May 09, 2011 |by Candice Walsh | 0 Comments
Green Gables House
I first read Anne of Green Gables when I was a little girl. I absolutely hated her, and fiercely opposed her self-hatred for redheads. In fact, I never fully forgave her for the insults she made about her ginger roots...until this past year, when I took a trip to Prince Edward Island.
The fictional eight-book series written by Lucy Maude Montgomery is basically PEI’s pride and joy. The books’ popularity is unreal, and hundreds of thousands of people visit Green Gables House every year...especially the Japanese. For whatever reason, Anne is HUGE in Japan.
Quick plot summary: Anne Shirley shows up at Green Gables as an abandoned, lonely orphan. She’s been adopted by Marilla and Matthew Cuthbert...the problem is they actually arranged to adopt a boy. In the end everything works out and Anne becomes one of those amazingly talented, loving children who changes the Cuthberts’ lives forever, and the series follows her through her life as a teacher and eventually a mother. It’s enough to make you want to go back in time and live without electricity.
Visiting the Green Gables House is pretty much a required part of visiting the island, and after seeing the idyllic setting with the green-trimmed house and the elaborate garden, it’s not hard to see where Montgomery got her inspiration. Every word written about the island, from descriptions of the colourful flower beds to life in peaceful Cavendish, paints the most perfect picture of small-town bliss. There are even trails through the Haunted Woods and Balsam Hollow, as described in the books. Not far away in Charlottetown, the Anne of Green Gables musical carries on throughout the summer.
In other words, Anne is a pretty big deal, and the books do a lot to promote tourism to the “gentle island.”
So after taking a stroll through the house and watching a short clip detailing the significance of the Anne of Green Gables series, I decided I had to pick up a book to take home with me. Anne deserved another chance. Four weeks later I’m halfway through the series and find myself dying to get back to Prince Edward Island to pay Anne the homage she deserves. Go read! Montgomery’s love for her home is evident in everything she writes, and travel writers should take note. You’ll fall in love with the dreamy chatterbox yourself.