It’s different reading books intended for a younger audience when you’re older. I’ve read the Chronicles of Narnia three times now, I think, and find new insights each time. I remember being totally absorbed in the Tolkien trilogy. (And, with my imagination, being glad I hadn’t read it as a child).
Anne presents some different thoughts. Had I read these books when I was in middle school, I think I would have reread them a number of times and romanticized them. Now I can enjoy L. M. Montgomery’s thoroughly developed characters and appreciate them from a different point of view. A teacher by trade and also a mom, I keep wanting Marilla to hug Anne, encourage her, praise her for trying to “behave”, and just basically let some things go. That Anne can accept her own imperfections with the experiences she has had in her life is pretty amazing. But what an engaging optimist! Montgomery has you cheering for her in every chapter.
Matthew is consistent as well, with his drawling, “Well, now….” as he gathers his thoughts. His trying to buy Anne a dress and coming home with farm implements was hilarious!
Anne, of course, is my favorite character. One of my favorite chapters was when she nursed Diana’s little sister through the croup, endearing herself (finally) to Diana’s mother. And the walk through the Haunted Wood, when her own imagination had her terrified was laughable. Her rapturously expounding on natural beauty makes one appreciate one’s surroundings a little more.
All in all, I think I am fully enjoying Anne more than I would have had I read it in my teens. Some books can be discovered and savored at any age.