Anne of Green Gablesby Lucy Maud Montgomery
Marilla and Matthew Cuthbert, brother and sister who live together at Green Gables, a farm in Avonlea on Prince Edward Island in Canada, decide to adopt a boy from an orphan asylum in Nova Scotia as a helper on their farm. Through a series of mishaps, the person who ends up under their roof is a precocious girl of eleven named Anne Shirley. Anne is bright and quick,… See more details below
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Marilla and Matthew Cuthbert, brother and sister who live together at Green Gables, a farm in Avonlea on Prince Edward Island in Canada, decide to adopt a boy from an orphan asylum in Nova Scotia as a helper on their farm. Through a series of mishaps, the person who ends up under their roof is a precocious girl of eleven named Anne Shirley. Anne is bright and quick, eager to please and talkative, and extremely imaginative. She does not see herself as beautiful, but is interesting-looking, with a pale countenance dotted with freckles, and long braids of red hair. She would really like to be called Cordelia; but she insists that if you are to call her Anne, it must be spelt with an 'E', as that spelling is "so much more distinguished." Being a child of imagination, however, Anne takes much joy in life, and adapts quickly, thriving in the environment of Prince Edward Island. She is something of a chatterbox, which initially drives the prim, duty-driven Marilla to distraction, although shy Matthew falls for her immediately.
The rest of the book recounts her continued education at school, where she excels in studies very quickly; her budding literary ambitions and her friendships with people such as Diana Barry (her best friend, "bosom friend" as Anne fondly calls her), Jane Andrews, and Ruby Gillis; and her rivalry with Gilbert Blythe, who teases her about her red hair and for that earns her hatred, although he apologizes many times. Anne and Gilbert compete in class and Anne one day realizes she no longer hates Gilbert, but will not admit it; at the end of the book, they become very good friends.
The book also follows her misadventures in quiet, old-fashioned Avonlea. These adventures include her games with her friends (Diana, Jane and Ruby), her rivalries with the Pye sisters (Gertie and Josie), and her domestic mistakes such as dyeing her hair green or accidentally getting Diana drunk (by giving her what she thinks is raspberry cordial but is actually red currant wine). Anne eventually goes to the Queen's Academy, along with Gilbert, Ruby, Josie, Jane and several other students. She obtains a teaching license in one year, in addition to winning the Avery Scholarship in English, which allows her to pursue a B.A. at Redmond College.
Near the end of the book, Matthew dies of a heart attack after learning of the loss of all his and Marilla's money in a bank failure. Anne shows her devotion to Marilla and Green Gables by giving up the Avery Scholarship to stay at home and help Marilla, whose eyesight is diminishing, and teach at the Carmody school, the nearest school available. In an act of friendship, Gilbert Blythe gives up his teaching position at the Avonlea School to work at White Sands School instead, thus enabling Anne to teach at the Avonlea School and stay at Green Gables all through the week. After this kind act, Anne and Gilbert's friendship is cemented, and Anne contentedly looks forward to the next "bend in the road."
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