When I was around eight years old, my mom and I traveled to Prince Edward Island for an unforgettable journey that has stayed with me my whole life. Just the two of us, exploring the beauty of the island and getting intimately acquainted with the always friendly, often gossipy and sometimes meddlesome locals. And we went without ever leaving home!
Cold, dark Canadian winters are just made for staying in, lighting a fire and reading a good book and when my mother and I discovered Anne of Green Gables, Lucy Maud Montgomery’s 1908 book about a red-headed orphan in PEI, we were instantly hooked. My mom started reading the book to me and before we knew it, we were both hopelessly under Anne’s spell, unable to tear ourselves away. We would read a few chapters every night by the glow of the fireplace and I spent my days in school daydreaming about Anne with an E, wondering what would happen next and counting down the hours until I could be reunited with my book.
I’ve always loved reading and this Canadian classic is one of the big reasons. This was one of the first books I ever fell in love with, completely lost myself in and because of this, it holds a special place in my heart.
The 1985 television adaptation of the book, starring the quintessentially Canadian Megan Fellows and Jonathan Crombie (whose portrayal of Gilbert Blythe was so penetrating that his death in 2015 felt like a personal loss), brilliantly and beautifully brings Montgomery’s characters to life; it’s a Canadian staple and I couldn’t tell you how many times I’ve seen it.
But today, a new interpretation called Anne With an E is coming to Netflix and I CAN’T WAIT to see it. It’s a Canadian production, which originally aired on CBC as ‘Anne’ but has been rebranded for Netflix. All I can say is that it’s got massive shoes to fill; the Megan Follows adaptation is absolutely beloved by Canadians. But I look forward to seeing how Anne is reimagined in this modern re-telling of a timeless tale.
If you aren’t familiar with Anne of Green Gables, I highly urge you to start with the book, then binge on Netflix. As Canada celebrates its 150th birthday this year, it’s the perfect time to get better acquainted with our country and the stories, like Lucy Maud Montgomery’s, that have shaped us. President Barack Obama once said, “The world needs more Canada,” and particularly in today’s world, that resonates and rings deeply true to me, but of course, I’ve always bled red and white for the true North strong and free. Join me in enjoying some true Canadiana this week!