Anne of Green Gables by L M Montgomery

Everyone seems to belong to a book club these days. Recently, at a rather dull dinner, I met an interesting elderly lady who told me that she had been re-reading books from her childhood and that only one that really stood the test of time and was as enjoyable on a mature reading was Anne of Green Gables by L M Montgomery.

Her observation stayed on my mind because Anne of Green Gables was one of my own favourite books from childhood. I resolved to read it again and, this week, I finally did just that. It was my first download for my new Amazon Kindle and I have been engrossed for two or three days. It’s such a joyful book – full of childish wonder and joy in the miracles and beauty of the natural world – full of rich imagination, warm, enthusiastic and uplifiting. It’s also a good story that pulls at the heartstrings without falling into sentimentality.

I’d forgotten most of the story – Anne’s orphaned background, her relationship with her adopted family, her academic rivalry with Gilbert Blythe, her friendship with Diana. What had stayed with me was a memory of her room at Green Gables and a sense of the wonderful richness of the countryside and her joy in it. Spring is a wonderful time to re-read Anne of Green Gables. I loved it so much I’m sorely tempted to re-read the other titles in the series.

If your book club is looking for an easy to read classic, Anne of Green Gables would be a good choice. And, who knows, maybe a trip to Prince Edward Island can be arranged. I hope so.

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time by Mark Haddon

Mark Haddon attracted a lot of attention when  this novel about a fifteen-year-old autistic boy was first published. Sometimes when books get a lot of hype and you read them more from curiosity than from the expectation of really enjoying them. For me, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time was in that category and it took me a while to get around to reading it, but, goodness, am I glad I did. This is a nicely told mystery story – deceptively simple. The hero is an autistic boy who sets out to track down the killer of the dog mentioned in the title. It is sometimes funny, moving and thought-provoking and if you haven’t already read it, I would say, definitely give it a go.