Sunday, May 11, 2008

Kindred spirits

At my sister's suggestion, I've been re-reading the Anne of Green Gables books. As a child, I adamently refused to read these books. I don't know really remember the reason why, but for some reason the story just didn't really appeal to me. If you've never read them, the first book is about a plucky orphan girl who accidently gets sent to a town called Avonlea on Prince Edward Island in Cananda to live with an old spinster woman and her bachelor brother. She is prone to accidents, which lead to many humorous episodes.

Despite my so-called lack of interest in this book, I always managed to sneak a peek at the Anne of Green Gables movie whenever PBS showed it. One year, living in the Bay Area, the public television made the incredibly smart move to show it during a pledge drive, and I pledged enough for them to send me the complete series in paperback.

I think reading the Anne books as an adult really made me appreciate the series more. Life in that time period was different, harder, and very interesting. However, I've come across the perplexing question as to when these books actually took place. The first book was published in 1908, so I assumed that the book took place around this time. In the first book, Anne ages about five years. However, as I'm reading the series, Anne's sons become soldiers in World War I.

However, what is even more perplexing is that some books in the series were actually written after the rest of the series was completed. Anne of Windy Poplars (Book 3) and Anne of Ingleside (Book 5) were actually written 15 and 18 years later, respectively, after the last book, Rilla of Ingleside. I wish I had known that before I started reading the series to see how L.M. Montgomery had originally intended the series to be read. However, it is widely acknowledged that Montgomery "phoned in" most of the sequels, but Windy Poplar and Ingleside were a return to the original magic of Green Gables.

I'm also looking forward to reading for the first time either the Wonderful World of Oz or Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. These are both book that I tried reading as a child, but I could just not understand what was going on