Sunday, April 1, 2012

A is For... Anne & Anne

Hey Humble Readers (and A to Z Challenge visitors)...

As I've mentioned previously, I signed up for the the A to Z Challenge in April.  The main purpose is to improve your blogging skills by committing to write 26 posts, all themed to the daily letter (and we get most Sundays off for good behavior).  You are also encouraged to check out other bloggers who have signed up for the challenge... there are a TON of people playing along. 

I decided that I wanted to have a unifying theme for all my posts, so I decided to go with fictional characters who I love or relate to.  Books have been my friends, companions, and heroes all my life.  They have seen me through every major life event, from a turbulent childhood to my happy marriage, from long, leisurely afternoons in the library when I was a kid to surviving two miscarriages and my battle with infertility.  Nowadays, I share my passion for books with our wee sweet girl, Ginny. 

Today's characters are my two favourite Annes. 

When I was 11 years old, I discovered the wonderful world of Anne Shirley (aka Anne of Green Gables).  I think it was the first really long book I ever read.  It taught me the meaning of the word fortnight.  I was drawn to Anne's imagination, her sense of melodrama, and all the ridiculous situations in which she found herself (one of my favourites being the cow-in-the-cabbages scene in Anne of Avonlea).  She's a character who grew with me, and there are parts of her story that have touched me differently over the years.  A couple of years ago, I reread "Anne's House of Dreams" and when I got to the birth of her first daughter, it slammed me to the ground, and I understood her pain in a profoundly different way.  If you haven't taken the time to read the series, I highly recommend it. 

When I was a freshman in college, I discovered the wonders of Jane Austen.  It started with "Pride & Prejudice" (of course) but I quickly devoured her other novels.  Anne Elliot from "Persuasion" quickly supplanted Emma, Lizzy, and Eleanor for top spot in my heart.  Her patience with her increasingly infuritating family, her integrity, and the obvious undying love she holds in her heart for Captain Wentworth all moved me. There's something so endearing about how misunderstood she is by almost everyone in her life.  "Persuasion" isn't usually the tops of anyone's list of Austen's works, but for me, it is the one that gives me goosebumps every time I read it. 

(And now, I'm going to have to go back and re-read these books again soon.  I miss them.)

Do you have any favourite "A" fictional characters?


  1. Do you know that I haven't read any of the books mentioned in your post? Shameful, isn't it?

    I honestly don't know that I have a favorite A character but I do have a favorite A author...Anne McCaffrey. I have always loved her books...all of them.

    1. Tell you what... I'll read some Anne McCaffrey if you read some Jane Austen. Deal? :)

  2. Love this idea! How about Atticus?? ;)

    1. You know what? I had to read "To Kill A Mockingbird" when I was in school, and sadly it fell into the forced-to-read-it-so-I-hate-it pile. I need to go back and re-read it now.

    2. I was going to say Atticus! I reread "To Kill A Mockingbird" every summer.

      I completely understand the forced-to-read feeling, especially about Canadian fiction. While I enjoyed Mordecai Richler and Timothy Findlay when I was in high school and read most of their novels on my own, Margaret Atwood novels depress me to no end.

  3. Ugh. I have a serious hatred for Austen. I'm not exactly sure why. I guess I just hate period pieces... and westerns, not that she writes westerns... but anything where women are so... powerless (even though they have inner power and eventually triumph in their own way, and blah blah). But to be fair, I've never finished a Jane Austen book... I've tried reading them and gotten so irritated that I had to put them down. Especially Pride and Prejudice. Ugh. I wonder if I could FORCE myself to finish her novels, maybe I would like them. Give me Dostoyevsky any day! He's my true love. :) Crime and Punishment is like a rich chocolately cake for my soul. LOL.

    And I've never picked up Anne of Green Gables. I guess I figure that all my friends who love that series also love Jane Austen, and Twilight, and in my head they must be the same type of book. LOL. Maybe I should give it a try... and try to keep an open mind. :) **and yes, I realize that admitting this publicly might call into question my identity as a woman...**

    1. LOL... to each their own. :)

      I do however take exception to lumping Austen and Montgomery (author of Green Gables) in with the likes of Twilight! Talk about 'Ugh'! ;)

    2. I didn't mean to compare Twilight to Austen and Montgomery. *gasp* LOL. I know it's not even in the same sphere. It just seems like the same people like all 3, that's all. :) And in reading your response to your friend about "To Kill A Mockingbird" (which I LOVE by the way)... I realized that's probably why I hate Austen so much. She's in my "forced to read it, therefore hate it" category. Perhaps I should try to be an adult and give her a second chance... :)

  4. Well, I loved Austen's books....

    I had Anne of Green Gables downloaded in the e-book form, but never got to read it.

    I am fascinated with the story of Anastasia.

  5. Ah, a kindred spirit! I defy anyone to read the Anne of Green Gables books and not love Anne. :)

    I found your blog through the A to Z and have no power to resist anything Hobbitish. Nice to meet you.

  6. Lucy Maude Montgomery is still one of my favourite authors. I have 20 of her novels and 2 short story collections to pass on (hopefully to my own daughter). The Blue Castle is my favourite, but Anne and all her stories are definitely up there.

    Now, I also have an idea for a list of summer reads (besides finishing the sequels to the Girl With the Dragon Tattoo and starting Game of Thrones) - Jane Austen novels. Thanks for that!

  7. Terrific post. I enjoyed reading your insights.

    Visiting and now GFC follower through the A to Z Challenge. Lovely blog!

    Best regards,
    Award-winning Children’s Author
    Write What Inspires You Blog
    The Golden Pathway story book Blog


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