“It’s been my experience that you can nearly always enjoy things if you make up your mind firmly that you will.” – Anne of Green Gables
Where do I even begin? At the risk of sounding melodramatic, Anne of Green Gables forms the crux of my unconscious being. The eponymous heroine and her hilarious antics in turn of the century Prince Edward Island, Canada transformed my childhood. Anne, though fictional, remains to this day an inspiration and stands in all her red-haired glory as a person who is able to see the beauty in life despite its many pitfalls.
First published in 1908 the novel, by Lucy Maud Montgomery, who based it loosely on her childhood, became a bestseller and was made into a TV series (watch it, Megan Follows is brilliant as Anne) and film. Montgomery subsequently wrote 5 more books about Anne’s adventures.
Anne of Green Gables is worth reading for a number of reasons. Firstly, because Anne is a veritable force of nature and gets into the most delightful scrapes, a personal favourite being her mistakenly dying her hair green one afternoon after school. Secondly, because it has a cast of comic small-town characters that pepper the narrative with amusing anecdotes. Finally, and most importantly, because it is well-written and a good book always transcends time and place.
Reading literature that one perused as a child is best accompanied by something sweet. I found berry smoothies with bananas, almond milk and maple syrup that was mentioned by food writer Rachel Khoo in her recipe book about muesli, especially satisfying given the occasion. The berries balanced the almond milk well. A good tip is to freeze pieces of banana the night before and blend them into the smoothie. This makes it deliciously cool to drink without having to add ice.