On My Nightstand

Well, more precisely on my Kindle.  Ok, ok, on the Kindle app on my phone.

When I’m stressed, I like to re-read books that I loved as a kid.  Little House in the Big WoodsAlice in WonderlandThe Brothers Grimm (my inner 8 year-old could have been born in 1930, I know.  Bear with me.)  A year or so ago I caught the complete Anne of Green Gables series on sale for Kindle for $1.99 and bought it because I remember enjoying the first few books of that series as a young teenager, although I can’t for the life of me remember if I ever read all of them or not.

Anyway, that was a long way of saying that I’ve been waking up in the middle of the night semi-frequently and not being able to go back to sleep immediately, so I started re-reading Anne of Green Gables and it is *so*good*.  I had forgotten how great Lucy M. Montgomery’s prose is.  As a kid I loved Anne – her imagination, her enthusiasm, her bosom friendship with Diana – she embodies childhood to me.  Reading it as an adult, Marilla is my favorite character by far.  (Remember how my inner child could have been born in 1930?  I suspect that my spiritual age is somewhere around 84.  But I digress.)

I love Marilla’s no-nonsense view of life.  I also enjoy Marilla’s relationship with her brother Matthew and with her friend, Mrs. Rachel Lynde.  But what really, really gets me (and what I’ve shed a few midnight tears over the past week or so) is the development of her feelings for Anne.  Marilla and Matthew might be my favorite parents in any book I can think of, and L.M. Montgomery does a wonderful job of showing Marilla’s love for Anne without turning Marilla into a sap.

Here are a few of my favorite quotes from Anne of Green Gables.  If you haven’t read it (or at least seen the fantastic movie with Megan Follows and Colleen Dewhurst) I highly recommend you check it out this weekend.  It is a perfect mood-lifter for springtime.

“Marilla felt more embarrassed than ever. She had intended to teach Anne the childish classic, “Now I lay me down to sleep.” But she had, as I have told you, the glimmerings of a sense of humor–which is simply another name for a sense of the fitness of things; and it suddenly occurred to her that simple little prayer, sacred to the white-robed childhood lisping at motherly knees, was entirely unsuited to this freckled witch of a girl who knew and cared nothing about God’s love, since she had never had it translated to her through the medium of human love.”

“It’s about Diana,’ sobbed Anne luxuriously. ‘I love Diana so, Marilla. I cannot ever live without her. But I know very well when we grow up that Diana will get married and go away and leave me. And oh, what shall I do? I hate her husband — I just hate him furiously. I’ve been imagining it all out — the wedding and everything — Diana dressed in snowy white garments, and a veil, and looking as beautiful and regal as a queen; and me the bridesmaid, with a lovely dress, too, and puffed sleeves, but with a breaking heart hid beneath my smiling face. And then bidding Diana good-bye-e-e—’ Here Anne broke down entirely and wept with increasing bitterness. Marilla turned quickly away to hide her twitching face, but it was no use; she collapsed on the nearest chair and burst into such a hearty and unusual peal of laughter that Matthew, crossing the yard outside, halted in amazement.  When had he heard Marilla laugh like that before?”

“Kindred Spirits are not as scarce as I used to think.  It’s nice to find out there are so many of them in the world.”

– Anne of Green Gables


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