Almost a sacrilege, but Anne with an E on Netflix has truly surpassed the book for me, an eighteenth Century Story, polished and presented , without flinching , it lays bare every important issue relevant to today with incredible heart. As Anne would say, it was truly made by a ‘kindred spirit’
As we are beckoned in to fairytale world of Green Gables with pink-blossomed orchards and the Lake of Shining Waters, an air with the savor of clover fields and balsamic fir , we are introduced to Anne – an orphan with a rather tough and abusive childhood – our feisty, imaginative, red-haired, protagonist with spectacular words and even bigger dreams… and the damage from her demons from the past. Anne is loud, shocking, selfish, too dreamy at times, seen too much sometimes and has a knack for getting into trouble…and yet her incredible optimism is disarming.
Each character, each episode to be relished. Do not binge watch!
How can you be a parent to a child that is just the opposite of everything you are?
…the incredible kindness of Mathew , always wanting to do what was right for the child, understanding how her actions may have been influenced by her unfortunate experiences, always making sure they were not holding her back, supporting her dreams , just simply completely accepting her . Anne’s rambling speeches, exaggerated , loud stand starkly opposite his own quiet demenour. Yet…a perfect parent figure!
How can just an open heart transform rigid ideas?
… the strong sensible Marille . Severly buttoned up , grown up well before her time slowly and quietly transform and blooms. While she finds Anne’s obsessions simply vain at times. each time her fears, her behavior that expects adherence to the norms is challenged and tested , yet , each time, somehow , she manages to learn and grow.
How can even just one friend change your life?
…the beauty of her friendships – from Diana to Aunt Josephine
How important it is to stand up , each time, and raise your voice , no matter where and for whom?
…the strength to stand up for freedom of speech , to fight for a teacher, to fight for consent and gender equality , for the rightsof the indigenous people
How is empathy the single most import gift you can give?
…the empathy that she had somehow developed inspite of the cruelty meted out to her – the support for the gorgeous Cole and how such a singular acceptance could almost save a life
How can you make up your mind to be as happy as you want to be?
…the incredulity with which Josie Pye wonders how Anne managed to be positive and strong when everyone treated her like “trash”
How one act of brotherhood can change everything?
…Gilbert and his brotherhood with Bash, not just gives Bash and his family a new lease of life, it gives back to Gilbert a family he never had.
Then there are those truly exemplary moments (*some spoilers *)
…when Cole goes up and apologizes to Billy after he gets into a fight simply because that’s not the kind of person he ever wants to be – and just that gentleness and quite strength brings about a change
…when Anne meddles and tries match-making and Mathew says “How can you think I do not have love , when I have you?”
…when Prissy runs away from the wedding and chooses to study
…when the whole community that had been skeptical of Sebastian at first, gather together and arrange and exquisite Easter Sunday
…when Mrs. Lynee puts her foot down and arm twists the committee in to taking in three women on the board.
While the series is much darker and grittier than its utopian source , it has many empowering moments of acceptance and change.
Is she the Anne Montgomery originally intended? Not completely. Is it the Anne she would write if she was alive today? I think so!