There have been many stories of celebrities wanting to dye their hair red because of Anne Shirley, or female readers who think that Anne is their true kindred spirit and just like them. But it is always interesting when successful authors reveal that it was Anne who first gave them the “reading bug”. What is it about the novel that makes young girls want to keep reading….and reading?
Jenny Colgan, a successful British chick-lit author of such books as Diamonds Are a Girl’s Best Friend, The Good, the Bad and the Dumped, and just recently, Meet Me At the Café, revealed her history with Anne in an interview with Mail Online.
What Book First Gave You The Reading Bug?
I read Charlie And The Chocolate Factory at least 11 times. And I was obsessed with Anne with an ‘e’ of Green Gables fame and Katy Carr, heroine of What Katy Did. My five-year-old adored Charlie And The Chocolate Factory, too, and I re-read Anne Of Green Gables recently and was completely startled to find out that it wasn’t about an impetuous child, but is, in fact, the story of a lonely older woman learning to love. I bawled my eyes out on almost every page.
Jenny is not alone in discovering the many layers of Anne of Green Gables. To realize that perhaps Montgomery was just as invested in fleshing out the character of Marilla and her own journey in accepting a daughter into her life, is an interesting way to look at the novel. We sometimes get caught up in the feelings and fate of the main characters in our favourite books. Jenny’s discovery is an important reminder of how refreshing it can be to always take a second look.
To read the full interview with Jenny, click here.