This drought-ridden city has finally quenched its thirst. Rain! Beautiful, pitter-pattering rain. My sequoia tree is waving its fluffy branches in contentment. Clouds opened this morning to let the sun shine through onto freshly fallen snow on the cordillera, ringing the city with a gleaming white crown.
Temperatures have dropped. A perfect time for warm sweaters and socks and a good book. I’ve been re-reading “Anne of Green Gables,” recommended by my writing group to help me get a feel for the early 1900s. I have this crazy idea to write an historical novel….
The story hooks me. Who doesn’t want to know what happens to an orphan girl who has been passed from one foster home to another? Having watched the first excellent season of “Anne with an e” on Netlfix, the characters feel very real. I do find the book overly sentimental but it was written for the times. I relate to Anne’s deep love and appreciation for nature. Reading the book now feels like connecting with a simpler more innocent world. Though it might come across as “old-fashioned,” universal topics are woven throughout: men’s and women’s roles in marriage, women’s education, empathy, poetry, inner versus external beauty, the peace to be found in nature.
I probably read the book in the 1950’s so it didn’t feel terribly old-fashioned. In fact, as a young girl, I loved reading books set in the past. Some of the books had been my mother’s books: The Little Coronel Series, The Little Princess, Copperhead, Little Women, The Wizard of Oz.
I bought Spanish versions of “Anne of Green Gables” for my twin granddaughters. They’d seen the Netflix version which I hoped would motivate them to read it. But I wonder if a story set over 100 years ago appeals to adolescent girls now in this swirling world of cell phones, Instagram and social media. They might learn a great deal from Anne’s authenticity and faithfulness to her values. Values that will never grow old.