Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Before Green Gables

I was given a book for Christmas that I never would have chosen for myself at the library. It is a prequel to Anne of Green Gables by Budge Wilson. I love the Anne of Green Gables books by L.M. Montgomery. I wasn't sure about reading this book that was like Anne of Green Gables but not the real book.
Ram encouraged me to not go in with high hopes. I tried to just read it as a book with a character the same name as Anne of Green Gables.
It was ok but I now plan to give the book away and not take up shelf space. Wilson's language and writing doesn't compare to a classic book like Montgomery's. It is not a must read book for your list.
I had a couple of problems with some of the historical parts of this book. The men would not be thinking about breastfeeding immunity for their children at that time. The women would not talk about their "monthly time" with each other. There were other details like this that bugged the history minor in me.
In her acknowledgements Wilson thanked several people who were Anne of Green Gables experts for their knowledge and help. I'm not convinced that Wilson read the entire Anne of Green Gables series as many times as I have and an author of a book like this should have read it several times and know it backwards and forwards. I also think that if Anne really had a childhood like Wilson says she would have had no children when she grew up, possibly not even gotten married.
I did stay up late a couple of nights to read this book though so it wasn't a complete waste of a book. I was especially interested in the mom that had 8 children, 3 sets of twins, and the oldest was 4 years old. I can't even imagine the work at that time of cooking, dishes, and laundry for a large family.
Sometimes things are best let unsaid and let your imagination fill in the gaps. I think if L.M. Montgomery wanted us to know Anne's story before she came to Green Gables then she would have written a book about that.
I was also given Return to the Hundred Acre Wood for Christmas. I'm not sure if I want to attempt a book like A.A. Milne's but by a different author after reading Before Green Gables.

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