5 (Possibly Controversial) Thoughts About Episode 2 of “Anne” PLUS 3 Books to Read with Tea in Drizzly Weather

20170309_150331It’s March in Michigan, and that means a few things:

Gloom

Drizzles

Cloud Cover

Chilliness, with no white, sparkly snow to compensate.

If I were Anne of Green Gables, though, I might cast things in a more romantic light. “Gloom” would be translated as “a pearl gray day.” Cloud cover would be the same. Drizzles would probably be rendered into an opportunity to splash in puddles and watch the Scotch mist rise tenderly over the moors (or Madison St, SE, as is the case here).

She would also probably recommend a cuppa tea, lantern light, and a stack of books which make staying in a snug, inviting and appealing experience. Like Hygge but for early spring.

Before I get to this week’s preview of “Anne” (which, hint, will be more complicated and controversial than last week’s lovefest), I wanted to also preview my upcoming Instagram/Bookstagram account for kindred spirits everywhere:

The Bookseller’s Daughter

I’m super excited about this, as it honors my dad, the late, great Patron Saint of Booksellers. Abe Reimer.

His passion, vocation, gift to this world was placing the right book in the hands of the right person at the right time. That will be my framework as well for recommending books.

I will also have drink pairings!

Books paired with: various teas, hot cocoas, coffee, Prosecco, Raspberry Cordial, etc.

And, most of the time: Succulents. Because I can’t help myself. I have an addiction going here.

For now, here’s a sampling:

Three books perfect for these pearl gray, stay-snug, tea-beckoning days:

 

1. Granchester by James Runcie

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It’s the Right Book Because: Coziness, thy name is Grantchester. Written by the son of the former archbishop of Canterbury, the book series (now five books, soon to be six) gives us the cute, young, jazz-loving, mystery-solving vicar Sidney Chambers, his gruff detective sidekick, a dog named Dickens, and a crazy-quaint English village in 1950 Cambridgeshire, in which he drives the ladies to distraction and solves various crimes.

Michael Pilgrim of The Daily Telegraph wrote: “…Victoria sponge with a tablespoon of battery acid.”

You are the Right Person If: You are a committed anglophile who loves any period British offering on PBS, adore cozy mysteries, and are fascinated by insights into the human condition. Bonus: Though not a “Christian book,” Sidney’s musings are deeply Christian, nonetheless.

It’s the Right Time When: It’s been overcast for days, weeks even, and you need your sunshine distilled via ink and paper. 

Drink pairing: Tea, naturally. Preferably English.

2. Emotionally Healthy Spirituality by Peter Scazzaro 20170112_145439

The Right Book: (From the EHS website) “…we know that spiritual maturity and emotional health are inseparable.”

The Right Person: If you want a true transformation of your past and present, an authentic, oh-so-real, “beneath the surface spiritual formation” that brings old wounds to the light and heals them in the power of Jesus Christ, this astonishing, life-altering book is for you.

The Right Time: If you’ve finished with “Jesus Calling,” and sense that God wants you to heal, grow and deepen your walk, it’s the right time for this illuminating, truth-telling book.

Drink Pairing: Coffee in the morning, or Sleepytime tea at night, or whenever you get the chance to go deep with this book or its companion devotional, which I HIGHLY recommend.

 

3. The Woman in Cabin 10 by Ruth Ware

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The Right Book: (From www.Ruthware.com) “When travel journalist Lo Blacklock is invited on a boutique luxury cruise around the Norwegian fjords, it seems like a dream career opportunity.But the trip takes a nightmarish turn when she wakes in the middle of the night to hear a body being thrown overboard – only to discover that no-one has been reported missing from the boat. How do you stop a killer, when no-one believes they exist?”

The Right Person: If you disliked the grittier, smuttier aspects of “Gone Girl” and “The Girl on the Train,” but love a twisty, turn-y, hold-your-breath-in-suspense page-turner, this book is for you. (Note: It’s not an Amish romance by any means, which is to say there are some connubial goings-on and violence. But waaay less than GG and GOTT. I bet the movie will be PG-13. Because there has GOT to be a movie!). Also for you if you like interesting, less common settings, which I do. A Scandinavian boutique luxury cruise ship? There SHALL be cold, dark, deep waters…

The Right Time: It’s 48 degrees outside, with just enough dribble and dampness to dissuade you from a walk. Plus, you’re in the mood for vicarious tension, trepidation, and thrills!

Drink Pairing: Glögg or Scandinavian mulled beverage, which may make you blush. You might be blushing already, after reading Cabin 10. Drink tea in a pinch.

There’s your sample preview of “The Bookseller’s Daughter. What do you think? Three more books with next week’s “Anne” review!

Which brings me to my review of Episode 2 of “Anne.”

Anne 5

5 Thoughts:

1. I have to apologize to Kevin Sullivan. Why? Because though I have revered the first four hours of 1995′s AOGG, and adored the next four, I have always rejected the third installment because it is WILDLY OFF BOOK. I will now have to reframe that third installment the same way I am reframing Hour 3 of “Anne”: Anne of Green Gables Fantasy Fan Fiction. Because a whole lotta stuff happens here that maybe a fan would like to see happen, but did not occur at all in the book. Not at all. Maybe 3/4 of this episode was book-free. YIKES.

