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Friday, November 28, 2008

Books Read in November

I haven't read many books this month because I haven't had time. My mother is quite old and frail - although not for her age - so I often go to her place and help her. This means that I have books in two places!

The Clocks by Agatha Christie

This was a clever mystery involving a blind lady, clocks, gossipy neighbours and a sweet romance. I didn't understand the ending, however, so maybe it was too clever!

Homeland by Clare Francis

I found this a rather dreary book with a miserable, but dramatic setting - the Somerset moors. It was about a Polish ex-soldier trying to make a new life for himself in England just after the war. I liked him so I did finish the book. It did bring home to me the plight of the Polish people, but I wouldn't recommend this novel.

There is one more book to add. I will write about that next week.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

A Tribute To Anne

This year all lovers of L.M.Montgomery's 'Anne' series celebrate the 100th anniversary of the publication of Anne of Green Gables. This article about Anne was originally published at Seeds of Knowledge.com under my pen-name, Viola Ashford.


A TRIBUTE TO ANNE

L.M. Montgomery's classic stories, especially her warm-hearted series about Anne of Green Gables had a strong influence on my girlhood, and that of many women of my generation. Still popular, the 'Anne' books are constantly reprinted, have been made into a high-rating TV series, and are the subject of a mailing list on the Internet. Sadly however, the series is not as widely read as it once was. Many of today's teenage novels are pessimistic, dealing with dark issues such as depression, drugs and teenage suicide, often awakening feelings of despair and hopelessness.

The 'Anne' series is set in the late 19th century on the beautiful Canadian province of Prince Edward Island, off the coast of Nova Scotia. When the story begins Anne is an 11 year-old, red-haired orphan mistakenly adopted by stern Marilla and her kindly brother Matthew, who were expecting a boy to help out on their farm Green Gables.

Sunny-natured, feisty Anne soon charms her way into their hearts and the hearts of those in the little village of Avonlea, even though she annoys Marilla by constantly getting into 'scrapes'. These misadventures include being nasty to Marilla's best friend when her red hair is criticized, accidentally making herself and her best friend Diana drunk on Marilla's homemade wine, and mistakenly dying her red hair green.

Anne has to cope with experiences common to many girls of her age, for example, being taunted at her new school, worry about her marks, and malicious friends. She also, at 16, has to bear the sorrow of her beloved Matthew's death. Heroic Anne survives all this with flying colors.

Clever, independent and ambitious, Anne, the daughter of schoolteachers, unlike most girls of her time, wants a career. She obtains a B.A, the first person from Avonlea to do so, and fulfills her ambition to become a high-school teacher.

The girls who read about Anne cried for her when Matthew died, worried about how she would get out of her scrapes, and cheered for her when she went to university and obtained her BA.

As a teenager Anne was one of my role models. She confronts her problems optimistically, with charm and grace. She is determined to achieve her ambitions and does this under difficult circumstances at a time when women were not encouraged to pursue careers. Many women all over the world owe their desire for an education and career to her example.

More importantly than that, however, Anne, with her courageousness and optimism, showed how life should be lived.