Anne of Green Gables

By L.M. Montgomery,

Book cover of Anne of Green Gables

Book description

Anne of Green Gables is the classic children's book by L M Montgomery, the inspiration for the Netflix Original series Anne with an E. Watch it now!

Marilla and Matthew Cuthbert are in for a big surprise. They are waiting for an orphan boy to help with the work at…


Shepherd is reader supported. We may earn an affiliate commission when you buy through links on our website. (learn more)

Why read it?

17 authors picked Anne of Green Gables as one of their favorite books. Why do they recommend it?

Anne Shirley is my favourite main character of all time. She is feisty, brave, and sincere, with a great imagination. She is also a true friend and makes the best out of any situation. I have read this book many times and love it more each time. The descriptions of Prince Edward Island enticed me to visit this enchanting place. After reading Anne of Green Gables all those years ago, I decided I wanted to be a writer.

Oh how I love this book! And I have continued to love it, returning to the story with my children. Such vibrant characters and wonderful observations of human behaviour. I read all the sequels. I fell in love with Prince Edward Island and the gorgeous Gilbert. Anne Shirley was the first audacious, outspoken, maverick female voice I encountered. Her capacity for love and the love she invokes in her hardened adoptive mother, Marilla, still bring me to tears. Her connection with the gentle Matthew, her indignant rage at the unfairness of life, and her dream and determination to find something…

From Zosia's list on wonderful women behaving badly.

Anne of Green Gables is a rich, complex book because not only is Anne someone I know to the depths of my soul, but her family and her neighbors are so well-developed that I am transported to the town. As the reader, you are made to feel like you live in Avonlea, and it’s a place you’ll never want to leave. No matter the situation—happy or heart-wrenching—you’ll be there.

I have been an eccentric my whole life. As a child, I had an adult soul. Nobody, including my parents, recognized this. So I felt as if I didn’t fit anywhere. Then I discovered Anne Shirley. The kindred spirit to my soul. She knew “big words.” Her heart was vulnerable, so her spirit was brave. I read that book so many times, the binding split. Anne Shirley was the first fictional character that resonated with me, and I have carried her with me ever since. I named my daughter Anne.

From Molly's list on unforgettable characters.

My first impression of meeting Anne was positive. I figured with her hopeful attitude and wild imagination, the quirky orphan would win everyone’s hearts and live happily ever after. My second impression showed up fairly soon, though—annoyance! Anne, you are self-sabotaging yourself! Change, and do it fast, or you’re not going to have a family after all.

I cringed as Anne bumbled simple tasks, and drove her potential mother crazy with endless fantasy stories. But her sincerity and determination always came through, and in the end… well, that would be telling. Anne taught me that we shouldn’t apologize for being…

Anne Shirley is a kindred spirit. Like the other over-achievers I’ve fallen in love with, Anne has to overcome social biases in order to succeed. She is a girl, a red-head and an orphan, all of which are held against her unfairly. But she doesn’t let the injustices dampen her spirits. This is the book I re-read every summer because it reminds me of home (I’m originally a Maritimer). It also reminds me of childhood and the magic of stories.

From Dani's list on for over-achievers.

There’s a reason why this book (and the other 2 in the series) is still a must-read classic, and it’s Anne (who always reminds people of the E at the end of her name). At age eleven, she’s taken in by siblings who were hoping for a boy to help on their fram, but in short order, Anne bewitches the entire town with her spirit, her imagination, and her misadventures. I love that she charges through life with exuberance and her sights on college, only to turn down a scholarship so she can stay in Avonlea when a tragedy befalls…

Anne is one of my favorite characters from childhood. She often goes to school in a one-room schoolhouse, but she also has periods where she learns at home. She takes charge of her own education and learns determinedly, whether on her own or in the schoolhouse. I always loved Anne’s fierceness in the face of adversity, but I think what I love most about her is her unquenchable imagination. I learned to use my imagination better from reading about Anne, and she was probably an unconscious inspiration for my character Hannah.

Anne learns the most about life through her interactions…

I admire Anne’s ability to entertain herself, her tendency towards joy, and her rambling imagination, but she has issues with impulse control and reading people. In this way, the character from my book, Edna, is like her. As with many older books, there’s outdated thinking about being female in this one, but contemporary girls are also working out gender roles and obsessing about their looks. It's another classic story about becoming a better person, and to a lesser degree, about the possibilities with a nearby boy. 

There’s a reason this book remains popular more than a hundred years after it was published. Loquacious, red-haired, accident-prone Anne is entertaining, but also earnest, brave, and kind. She’s true to herself, and ultimately, no one on Prince Edward Island can resist that. 

Since I first read this book, I’ve been inspired by Anne’s passion and fascination with the world’s beauty. As she navigates tragedies large and small, she grows from a wild child to a graceful young adult. It feels like an assurance that with a pure heart and true intentions, somehow, things will work out.

Want books like Anne of Green Gables?

Our community of 6,000+ authors has personally recommended 10 books like Anne of Green Gables.

Browse books like Anne of Green Gables

5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in Canada, country life, and orphans?

6,000+ authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about Canada, country life, and orphans.

Canada Explore 239 books about Canada
Country Life Explore 41 books about country life
Orphans Explore 118 books about orphans