Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Lydia's Favorite Fictional Character --- Anne Shirley

One of the most pleasant aspects of the book blogging world is the sense of community and how quickly another blogger can feel like an old friend.  You may never talk about the latest love of your life or how much you just paid for that new pair of jeans, but you share something more than that, a love of books and everything that entails.  Lydia of The Lost Entwife is one of the bloggers for me.  She is one of those reviewers to whom I look to before I buy a new book.  If I see a book at the store I'm not familiar with, I go to her blog to see if she has read it.  If she has, and did not like it, I will probably not buy it.  I trust her taste and her ability to put her reaction down in words, in such a way as to make me understand what my own reaction to it would be.  She is a gifted blogger, writer, and she is someone I hope to have around for many years to come.  Bloggers like Lydia, make the all the work worth it.  So go on by her blog, say hi, and I know you will be sticking around for a long, long time.

Hi folks!  My name is Lydia, and I blog over at The Lost Entwife, and about a year ago I discovered Ryan and his fantastic feature of Favorite Fictional Character and have loved reading each and every one of them.  So I was honored when Ryan asked me to contribute a guest post - and then the next day freaked out as I tried to pick one, JUST one, character I could talk about.  I mean - my latest favorite has definitively been Tyrion Lannister of Game of Thrones fame, but everyone loves that little dude, so I went to my bookshelves and looked and looked.  But then I realized there really is just one answer.

One of the first books I remember getting from my Aunt for Christmas is Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery.  I've read the book, and all its sequels, and watched the movies so many times that for every event, small or big, that happens in my life, I can give an Anne quote to bolster my spirits or get me settled back on solid ground.  This is the book I give my nieces to read, it's the book that comforts me when it's raining outside and I feel as if the world is a dark and dismal place.  Gilbert was my first crush and when I was younger, raspberry cordial sounded like it would be the thing to drink.

Anne taught me what it was to be patient, to be kind.  She is a character who struggles with her temper and with saying the wrong thing, but she also is able to swallow her pride and seek forgiveness for her brash actions.  She struggles with her red hair (and boy could I relate to having things about me I didn't like), but ultimately comes to accept that hair and how much it sets her apart and makes her Anne-with-an-E.

Through Anne I experienced loss the first time when Walter Cuthbert passes away.  I cried into my tissues, and still do to this day.  I learned what it means to be a "bosom friend" to someone, how to love Tennyson and the spoken word in the form of poetry, and how important imagination is.

I'm going to finish this post with a few of my favorite quotes from the various Anne books, and I hope that if you haven't experienced the story of Anne's life that you seek it out and introduce yourself.  Trust me, she's been a good friend to me all these years and I'm sure she will be the same to you.

“We should regret our mistakes and learn from them, but never carry them forward into the future with us.”

“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.”

“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.”

“Dear old world', she murmured, 'you are very lovely, and I am glad to be alive in you.”

Listen to Anne's Theme here.


Lydia said...

Thank you for the kind words, Ryan. You've been one of my constants as well, and I love coming by to visit, even when life is crazy. I don't comment as much as I should (and feel horribly guilty about it) but I want you to know that you are one of my faithful standbys and it was such an honor to share my favorite character with you!

And yes, you should read Anne's story! I think you'll love it as much as I do.

bermudaonion said...

I didn't experience Anne until I was an adult but I sure love her too.

Anne said...

Anne is one of my favorite characters of all time as well. Thanks for adding all of the wonderful quotes, I enjoyed reading them again!

Ryan said...

Lydia, Thank you so much for doing this and exposing me to a character I know of, but don't know personally. This is one of those books that I know I'll read eventually, but your post has made me want to move that meeting up.

Anonymous said...

Great choice! Anne was and still is one of my favorites. She formed my childhood as she did many girls'. Your quotes make me want to revisit the books right this very minute.

Audra said...

Lovely guest post -- I have never read any of the Anne books. I can't believe it myself, but that is awful and true. I might need to take it on as a challenge for next year as Lydia's post has me so curious about her!

Melissa (Books and Things) said...

I have to admit I haven't read Anne. I'm ashamed. However, I did love that PBS show they did. I think I first saw it during a spring break and watched it from beginning to end. It was a marathon they had on with all 3 long episodes one after another. I was engrossed. Yes, I loved that show!

Lauren Hairston said...

How much do I love Anne Shirley?! She's the best. I read Anne of Green Gables in third grade and didn't stop until I'd read every book. I think it's time for a re-read!

Jill Buck said...

I love these books, I have thought about reading them with my children soon as I think it is time for a reread! Thanks for the reminder post!

Beth said...

What a great choice! How can anyone not love Anne?

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