by L. M. Montgomery
ages: 12+ (read aloud 8+)
First sentence: “Mrs. Rachel Lynde lived just where the Avonlea main road dipped down into a little hollow, fringed with alders and ladies’ eardrops and traversed by a brook that had its source away back in teh woods of the old Cuthbert place; it was reputed to be an intricate, headlong brook in its earlier course through those woods, with dark secrets of pool cascade; but by the time it reached Lynde’s Hollow it was a quiet, well-conducted little stream, for not even a brook could run pass Mrs. Rachel Lynde’s door without due regard for decency and decorum; it probably was conscious that Mrs. Rachel was sitting at her window, keeping a sharp eye on everything that passed, from brooks and children up, and that if she noticed anything odd or out of place she would never rest until she had ferreted out of the whys and wherefores thereof.”
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(Wow. That’s a long first sentence.)
You all know the story, right? Of Anne, the impetuous orphan girl who comes to stay on Prince Edward Island with Matthew and Marilla Cuthbert, winning her way into their hearts and getting into scrapes as she grows older. It’s one of those classics that everyone loves.
I picked it up for the first time in a very long time to read it aloud to A. And we had a wonderful time. Although some of the language was hard for her to grasp, and she kept wondering about all the late 19th-century references. But, for the most part, she fell as much in love with Anne as the rest of us have over time. And as a little bonus, every time M or C would wander by, they would stop and listen for a bit, and often say, “Oh, I love Anne.”
It really is a wonderful novel.