Length: 9 hr, 34 min
The book: Anne of Green Gables is like a female version of The Adventures of Tom Sawyer set in the Canadian maritime provinces rather than the American Midwest. Like Tom Sawyer, this book doesn't have so much of a plot as a series of interrelated humorous episodes. But while Tom has adventures in getting into fights, faking his own death, and tricking his friends, Anne's adventures consist of making friends, having tea parties, and going to poetry recitals.
While they may express it differently, Anne and Tom have a similar view of the world as a place of adventure to be explored. Tom's adventures get more outrageous as the book goes on until he finally ends up in mortal danger. Anne, on the other hand, channels her sense of adventure into pathways deemed acceptable to society. Yet, even though this may appear to be a capitulation to the pressures of adulthood, Anne still keeps her sense of wonder and vivacity. Montgomery seems to be propounding a philosophy that one can grow up without leaving behind the essential spirit of childhood.
The reader: This is an excellent recording of an amazing reader. Rachelellen voices fill the characters with so much life, I can't imagine reading this book without her. Her voicing of Anne, Marilla, and Matthew, not to mention her hilarious acting of Mrs. Rachel Lynde, made me love the characters and kept me listening. Rachelellen's narrating voice is clear and bright, with wonderful phrasing and diction. I think Anne herself would applaud Rachelellen if she were to go to a recital.