Jun 24, 2011

The Personal Aspect of Reading

by Tanya Parker Mills

You may not believe this, but I've never read Anne of Green Gables. It's true. That and a whole bunch of other YA classics. I think I skipped directly from picture books to adult fiction. Except for a short and now embarrassing stint with all the Hardy Boys and another series involving a teenage boy inventor, whose name I can't recall right now (yes, I was a tried and true tomboy).

Anyway, as it was recommended by one of my Goodreads friends recently, I thought I'd give it a go and told him so on his Facebook wall. My daughter happened to notice since she's also his FB friend and she made the following comment:

Yay Mom, you won't regret it. Trust me, you will understand the life of Allison Mills so much better :)

Okay, now it's become personal...way personal. I guess every child thinks they were never really understood by their parents, but still--now I'm not reading for pleasure. I'm reading for clues! I'm assuming she identifies with the main character, who is an orphan by the way. What does that say about me and my husband? Or am I represented in the book by another character, since she leaves her orphanage in the very beginning? And her friend (actually her boyfriend) who recommended the book in the first place responded to her comment by saying, "Agreed." Just what has she told him about her life...or us, for that matter?

This should prove to be an interesting investigation. I hope it's pleasurable, as well.


  1. I didn't discover Anne until after I'd had all my children and I heard about it from one of them. It's one of my favorite series. I read it every couple of years. My two favorite books are the first one and then Rainbow Valley. I can't look at my blooming spring and summer flowers without thinking of Anne.

  2. I think maybe she's referring to the dramatic outpourings of the main character, the trouble she gets into, and the romantic way she views life. Not necessarily that she ever felt like an orphan.

  3. I have to agree with Kami. Most teen books are about orphans or some other way seperate the teen from the family.
    I didn't discover Anne until I was an adult. I have not read them yet either but loved the series with Megan Follows. As a teen I saw a popular girl that I felt I had nothig in common with holding one of the books and decided that if she liked it I would not relate. But I was wrong. Plus, I know that at least two of my sisters and several nieces (oh yes my mother also) liked the series, either books or shows.

    I think that Anne is trying to find her place in the world. She is worried about getting in trouble. Has dreams for her future that others consider impractical. She is full of melodrama. She is confused about love, but eventually matures and figures it out. She has good friends. Adults make cumbersome rules she believes aren't needed.
    Anne is a loveable character.

  4. Yes, I'm seeing that already in the first ten chapters. I can certainly see aspects of my daughter in Anne--her love of nature and beauty, her tendency to call it like she sees it, her sense of the dramatic, her romantic idealism. Still, I can't help wondering how different this read would be were I not looking for clues.

  5. I read the books early on and loved the movies. I think the whole point of the series was to quote a Mormon bloom where you are planted. LOL

  6. I presume your daughter's a teenager. If so, then what a gift to you to be clued in to something that she says will help you understand her. Even in the best of mother/daughter relationships I think there's at least some level of wondering if we really know our daughthers.

    Have fun sleuthing your way through a great series of books. And if your daughter is like Anne, I love her already.

  7. Anne is one of my favorites; and, knowing Anne and also knowing you, I'm pretty sure your daughter is phenomenal.


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