Lucy Maud Montgomery

April 22, 2014 at 8:44 am

The next writer who has influenced me? A certain woman who created a memorable, red-haired heroine.
I can remember being introduced to Anne of Green Gables when I was about ten. At the time, it was the longest book I’d ever tried to read, and I think it took a couple of goes before I got through it. However, once I had, I became obsessed with Anne, particularly with her relationship with Gilbert Blythe. In my first case of these-characters-must-get-together-or-I’ll-hate-this-series-forever, I did what has sadly become a habit – I peeked ahead to check out whether or not a later book went the way I wanted it to.
I continued to enjoy the Anne series, even when the narrative voice eventually drifted away from her to her children. I did find Rainbow Valley a bit slow, but its successor, Rilla of Ingleside, following the adventures of Anne’s youngest daughter, holds the honour of being the first book that ever made me cry. It was also my first experience with a WHY DID THE AUTHOR HAVE TO DO THAT???? moment, but there’s no doubt what happened felt like an organic part of the story, so I accepted it.
I have read some of Montgomery’s other work, but didn’t find them as engaging. Maybe it was the wonderfully chaotic nature of Anne Shirley that made the books a success. She is so easy to like, even when she is flying off the handle and spurning Gilbert’s advances. She’s definitely one of those characters who will be remembered forever and I thank LM Montgomery for bringing her to life.

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