Oddly enough, that isn't the book I like best. Oh sure, it's the first one I discovered and I think it's great, but she wrote other books that I fell in love with even more.
Although most people only know the first book in the series, L.M. Montgomery actually wrote eight novels about Anne. Here are my favorite Anne books:
- Anne of the Island. Anne goes to college and rejects suitors right and left. I think this book may be the one I like the best in the whole series. It has a lovely timeless quality to it.
- Anne's House of Dreams. This book chronicles the first few years of Anne's marriage. There's heartbreak and love in it and it's wonderful to see Anne grow up and her relationships develop. I have to say, though, that I recently re-read this book, and found it contained far more sexist attitudes towards women than I remembered.
- Rilla of Ingleside. This book contains the story of Anne's daughter growing up during World War One. I learned a lot from this book when I first read it, and the images of war it presents have always stayed with me.
- Emily's Quest. This is the third book in the Emily series and is quite haunting in parts. It moves me every time I read it. Also, this is the series that I've always considered to be the most autobiographical of L.M. Montgomery, so I think the occasional sadness and despair in it affect me more.
- Mistress Pat, the second book in the series, is the one I like the best. There's something intriguing about Pat's devotion to her house. Also, aspects of Pat's story are similar to Emily's, which I've always found interesting. I think it contains my least favorite male name, though. The hero's name is Jingle. That's never really worked for me.
- A Tangled Web. This book brings all of L.M. Montgomery's major stories together in one book. It's like reading short versions of all her other books.
- The Blue Castle. It's not very well known at all, and it's the only book she wrote that is not set on Prince Edward Island. It's about a woman, Valancy Stirling, who is told she only has a year to live. She completely reinvents herself in a wonderful way. I think this is the most romantic of all of L.M. Montgomery's books.
Interested in more about L.M. Montgomery? The best and most comprehensive book I've ever found on the subject (and I found it when I was visiting the site of the author's childhood home on Prince Edward Island) is called The Lucy Maud Montgomery Album. This five hundred page book is an absolute masterpiece, complete with rich essays and photographs from both family members and scholars that chronicle and honor the life of this wonderful author. It's being re-released in March 2008.
There's also a new Anne of Green Gables book about to be published called Before Green Gables. It's a prequel to the first book, and is written by Budge Wilson. See this post by Cheryl Rainfeld for more details.
Do you have a favorite book by L.M. Montgomery? Let me know in the comments, or vote in the new poll on the sidebar.