Updated: Sep 15
We often find ourselves inside the characters of a story. Sometimes we identify with said character straightaway. At other times, it might take a while to really connect with the essence of someone, because they’ve done such a clever job of hiding it from you. This is how I begin my review of this classic, which might be less of a review and more of an emotional journal entry, because I experienced both aspects of this connectedness, on the first pages with Anne, and on the last pages with Marilla.
It’s ironic how I immediately identified with the conflict between the ideals of Anne and Marilla so intensely. The dichotomy between imagination and social rigidity is raw and real through the eyes of each of their experiences.
I found myself immersed inside Anne’s spoken words. Unfiltered, she shares exactly what she thinks and feels, even if it sounds “silly”, no matter what others might think or say. Hearing her thoughts and feeling them alongside her induced a plethora of emotions that I felt fully and completely. There’s simplicity in Anne’s thoughts, but the power behind them is undeniable. So many of these same thoughts I have had myself, without ever thinking to actually vocalize them.
“I’m so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers. It would be terrible if we just skipped from September to November, wouldn’t it?”
“Looking forward to things is half the pleasure of them. You mayn’t get the things themselves; but nothing can prevent you from having the fun of looking forward to them.”
“There are such a lot of different Annes in me. I sometimes think that is why I’m such a troublesome person. If I was just the one Anne it would be ever so much more comfortable, but then it would be half so interesting.”
This. How many of us have had these thoughts, however fleeting they might have been? But they are so quickly dismissed as trivial or unimportant in the grand scheme of things. What happens, though, when we let them meander through our mind and tickle our imagination? Those creative and freeform thoughts supply us with fuel for a meaningful and adventurous life.
Some books translate logically to movie form. But I humbly offer that perhaps some books should never be movies because the way they are written caters, ironically, to one’s imagination, a sacred entity reserved for the picture only we can see in our mind.
As I reached the final pages of this classic and truly felt the enveloping love it contained, I exhaled with joy, to see and recognize myself in both Anne and Marilla. To appreciate how important it is to share one’s true emotions, to be open and truthful. With others, yes, but most importantly, with yourself.
I picked up this book and began reading it because of the quote I found on the back cover: I don’t know what lies around the bend, but I’m going to believe that the best does.
We are not simple creatures. We are complex, dynamic, and imperfect. But when we live from the heart and step forward with courage to confront those things we fear the most, gosh, that bend in the road becomes something we can look forward to.
Dave’s Rating: ☕️☕️☕️☕️
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