Here comes one of my favourite chapters in Anne of Green Gables, "Chapter XXVIII: An Unfortunate Lily Maid." Today's read-a-long is by book blogger, Sarah from whatsarahread.com.
Chapter XXXVIII: An Unfortunate Lily Maid
By, Sarah from whatsarahread.com
Of all the chapters I fell in love with as a young reader of Anne of Green Gables, it was “An Unfortunate Lily Maid” that holds a special place in my heart. I vividly remember how I felt the first time I read it all those years ago and how it charmed me with its fantasy and romance. Even as a young girl, like Anne, I was a romantic. Everything about this chapter was sheer perfection to me. The dear friends spending a sunny afternoon daydreaming together, a doomed journey down a lazy river, a knight in shining armor who saves the day, and the fair but stubborn maiden insisting she doesn’t need to be saved. It had everything! Friendship, fantasy, drama and hints of romance.
As a young reader Anne of Green Gables, and this chapter in particular, made such an impression on me. I can honestly say they helped to forge the very beginnings of my love of reading. I don’t find it at all surprising that I grew up to love fantasy or romance books that feature a strong female protagonist and the man who only loves her more for it. It’s also no surprise that one of my very favorite literary tropes is friends to lovers!
“For a moment Anne hesitated. She had an odd, newly awakened consciousness under all her outraged dignity that the half-shy, half-eager expression in Gilbert's hazel eyes was something that was very good to see. Her heart gave a quick, queer little beat. But the bitterness of her old grievance promptly stiffened up her wavering determination…She hated Gilbert Blythe! She would never forgive him!”
This chapter also features Matthew Cuthbert and his unconditional love for Anne. Their relationship is one of my most beloved relationships in Green Gables and it is so perfectly demonstrated here. Matthew loves Anne for the precocious and romantic child that she is and never tries to change her. For all the perfect moments in this chapter, it’s the final passage spoken by Matthew Cuthbert that always touched me the most.
“’Don't give up all your romance, Anne,’ he whispered shyly, ‘a little of it is a good thing--not too much, of course--but keep a little of it, Anne, keep a little of it.’”
There are so many perfect moments in “An Unfortunate Lily Maid” and that is why it will forever be one the first and all-time favorite chapters in my lifelong adventure of reading.
***Sarah is the owner and blogger at WhatSarahRead.com, where she shares her love for all things bookish. She began her lifelong love affair with reading as a child and her early favorites include Anne of Green Gables, the Little House series, and The Babysitters Club. Sarah currently lives in the Boston area with her husband and enjoys travelling, photography and, of course, reading.