If you’ve paid attention at all, you will know that one of my very favorite stories is the Anne series from Lucy Maud Montgomery. I started many years ago with the books: hardcover editions that were printed in 1940. My daughter has absconded with those, but Anne is still a favorite – with several options to choose from for those of you not aware of the series. Please be sure that if you purchase, you check out the editions for the unabridged- and don’t settle for the “reworked and modernized”. The charm of Anne is undeniable, but the story is best enjoyed in the original and complete form. University of Prince Edward Island has several Anne-related links on their site: the island is awash in Anne and LMM related memorabilia, with several showcases, stores, events and places to see. If you are looking for the films – the production with Megan Follows as Anne is not to be beat – and the Disney channel did a wonderful series called Avonlea that was also informed by stories from Lucy Maud Montgomery. One of the advantages of being a book blogger is choice, and occasionally I will take titles that are purely for me: I loved them and hope that you will to. For this and the next 2 Sundays, I will have a single Anne title up for review. The publisher who has produced these audio titles is working to have all of the 6 Anne books done as a set – utilizing this same narrator. Read on and take a relaxing and enjoyable journey into days gone by as you meet the little red-haired orphan girl with an imagination like no other, and the request that you spell her name, Anne, with an e.
The perfect story from those 5 to 50, Anne is a young girl coming to live in the small rural town of Avonlea on Prince Edward Island, Canada. Matthew and Marilla Cuthbert are the brother and sister owners of the family homestead Green Gables. They decided to take in an orphan boy from the mainland, and a neighbor brought the children back to the island. What is waiting for Matthew when he arrives at the station however, is a wide eyed, red-haired girl, with an unlimited ability to chatter and a large imagination.
Anne’s integration into the Cuthbert household isn’t always smooth, but her willingness to help, and her good-hearted and loving nature soon have both Matthew and Marilla wondering what life was like before her arrival. Anne will charm you as easily as she charms the town: with her few moments of extreme temper offset by her true enjoyment and excitement with all things new. You’ll meet several characters who will feel familiar and yet new: Montgomery manages to introduce characters that will grow on you, or annoy as simply as your neighbors may do. Language and word use are suited to the age of the story – first published in the early 1900’s, the story feels as if it starts in the late 1800’s, with Anne just eleven years old.
This is a sweet story that while it carries some moral tone, it really does serve the lessons up in a way that is easy to relate to, as Anne almost always sees the error in her ways and makes amends. And, as she is fond of saying “tomorrow is a new day, with no mistakes in it”.
Narration in this story is provided by Colleen Winton, and she has the perfect accent for a story set in the Maritimes. You may not be aware – but there is a difference in the Canadian accent that is subtle, but instantly noticeable to those who are familiar with them. Winton manages to portray the less emotional, tightly wound Marilla, the shy and quiet Matthew and the often lecturing voice of Mrs. Rachel Lynde with perfection. While her Anne isn’t quite what I would imagine, she imbues her words with all of the overly-effusive and heartfelt emotional emphasis that Anne herself is known for, and gives the girls (Diana, Ruby, Josie) unique moments as well. There are several different options for narration for this story: I will say that Winton’s is the best I have sampled, and am fortunate to have the opportunity to review.
This is a story about a young girl, growing up and learning to find her way in her new home. There are missteps and triumphs, but Anne manages to persevere and often succeed because of them. Her steadfast determination, good nature, enthusiasm and desire to please and be worthy of friendship, love and regard are admirable and sweet. And she grows on you, without question. Take a chance on Anne – you won’t regret it.
STARS: Overall 5 Narration 5 Story 5
Title: Anne of Green Gables
Author: L.M. Montgomery
Genre: Children's Literature
Narrator: Colleen Winton
Published by: Post Hypnotic Press
Source: AudioBook Jukebox
Audio Length: 10 Hours: 6 minutes
Get Your Copy: Amazon ♦ AllRomance ♦Audible
Everyone's favorite redhead, the spunky Anne Shirley, begins her adventures at Green Gables, a farm outside Avonlea, Prince Edward Island. When the freckled girl realizes that the elderly Cuthberts wanted to adopt a boy instead, she begins to try to win them and, consequently, the reader, over.
Listen to a sample: