The Canadian television series of Anne of Green Gables, starring Megan Follows and Colleen Dewhurst, aired in New Zealand when I was in my mid-teens. I tried really hard not to miss an episode because it was so good, and it left such an impression that I’ve carried the story inside me ever since. The actors in the 1985 series are brilliant and match the story perfectly. Megan Follows made Anne come alive for me.

There is a new series on Netflix called Anne with an E, which I am excited to watch. I’ve seen the trailer and it looks excellent. I already adore Amybeth McNulty who plays Anne Shirley.

In 2016 Rachel McAdams – star of The Notebook, and The Vow – narrated an audiobook of Anne of Green Gables. I’ve listened to the sample and I’m keen to listen to it in its entirety. Megan Follows also narrates a version, but the sample I heard was poorly recorded, probably due to being done in 1999 and not converting to digital very well. I hope they remaster or record it as I’d love a version narrated by her.

What I Love:

  • Anne’s optimism, enthusiasm, dreaminess, imagination, tenacity, temper, and spirit.
  • Marilla’s no-nonsense, practical, down-to-earth, strictness. But it’s a lovely contrast to Anne and is perfect for what they both need in each other.
  • Matthew’s gentle, quiet ways, and kindness. He’s so sweet, I just want to cuddle him – except the’d hate that and jsut get embarrassed.
  • Diana and Anne’s friendship. Who wouldn’t want their very own bosom friend?
  • The glimpses of Anne’s previous life as an orphan helping care for large families of children, but in such a way that it doesn’t detract from the joy of her imagination and the story.
  • The beautiful Avonlea where the story is set.

Books & Poems I Love that are Mentioned:

  • The Lady of Shalott, by Lord Tennyson
  • The Highwayman, by Alfred Noyes

Favourite Quotes:

Anne has such a beautiful way of expressing herself. I love this quote about praying:

Why must people kneel down to pray? If I really wanted to pray I’ll tell you what I’d do. I’d go out into a great big field all alone or in the deep, deep woods and I’d look up into the sky – up – up – up – into that lovely blue sky that looks as if there was no end to its blueness. And then I’d just feel a prayer.

One of my favourite teachers as a child once said that if he had the choice between driving along a long, straight road, or a windy road where you couldn’t see what was around the next bend, he’d choose the windy road. This quote reminds me of his words:

When I left Queen’s my future seemed to stretch out before me like a straight road. I thought I could see along it for many a milestone. Now there is a bend in it. I don’t know what lies around the bend, but I’m going to believe that the best does.

Out in the World:

Books Like Anne of Green Gables

Classic Children’s Books by the Decade: 1900s