series as a whole. I absolutely adore Anne of Green Gables. I've read it over and over again, and for the longest time, I thought it was a standalone book. I love the magic of it, the dreamlike feeling there is to it, and it is one of the books in which I would love to live in. I've always seen myself in Anne and her capacity for imagination and dreaming. If we met, we'd be kindred spirits. She is feminine, daydreams, clumsy, funny, romantic, and she loves with all her heart. I share all those qualities, and to this day she remains one of the characters that most resembles me. In a way that is what scares me after having read the entire series. Throughout the series, there are scenes where life is altered forever. In Anne's life, this starts with Matthew's death. She had been dreaming about her future and all the bright possibilities it held, and there is a passage that says something along the lines of this being the last time Anne dreams in that way before the terrible grief Matthew's death brings. When Anne miscarries, she once again changes and grieves deeply. Later, in Rilla of Ingleside, there is a lot of emphasis on how the night of the party (before the war is announced) is the last one where they were untouched by the horrors of war. There is one passage in particular in one of the books that says "the lads who were to fight, and perhaps fall, on the fields of France and Flanders, Gallipoli and Palestine, were still roguish schoolboys with a fair life in prospect before them: the girls whose hearts were to be wrung were yet fair little maidens a-star with hopes and dreams" in the Rainbow Valley book. This to me, is the most haunting line I've ever read in a book in my life. I got literal chills as I read this quote to my sister. In all these instances in the books, there is a before and an after. In the before, there are girlish dreams, hopes, and fancies. There is innocence and beauty, and so much to hope for. In the after, there is grief, sadness to overcome, and they are changed. They mature and grow and take a new perspective on life. In my current phase of life, I am in the Before. I am young, a dreamer, a hopeless romantic, with a love for dresses and pretty things. I have my parents and my siblings, university, and so many possibilities open to me. I am scared of what life might hold for me, especially since I see myself in Anne. I might be reading too much into the series, but I can't help but notice that real life works like that too. There are currently two wars that I keep seeing on the news (one in Ukraine, the other in Israel), and at one point, the soldiers in them were children. The women living with terror were young girls once too. Knowing that life can take tragic and unexpected turns makes me nervous. Nothing lasts forever, which is why kindness matters so much. We can only help, support, and love one another, regardless of what happens. 

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