2. So, we find Green Gables in a tizzy, because Marilla finds her amethyst brooch too late: Anne has run away, back to the hellish orphanage in Nova Scotia. Heroic Matthew gallops down the PEI beach on his horse to catch her, but he’s too late. What follows is a frenzied, almost Odyssean search for his girl, who is in deep trouble, having decided to go it on her own and set forth for her roots near Halifax (aka the Big City). For both runaway and rescuer, this involves a train ride, a boat ride (which reminded me that another word for “orphan” is castaway), and some hustled rides with various strangers. Meanwhile, Marilla is in a tortuous regret. If she had believed Anne about the brooch, Anne would now be safe and sound in her bedroom at Green Gables…

3. “Does this reveal anything not already revealed in the book?” a stellar question from my friend and kindred spirit, Natalie. And after some soul searching, I don’t think it does…

4. These new additions to the story do bring us a couple of GORGEOUS, heart-stopping moments: When Matthew finds Anne he blurts out the words every orphan longs to hear: “she’s my daughter.” And also, when Marilla realizes Anne is back, and it’s SOOO obvious how much she already loves this peculiar girl, though she doesn’t choose to show it just yet. The acting by the three major characters, Amybeth McNulty’s scared, ambivalent Anne, R.H. Thompson’s awakening Matthew, and Geraldine James’ repressed though fiercely maternal Marilla, is nothing short of magnificent. But would they have been just as superb with Lucy Maud’s original source material? I think so.

5. It always bugged me that the word adoption is not used in the books and that the reader is never quite sure of the arrangement between Anne and her adoptive parents. Or are they just her loving custodial caregivers? In this episode, the Anne Fantasy comes to life when Marilla and Matthew ask Anne to take the last name Cuthbert and to sign her new name in the family Bible as a symbol of their “forever family.” Well, “forever family,” as Natalie points out, is a new phrase, which didn’t hit me right at all. BUT–this is a fantasy, after all. As such, I loved the finality and security of it all.

Well, let me have it then, Anne fans. Purists may go bananas. Or, they may buy my Anne Fantasy Fan Fiction explanation. Or, they may not care a whit about the book and just love all the renovated Anne splendor.

What do YOU think?

Are you prepared to buy into some serious revisions here? Or would you prefer, as I do in my heart of hearts, that all of this phenomenal writing and acting and filmmaking would reflect Maud’s original story?

I’d love to know your thoughts! Every comment on my blog from now until the Anne series has properly aired on Netflix (May 12) will be entered in a contest to win a fetching Anne of Green Gables art piece or frameable quote from my favorite Etsy shop, Carrot Top Paper Shop! Anne 9So comment away, won’t you, Anne Internet Friends??

 

we are dedicated to pointing people to an authentic, vibrant and deeply transformational relationship with Jesus. We know that spiritual maturity and emotional health are inseparable and have developed a strategy for discipleship that integrates both of these key components with a slowed down lifestyle that puts being with Jesus before doing for Jesus.

 

Comments

  1. Bethany Davis says

    I try not to be TOO hard-core about this because every “adaption” is going to stay somewhat from the original, but that’s too much. That sounds like it completely alters the character of Matthew and Marilla (and perhaps Anne). There was purpose behind the way it was written. I’m cautiously excited to watch it in May!

    • Brenda says

      I’m sorry … But this new version is hurting my soul. I LOVE Anne and have read the books numerous times (plus all of LM Montgomery’s other books) and this second episode has gone so far from the original that it’s just not right. New people being introduced to this story are not seeing the magic & wonder of Montgomery’s original words.

      • Lorilee says

        Hi Brenda, where did you get to watch “Anne” from? Just curious. You must be a Canadian! Anyway, I get it. This episode did stray far from the books. Farther than I would have imagined or wanted. You are so right that LMM’s words were full of magic and wonder.

        • Brenda says

          Yes I live in Canada – the show is being shown on CBC here.
          I guess I missed the part in the advertisements where they said it was as adaptation from the book … because it is sooo far from the original story line … at this point I’m going to continue to watch just to see where they take it to next lol

          • Lorilee says

            I am going to keep watching for the same reason. Also, LOVE the acting from Amybeth, R.H. and Geraldine James, OBE. :)

    • Lorilee says

      Bethany! Interestingly, I don’t think the characters are being altered so much as the story. That’s the part that makes me kind of want to hang in there and see where this goes. Of course, I would wildly prefer a more close-to-the-book adaptation. I can’t wait to hear what you think!

  2. Krissy says

    Ok i will be honest with you. I haven’t watched the new Anne movie. So i can’t fully comment on how it is. I have only seen the preview from CBC but it didn’t really seem interesting to me. This will show my age but i grew up watching the 1980s and the third one from 1999. I love them movies and i guess to me no new ones can compare to them. I seen the YTV one and hated it. Maybe one time i will give this one a try/chance.

