I grew up watching the Anne of Green Gables movies with my sisters, but am just now reading (or rather listening to the audiobooks of) the books L. M. Montgomery wrote. I absolutely love the movies, but the books are far better. This truly is the most romantic story I know. I greatly appreciate how Gilbert waits patiently for him and Anne to talk about marriage, until they’re ready to think about it. He protects her heart while developing a precious friendship. I used to look at romance stories that began with a good friendship as somehow second-rate and boring. My romantic dream was to have a handsome young man come sweep my off my feet and carry me off in style . . . but that was a girl’s dream and is anything in real life quite how we dream of it beforehand? I’m older now and to be swept up in anything or “fall in love,” is far from what I want. I’m learning patience in life, but the new and surprising thing for me is I’m also learning to want a slow pace. I completely understand how a person may be attracted to another from the first time they meet, but that is no reason to jump headfirst (or rather without one’s head–mindlessly) into a deep relationship. I want to know him in friendship first. I want him to win my affections without him being aware he is. Instead of trying to impress me, I want to see the honest Christ-like character which is evident to everyone around him. He should be thinking of the kind of person he is, instead of only the person he wants to marry. I want to grow in love.
Best quotes from Anne of Avonlea by Lucy Maud Montgomery–
“Yes, it’s beautiful,’ said Gilbert, looking steadily down into Anne’s uplifted face, ‘but wouldn’t it have been more beautiful still, Anne, if there had been no separation or misunderstanding . . . if they had come hand in hand all the way through life, with no memories behind them but those which belonged to each other?”
“For a moment Anne’s heart fluttered queerly and for the first time her eyes faltered under Gilbert’s gaze and a rosy flush stained the paleness of her face. It was as if a veil that had hung before her inner consciousness had been lifted, giving to her view a revelation of unsuspected feelings and realities. Perhaps, after all, romance did not come into one’s life with pomp and blare, like a gay knight riding down; perhaps it crept to one’s side like an old friend through quiet ways; perhaps it revealed itself in seeming prose, until some sudden shaft of illumination flung athwart its pages betrayed the rhythm and the music, perhaps. . . perhaps. . .love unfolded naturally out of a beautiful friendship, as a golden-hearted rose slipping from its green sheath. ”
“Gilbert was as yet little more than a boy; but a boy has his dreams as have others, and in Gilbert’s future there was always a girl with big, limpid gray eyes, and a face as fine and delicate as a flower. He had made up his mind, also, that his future must be worthy of its goddess. Even in quiet Avonlea there were temptations to be met and faced. White Sands youth were a rather “fast” set, and Gilbert was popular wherever he went. But he meant to keep himself worthy of Anne’s friendship and perhaps some distant day her love; and he watched over word and thought and deed as jealously as if her clear eyes were to pass in judgment on it. She held over him the unconscious influence that every girl, whose ideals are high and pure, wields over her friends; an influence which would endure as long as she was faithful to those ideals and which she would as certainly lose if she were ever false to them. In Gilbert’s eyes Anne’s greatest charm was the fact that she never stooped to the petty practices of so many of the Avonlea girls — the small jealousies, the little deceits and rivalries, the palpable bids for favor. Anne held herself apart from all this, not consciously or of design, but simply because anything of the sort was utterly foreign to her transparent, impulsive nature, crystal clear in its motives and aspirations.”
“One can’t get over the habit of being a little girl all at once.”
“I’m so glad you’re here, Anne,’ said Miss Lavendar, nibbling at her candy. ‘If you weren’t I should be blue…very blue…almost navy blue. Dreams and make-believes are all very well in the daytime and the sunshine, but when dark and storm come they fail to satisfy. One wants real things then. But you don’t know this…seventeen never knows it. At seventeen dreams do satisfy because you think the realities are waiting for you further on.”
“Oh, sometimes I think it is of no use to make friends. They only go out of your life after awhile and leave a hurt that is worse than the emptiness before they came.”
“…I’m so thankful for friendship. It beautifies life so much.”
“After all,” Anne had said to Marilla once, “I believe the nicest and sweetest days are not those on which anything very splendid or wonderful or exciting happens but just those that bring simple little pleasures, following one another softly, like pearls slipping off a string.”
“If a kiss could be seen I think it would look like a violet,’ said Priscilla.
‘I’m so glad you spoke that thought, Priscilla, instead of just thinking it and keeping it to yourself. This world would be a much more interesting place…although it is very interesting, anyhow…if people spoke out their real thought
“Perhaps she had not succeeded in ‘inspiring’ any wonderful ambitions in her pupils, but she had taught them, more by her own sweet personality than by all her careful precepts, that it was good and necessary in the years that were before them to live their lives finely and graciously, holding fast to truth and courtesy and kindness, keeping aloof from all that savoured of falsehood and meanness and vulgarity. They were, perhaps, all unconscious of having learned such lessons; but they would remember and practice them long after they had forgotten the capital of Afghanistan and the dates of the Wars of the Roses.”
“When I think something nice is going to happen I seem to fly right up on the wings of anticipation; and then the first thing I realize I drop down to earth with a thud. But really, Marilla, the flying part is glorious as long as it lasts…it’s like soaring through a sunset. I think it almost pays for the thud.”
“What if he don’t propose after all, Miss Shirley Anne, ma’am? You can never be sure of them men. My older sister, Charlotta the First, thought she was engaged to one once. But it turned out he had a different opinion and she says she’ll never trust one of them again. And I heard of another case where a man thought he wanted one girl awful bad when it was really her sister he wanted all the time. When a man don’t know his own mind, Miss Shirley, ma’am, how’s a poor woman going to be sure of it?”
“I’m really a very happy, contented little person in spite of my broken heart.”