Discovering Anne2

Megan Follows in Kevin Sullivan’s Anne of Green Gables

 

The first time I saw Anne of Green Gables was at my Grandparents’ house, on a TV to VHS recording that I had to fast-forward through to avoid commercials every twenty minutes or so. I loved it. And when The Continuing Story came on TV I remember being so excited that there was another Anne film. I thought the adventure that Anne embarked on was thrilling and for the ten year old girl that I was, it was inspiring. In the years after I would watch crappy VHS recordings and borrow all three films from my local library constantly, revisiting Avonlea and Anne over and over again.

When I was 19, and just coming out of my third semester of College, I decided to reward myself for my hard work by yet again re-watching the first three Anne films. It had been years since I had last watched them and I was in need of some escapism. I came home from the Library, my DVDs in hand, and watched all three that night. The next day I was tired from staying up late and when my Mum asked why and I told her, she asked me if I had ever read the books. I thought for a moment and realized that I hadn’t. In school I had read a highly abridged version of Anne of Green Gables, but I had never read the actual books and for whatever reason I had never gone looking for them. My Mum told me that she still had her copies, somewhere in the ether of the under the stairs storage, and if I could find them, and wanted them, then they were mine. So, on the first day of my winter break I armed myself with a flash light and began going through the boxes and bags under the stairs. Eventually I found them: six of the eight Anne of Green Gables books re-published in the 1960s. Feeling triumphant I quickly cleaned up and then spent the afternoon reading. From the very first line “Mrs. Rachel Lynde lived just where the Avonlea main road dipped down into a little hollow…” I was hooked and I fell in love.

Discovering AnneI never expected the books to be the same as the films, I had seen enough of the books I loved turned into movies at that point to know that it just wasn’t realistic, and I found that I was forming a new appreciation for how much I liked Anne as a character. She was smart, witty and unfailingly optimistic and that was definitely a constant in both the films and the books. That winter break I read all six of the books that  had been my Mother’s and then I went out and found Windy Poplars and Rainbow Valley and read those too. In the years since I have re-read them all too many times to count. When I was in my last year of University and working on a research paper about representations of gender in literature, Anne was one of my go to sources; she was the perfect example of a female literary character who was strong and did not lack the courage of her convictions.

Discovering Anne of Green Gables is something that I will always be grateful for. The films and the books have made me laugh and cry and never fail to cheer me up; I know they’ll be my go to source of escapism for years to come.

To find all things Anne of Green Gables visit Shop At Sullivan!

By Adriana Pacheco, Sullivan Entertainment 

About the Author

Three time Emmy-award and Peabody-award winning Sullivan Entertainment is an international media production and distribution company. With a vast inventory of programming from all genres, including mini and long-form series, feature films, and children’s and comedy specials, the company has become renowned for providing audiences around the world primarily with lavish period escapism, for over 30 years.

3 Comments

  • Barbara says:

    I, too, was at my grandparents house. It was on the tv and from that moment on, I was mesmorized! I am now a teacher and I have passed a couple copies of the first book in the series to a couple of students who seem to have those special qualities like Anne! I have even been known to re-watch the movies on my summer and Christmas breaks.

  • Constance Worthington says:

    Marvelous! I was in third grade, the daughter of an Air Force officer, stationed in St. John’s, Nfld when I first met Anne. My mother gave me a couple of LM Montgomery books that had been published in the 1920’s and been her’s as a girl. Anne because my best friend; greatest dreaming partner and go-to when I felt blue anytime in the next three years. For my 15th birthday, when the books were being republished, she gave me the rest of the “Anne” books! I disappeared for days into the Anne world at PEI. At almost 70, I still have all those books and more! Some of my Montgomery books have been re-bound through the years. And, I still read of wonderful, charming, imaginative Anne on rainy days. After my husband died, my cousin (to whom I had introduced “Anne”) and I went to PEI for a week and it is one of my favorite memories. Anne’s world became even more alive and real for me. How strong and wonderful LM Montgomery was to give life to “Anne” and so many beautiful people with their dreams, wishes, troubles and triumphs! “Anne” is a treasure and I thank Kevin Sullivan for giving her life with spectacular actors, scenery and words!

  • R Lantz says:

    The first time I read Anne of Green Gables was in 4th grade. As a reward for something (I don’t remember what), I was allowed to choose (and keep!) a book from Mrs. Steiner’s bookshelf. I chose Anne on a whim. I thought the cover, which depicted her walking along a roof, looked interesting. Mrs. Steiner even wrote a little note inside the cover – something to the effect of “I hope you enjoy this book as much as I do.” I did! It was love at first read. I usually read the entire series once a year. When my daughter is older, I plan to read it with her.

    I watched the movies years later when they ran them on Channel 11. I love them, too, and watch them frequently.

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