Wednesday, 15 April 2009

Green hair and puffed sleeves

'Well', said Marilla sarcastically, 'if I'd decided it was worth while to dye my hair I'd have dyed it a decent colour at least. I wouldn't have dyed it green.'
You can almost smell the tang of the fir and spruce trees in the air of Prince Edward Island as you read Anne of Green Gables. I do like novels which give a strong sense of place and time. There were lots of regional expressions in this book which interested me. I didn't know that a Christmas where it doesn't snow is known as a 'green Christmas' or that there is a dress fabric called 'glory' and I loved the fact that at Anne's school they kept their milk cold by standing it in a stream all morning!

The juxtaposition of Anne's imaginative flights of fancy and Marilla's dour put-downs make this a delightful read. Some of Anne's escapades, such as putting liniment instead of vanilla into a sponge cake and accepting a dare from arch-rival Josie Pye to walk across the gable roof reminded me of Little Women and What Katy Did. I'd love to find a copy of The Blue Castle an adult novel by Montgomery which is now out of print.


kristina said...

What a fantastic cover illustration! I didn't know Lucy Maud Montgomery wrote an adult novel. Must keep an eye out for that. In the meantime, feeling very inspired to re-read Anne! K x

callmemadam said...

I re-read all the Anne books every now and then. It's the place and the people that make the books for me as Anne gets less appealing as she grows older.
I do have a copy of The Blue Castle. Many people rate it their favourite L M Montgomery but I'm not one of them. There are paperbacks on Amazon.

Liz said...

What a horrible cover that is! All girls' book covers seem to have to be either Clarice Bean-like or a pukey pink these days.

It's a great book, though, and Anne's one of my favourite fictional characters.

Tara said...

I love these editions of these classic children's books. You know, I have a copy of The Blue Castle - which I haven't read. If you were closer I'd lend it to you!

Jennifer Dee said...

Oh! Please don't put down your book like that: use a book mark. Modern books are not made very well and the pages soon come loose if you are not careful.

Sorry! Don't mean to be critical.

Vintage Reading said...

Kristina, I love the cover, too although I can see Liz's point that Lauren Child is getting a little too prolific.

callmemadam, I thought Anne was slightly manipulative actually. I wondered if the potrayal of her mood swings were possibly autobiographical as Montgomery suffered from depression I believe. I was very fond of Rachel Lynde and Ruby Gillis!

Tara, I've managed to order a copy of The Blue Castle. I'd like to know your thoughts if you read it.

Jennifer, point taken. I will not abuse any more books!!


Elaine said...

The Blue Castle is one of my favourite LMM adult books, I read it every year straight through and love it every time.

May I also recommend jane of Lantern Hill? This is not an adult book as such but a non Anne/Emily book and tells the story of a child caught between her separted parents. Beautifully done.

Vintage Reading said...

Elaine, thanks for the recommendation, I'll look out for Jane of Lantern Hill. I've wondered why Persephone don't publish The Blue Castle it sounds the ideal book them.