Dear Anne Shirley-Cuthbert,

  • September 15, 2020
Image Courtesy of Lauren Lee

You are a symbol of my literary childhood. Your imagination, creativity, enthusiasm, and old-soul, flowery diction, have given me a reflection of my childhood. 

Of course I didn’t have the beautiful, expressive paragraphs of monologue, bursting with energy and life at its very seams. But I had — and still have —  that old-soul way of thinking, the creativity shining through little cracks of my shell in day-to-day life. 

You embody the ideal bosom friend who would spend a half hour carefully picking out the perfect present after spending an hour searching for the top options, then an hour chattering away to the trees and flowers, and then forgetting completely until your dress is wet from the stream and scratched by the tiny fists of gnarly branches, with a hair ribbon missing from climbing said trees. 

In a way, you are a lot like me. 

I was insecure when I was younger. Unsure of myself. Anne, you are the thought and identity process that took place between me then, and me now. Your growth reflects my growth in life. 

How often have I thumbed through your book? The spine is lovingly and cruelly bent in numerous different angles. They remind me of the refractions of the sun’s light beaming at the world at dawn through the thin binding line of Nowhere between the sky and the snow-capped mountain tops.  

You are a literature fanatic. A lover of nature and the environment. The loyal, cheerful friend (although I don’t constantly spout ideas and impulsively act upon them, like you do). You are talkative, the chatterbox (although I am only like that with those I am intimate with). You are a fresh ray of life and love, changing the lives of Marilla and Matthew, your guardians (I have no idea if I measure up to such a compliment). You are competitive and strong-minded, unafraid to push yourself and to win the respect of everyone around you (and your future husband too, thinking about it). 

You’re intelligent. In a way, a feminist too. Mature. Confident. Powerful. Selfless. You are not afraid to speak up. You are humble, at times. You are frightfully insecure about your looks and your gorgeous fiery pigtails (neither “issue” I am afflicted with). You are the one and only Anne of Green Gables.

Thank you for being an inspiration to me, and other avid readers with a ponderous attitude and a thirst for knowledge and a voracious appetite for books. 

May you and your marvelous book receive the attention and respect it deserves. Stay you. And bless your guardians for taking you in in the first place, and cultivating that spirit of yours. 

With respect,

Lauren Lee

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