    • Lorilee says

      Krissy, it’s good to be honest! :) I also watched the 1985 movie and the first sequel. SO GOOD. The YTV one was not my favorite, either. This one is richer with more depth, but goes really off book….

    • Lorilee says

      Hi Jennifer, yeah, lots of people are agreeing with you! But then again, I am hearing from lots of people who are okay with the additions. Hmmm…Is Anne Nation divided?

  3. Tasha says

    I seem to be one of the few that absolutely ADORES this new Anne. Its refreshing and since I love ALL things Anne – I have given this a fair chance with an open mind and can see the beauty in it. The lead actors ALL excel in their roles, especially Anne. I have always been a complete Richard Farnsworth as Matthew fan (because he reminded me of my grandfather and I have been pretty attached for nostalgic reasons to that character) but R. H. Thompson has flown into my heart and stolen his own spot there. The part where he blurted out “She’s my daughter” had me sobbing. Even Rachel comforting and taking charge of distraught Marilla I think showed a wonderful side to her (that we all already know she has!!) And Amybeth as Anne – as much as I ADORE Megan Follows – THIS is what Anne is supposed to look like. THIS is the Anne I had in my own imagination.
    I also love the dark sides to this as well. Anne would have had a horrible life – and seeing it put into visuals only brings Anne more alive for me. It helps me understand her even more than I like to think I already do. It’s easy enough to gloss over all the bad stuff and focus on the good (like in real life) but it just isnt realistic. This version feels more realistic than any other version Ive seen so far.

    I am thrilled that this has happened and cannot wait to see it all! Even with the parts I dont LOVE (Matthew getting hurt on his journey to find Anne seemed unnecessary..) I will take it all….let it envelope me…and enjoy the entire ride. :)

    • Lorilee says

      Tasha, I like the way you say this new Anne is the one from your imagination! I also welcome a more realistic picture of what Anne’s life had been like. She’s no Pollyanna, our Anne. I am in for the ride as well, come what may! :)

  4. Nessa says

    I have to agree, it felt strange watching it for the first time. For a second I forgot I was watching Anne, the story was so different when Mathew was searching for Anne. I more so didn’t like what they did with the picnic scene. I was just listening to an audible book Anne of Green Gables, and they mentioned that Anne had an amazing time at the picnic, the community welcomed her. In this adaptation Anne was scrutinized and judged to tears by everyone at the picnic. It was turned into a dark scene.

    That being said though, I watched the episode a second time, and felt a bit different about it. I liked it more. It won’t be a verbatim adaptation of the book, but if it was, would you enjoy it as much? I think we get upset when a version isn’t exactly as what we’re used to, just because it’s uncomfortable, but it’s not necessarily worse. I like seeing something different and unexpected, as long as they don’t change the characters and the main storyline of the book. I don’t mind the extra little details, such as Anne signing her name in the book, or a help boy being added in. Those things don’t effect the story, but just embellish it.

    Aside from the changes though, the acting and filming of this new series is amazing! Definitely on a different level from a low budget period drama series. I’m excited for episode 3, I think it’ll be great!

    • Lorilee says

      Thanks for chiming in, Nessa! I didn’t like the picnic either, come to think of it. It’s intriguing to me that you liked it better on the second viewing…maybe I will to? I am excited for episode 3 as well!

  5. Holly says

    I just finished watching episode 2 and have mixed feelings. I agree that the acting is excellent and the actors are well-cast. I loved the Kevin Sullivan movies (meaning one and two; the third one doesn’t exist to me) and I’ve read all of the books countless times. I’m definitely having a hard time with all the changes. Anne Shirley-Cuthbert? Hmm…

    • Lorilee says

      Agreed. Love the acting. I think these actors are going sooo deep into the well. It’s a rich experience watching them do their thing. But I, too, am uncomfortable with some of the changes…Anne Shirley Cuthbert indeed!

  6. Grace says

    Two generations of fans watching from my house, one who loves the new show and one who is not-so-fond. My mom dislikes the straying from the books, but I see it as slightly refreshing and MUCH better than the YTV one they’ve been making.
    I’ve only just watched episode 2 now, and while there were parts they strayed a bit too far from the books, my heart still soars everytime I remember Matthew’s distraught call of “She’s my daughter!”
    The adoption scene was cute, though I do hope she continues to be called “Anne Shirley”, as that is the girl I grew up with.
    It is a bit uncomfortable that she seems to have some sort of PTSD when it comes to her previous families, as that wasn’t visible in any of Montgomery’s works, and I do hope that these trauma flashbacks slow to a stop soon. And the behavior of the community at the picnic, as stated by another commenter, was just plain out there. No one of that time period would say those things close enough for her to here, rather, they would say them behind closed doors. A better way to do it would be for them to be almost OVER welcoming to her, and to give some subtle looks and whispers. Though of course, I know that scene was presented that way so Marilla would need to talk to the poor girl.
    Still, this series will be worth it, if nothing else but for the sweet panic of Matthew in his search for Anne.

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