January 17, 2011


I'm late on the blog post today, dear readers. I hope against hope that you will find it in your hearts to forgive me. Today, I'm addressing one of my reading resolutions for the year - rereading childhood favorites.

Since I downloaded the Kindle version of Anne of Green Gables, I thought I'd start with that one. The book is as delightful as I remember it being (and also puts me in the mind of the equally delightful TV miniseries (1985 and 1987) based on the books). However, there's one thing I'm noticing this time around that I definitely didn't see last time: adverbs.

Everything Marilla says is said drily! Anne sobs "luxuriously"! People think "shamefacedly," cry out "sternly," sarcastically," and "admiringly". I could go on, but I think you get the picture. If every there was a poster book for what not to do when attempting to use adverbs, this is it.

Of course, I still can't help but laugh in delight at what hijinks little Miss Anne gets up to, and it is with absolute pleasure that I sink into a book that to this day fills me with those warm, cuddly happy feelings. But you have to admit, L. M. Montgomery really did overdo it with the adverbs.

Anyone else out there with similar experiences with childhood favorites?


  1. I do wonder if some of the excessive adverb use might be half intentional satire on her characters. Anne is notoriously over-dramatic (re: luxurious sobbing) - however I haven't read the book myself in a long, long, LONG time so I can only conjecture.

  2. @pickychick

    Interesting point -- I hadn't thought of that. It's certainly possible, especially where Anne is concerned.

    I will mention, though, that Marilla does not say things drily once. She says them drily pretty much every time she says something, which is to say that she was dry at least once every other page for the first chapter or so. (And she continues to be dry.)

  3. I love Anne of Green Gables! It's been a long time since I've reread them. I remember getting the whole set for Christmas when I was eight. Good memories.

  4. @Hannah Kincade

    Oh, they are LOVELY and DELICIOUS! Although I never like it when my characters start growing up, so I've probably read the first three or four many more times than the last few.

  5. I've noticed that with some of the old Newbery winners, just a different pace and way of writing than today's "rules." On the flip side, I try to read THE WITCH OF BLACKBIRD POND for craft tips, but get sucked into the story every time, like I'm twelve years old again.

  6. It is weird how some books seem to have all these problems but something keeps us coming back.

  7. I chalk that up to the time it was written. I love Anne of Green Gables, but the adverbs can get in the way.

    I remember watching an old western I loved years ago and was surprised by the simple story line.

    I guess it shows we're growing! :)

  8. It's totally interesting! I mean, Anne of Green Gables is mauled by adverbs. Absolutely mauled! And yet I'm having the time of my life rereading this book, seeing things through a more adult lens... This, of course, leads to the question of: why do some books have staying power? Anne of Green Gables, for example, was published over 100 years ago, and it's still going strong! Even with the adverb weakness.