Title: Anne of Green Gables
Narrator: Kate Burton
Publisher: 2008 by Random House, Inc., originally published 1908
Format: 8 CDs, playing time 10.5 hours
Genre: classic, young adult
Summary: Marilla and Matthew Cuthbert, sister and brother, decide to adopt an orphan boy to help Matthew with his farm work. Matthew goes to the train station to pick up the boy, but when he gets there he finds there has been a mistake. The boy is a girl, Anne Shirley. Where will Anne's path take her from here?
Thoughts: I thoroughly enjoyed every minute of this book. It was a wonderful escape to a simpler time. I loved the realization that many things have changed, but many more have not. Also, it encompassed all emotions, but the parts that were most memorable to me were the humorous ones. Although there were serious issues written about in the book, such as sickness and death, the author wrote in a way that still made the book cozy and uplifting, rather than depressing.
The setting of the story is Prince Edward Island in Canada. The author made me feel that I was there and I could picture each beautiful place in my mind. The real Green Gables still stands and can be visited. The house was owned by the author's cousins, but has been a National Histiric Site since 1985 and is in Prince Edward Island National Park. L.M. Montgomery visited the house as a young girl. "Lover's Lane", "the Haunted Woods", and "Balsam Hollow", all places in the book, can also be visited. In fact, if traveling to Prince Edward Island, there is a whole "Anne Itinary" available to follow so that you can encompass yourself with the story.
The characters were brought to life by the author. I could picture the physical appearance of each one along with their mannerisms. I found myself wanting to know the stories of the minor characters, as well as the main characters because each character was interesting in their own way. This was one of those stories that felt as if the characters were real people.
The narrator helped to bring the characters to life even more and I felt like her portrayals of Anne, Marilla, and Matthew were right on. Her voice was clear and she read the story at a pleasing pace. The tracks were also not too long, so it was easy to find my place if I lost it.
I believe this is a book for all ages, not just children. I think that girls and women would like it most since it deals with a lot of female issues and concerns. I tried listening to it with my two sons (ages 9 and 14), but they could just not get into it. My fourteen year old found Anne annoying because she was dramatic and talked too much.
This is a cozy book, with terrific characters, and a beautiful setting. It is more than just an entertaining story. It is about community, friendships, families, life and love.
Instead of tea, I just had to make raspberry cordial to go along with this book. I searched online and quickly found this wonderful blog post that has a recipe, created by the blogger, for raspberry cordial. So, I have done a recipe review in place of a tea review this time around.
I halved the recipe created by Tori Avery and this resulted in plenty of the drink. The whole recipe would have been too much for my family of four. I had some raspberries from my garden in my freezer, so thawed those (about 3 cups). I mixed 1/6 of a cup of lemon juice with the thawed raspberries. I then brought 6 cups of water mixed with 1 1/2 cups of sugar to a boil. I poured the boiling liquid over the raspberry mixture and let this cool (about 2 hours) before placing it in the refrigerator to sit overnight. The next day I strained the liquid through a fine sieve, the end result being a pitcher full of a beautiful red liquid.
I mixed 1 cup of the red liquid with one cup of water to create the raspberry cordial that would be something like Anne served in Anne of Green Gables. The concoction was delightful. It was a beautiful red that had the scent of raspberries. The taste was very sweet, smooth, and refreshing. It, of course, tasted of raspberries. Tori Avery also suggests mixing the liquid with seltzer, which I did the next day. This created a raspberry soda that reminded me of Izzy's Sparkling Blackberry Juice. I also might try adding the raspberry juice to a small amount of ginger ale or lemon-lime soda.
Just like Anne of Green Gables is really a story for all ages, so is this drink. Making raspberry cordial after reading this scene with your young kids would be fun. It would also show them how "juice" is made and I am sure they will love the color. My 9 and 14 year old boys loved it and have requested that I make it again for Christmas. It is also an elegant, refreshing drink for adults anytime of the year! Thank you, Tori Avery, for this wonderful recipe.