Christian Author: Nancy W. Boyer

What are you bringing to life?

“It is not what the world holds for you, it is what you bring to it.”

(spoken by Anne in Anne of Green Gables)

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Anne of Green Gables is a 1908 novel by Canadian author Lucy Maud Montgomery. The main character, Anne Shirley,is an 11-year-old orphan girl who is mistakenly sent to Matthew and Marilla Cuthbert, a middle-aged brother and sister who had intended to adopt a boy to help them on their farm in Prince Edward Island.  The novel recounts how Anne makes her way with the Cuthberts, in school, and within the town.Since its publication, Anne of Green Gables has sold more than 50 million copies and has been translated into 20 languages. Montgomery wrote numerous sequels, and since her death, another sequel has been published, as well as an authorized prequel. The original book is taught to students around the world.  (Wickipedia)

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The story of the unbridled enthusiasm and joy in living is portrayed in the mini series produced from the book.  It shows the contrasted living tween Anne and Katherine Brooke who is  one of three teachers at Summerside High School during Anne Shirley’s time there.Katherine was bitter and determined to believe that no one in the world loved her or cared about her.  Persistently, Anne shows her this is not true. Throughout the story, Katherine stabs Anne with sarcastic remarks, showing her determination not to be happy.

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Katherine in Anne of Green Acres

 

Nevertheless, Anne is always perfectly honest in her assessment and eager to find the best in people gives this description of Katherine in a letter to her friends back home.

She isn’t pretty but she might make more of herself. She is dark and swarthy, with magnificent black hair always dragged back from her high forehead and coiled in a clumsy knot at the base of her neck. Her eyes don’t match her hair, being a clear, light amber under her black brows. She has ears she needn’t be ashamed to show and the most beautiful hands I’ve ever seen. Also, she has a well-cut mouth.

How often we all choose a pathway in one direction or another.  We choose to be upbeat or discontented and sour.  Perhaps as important as the characters of this story of Anne of Green Gables is the the story of the author who wrote it.

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Lucy  Montgomery

L.M. Montgomery, the author of Anne of Green Gables, was born 140 years ago. The Canadian writer published 20 novels, many of which are still read around the world. But while her most popular creation, Anne  Shirley, finds love and happiness, Montgomery herself wasn’t so lucky. Her life was full of loneliness, suffering, and disappointment.    In fact, her writings were often hidden because the disapproval of relatives and her own life story was one of great difficulty, especially with her husband, Ewan, who was mentally ill. 

“In 1919,Ewan had a mental breakdown. He suffered from “religious melancholia” and believed that God had predestined him to hell. He would spend days groaning, sobbing, singing hymns, and howling uncontrollably. Sometimes he would stare at the wall for hours, “hair bristling, blue underlip hanging, eyes glaring, face livid,” Montgomery wrote.She felt pressured to hide the illness to protect his job as a minister and the family’s reputation. “No one must know,” she wrote. “For Ewan’s sake, and the children as well as my own, what his trouble is. As long as I can keep it secret.” The illness continued for the rest of Ewan’s life.

Today, we know that facing mental and emotional illness is a treatable disease. One can get help with problems that Montgomery faced.   Perhaps her writings about Anne were an escape from the real problems she, herself, was facing.  Nevertheless, the story has resonated throughout the years and gives hope to all those who have difficult circumstances as both Anne and her creator, Montgomery, faced. The enthusiasm of Anne in Montgomery’s story gives all of the reason to desire that our personalities, in any generation, will bring to the world and the people around us the joy of living…regardless, as she said, what the world holds for us.

“It is not what the world holds for you, it is what you bring to it.”

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Video:   3 outstanding performances from Anne of Green Gables  (Turn on sound)

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