Growing up, I was a child who got lost in books. From Little House on the Prairie and Betsy and Tacy to Little Women and Strawberry Girl, I read and re-read my favorites over and over again.
Once I found an author I loved, I would scour library shelves for every book she had ever written. This may be why I’m one of the few thirty-somethings on the planet who can actually remember the plots of such lesser-known Louisa May Alcott classics as Rose in Bloom and An Old-Fashioned Girl.
In retrospect, I probably wasn’t your typical 8 year-old.
Through it all, there was one book that stood head and shoulders above the rest: L.M. Montgomery’s Anne of Green Gables. It was, and still remains, my all-time favorite, so much so that I once drug my husband and infant daughter halfway around the world to visit Prince Edward Island – only to discover that places which sound amazing in books are often beyond boring in real life. And also that Tim Horton’s coffee is not as good as Canadians believe it to be.
Some things really are better left to the imagination. Anne Shirley could have told me that.
I’m not alone in my love of all things Anne. The feisty, red-headed orphan has been a beloved literary character and “kindred spirit” to girls (and, yes, grown women too) since Anne of Green Gables was first published in 1908. Anne’s feisty nature and imaginative adventures – and her near legendary hatred of her red hair – have endeared her to generations of readers for over a century.
These days, though, die-hard Anne fans are more than a little upset – and with good reason. The homely redhead who once accidentally dyed her hair green in the hopes of turning it “a beautiful raven black,” has suddenly morphed into a buxom blonde.