Least favourite book in the series?
Anne of Ingleside. It’s not really about Anne any more, but cutesy little anecdotes about the children, but they are too young to really have much personality or issues I can really care about. (I know Anne was only 11 when we first met her, but her character was formed right away. Not so much her kids - except Walter.) Also, there is much gossip and matchmaking of characters we’ve never heard of before and will never hear of again. It’s quite hard to care. There are some gems in this book, and there is an interesting and very believable, if rather sad, storyline set around Anne and Gilbert’s wedding anniversary, but this book doesn’t sparkle like the others.
Happiest moment in the series?
There are so many. The puffed-sleeve dress is a lovely moment, Anne’s first taste of ice cream, going to town… the first book is full of exquisitely described simple pleasures that I think are just as powerful as the things that are more life-changing to an adult Anne.
Anne and Gilbert getting engaged, married, moving to their house o’dreams and starting out as a couple. And the birth of little Jem, a hard-earned happiness that you can’t grudge them after the sadness of Joyce.
Day 5: Favourite quote from the series
Anne says some very memorable, poetic and profound things through the course of the books, but I have to say, my favourite quotes are the dry, snarky comments from L. M. Montgomery’s narrator herself. For instance:
Mrs Rachel Lynde: “Only don’t say I didn’t warn you if he burns Green Gables down or puts strychnine in the well - I heard of a case over in New Brunswick where an orphan asylum child did that, and the whole family died in fearful agonies. Only, it was a girl in that instance.”
“Well, we’re not getting a girl,” said Marilla, as if poisoning wells were a purely feminine accomplishment and not to be dreaded in the case of a boy.
Bonus points for the dramatic irony here; after all, this book is not called John of Green Gables, is it?
“It’s certain I’ll never be angelically good. Mrs Spencer says - oh, Mr Cuthbert! Oh, Mr Cuthbert!! Oh, Mr Cuthbert!!!”
That was not what Mrs Spencer had said; neither had the child tumbled out of the buggy, nor had Matthew done anything astonishing…
(Until I had to type this out, I’d never noticed the increasing number of exclamation marks with each “Oh, Mr Cuthbert!” What was it Terry Pratchett said about the humble “!” ?
“Rachel will be left pretty lonely if anything happens to him, with all her children settled out west, except Eliza in town; she doesn’t like her husband.”
Marilla’s pronouns slandered Eliza, who was very fond of her husband.