What an enjoyable book! I read this to prepare for reading Anne of Green Gables for the Classics Challenge. Budge Wilson does a great job of recounting Anne’s early life for us and what a tragic life it was.
She loses her parents at just 3 months old and is taken in by the Thomas family. Well this doesn’t turn out for the best-there are lots of kids, fighting, violence and an alcoholic Mr. Thomas.
After a tragedy occurs, Anne is taken in by the Hammond’s which isn’t much better for her. There are 8 kids, four years old and under-3 sets of twins-one of which is born while Anne is living there. This living arrangement ends in tragedy also.
At both of these homes, Anne was basically a slave doing work that no young child should ever have to do. Now, she ends up having to go to an orphanage which was always her greatest fear but ends up to be the very best thing that could have happened for her. She eventually ends up being adopted by the Cuthburt’s and goes to live on her beloved Prince Edward Island and here the story ends.
I was truly shocked by one thing in particular in the book and I imagine it’s true as the writer researched the history and customs of this period of time in Anne’s life. Both Mrs. Thomas and Mrs. Hammond end up alone with their children. Mrs. Thomas is able to go live with family but in Mrs. Hammond’s case, people just came in and requested to take babies. No body in her family wanted to take her in with all those kids and she had no way of supporting herself. All that had to be done to accomplish this was having the Pastor have the people taking the babies and Mrs. Hammond sign a paper. It’s almost like they were just something you could pick up at the store, not little babies.
Aside from that, I admire Anne’s courage, hope, and the ability to find something, no matter how small, to enable her to make it through a bad situation. I found this an enjoyable novel and I really liked the writer’s style in describing the circumstances and the scenery as Anne had a vivid imagination in everything. I would definitely recommend this story for kids and adults alike.