2015 Reading Challenge: Pair 5

5. “Anne of Green Gables” by L.M. Montgomery & “The Country Girls Trilogy” by Edna O’Brien

Goodreads.com

Goodreads.com

Goodreads.com

Goodreads.com

The two books in this pair are “Anne of Green Gables” by L.M. Montgomery and “The Country Girls Trilogy” by Edna O’Brien.  Here is the note from the BuzzFeed article:

Kate and Baba of “The Country Girls” are like bosom friends Anne Shirley and Diana Barry, but if Anne and Diana eventually made their way out of the country and into the city. In this controversial trilogy, the girls — romantic, adventurous, and rule-breaking — leave their idyllic hometown for Dublin, where they pursue their passions side by side.

Do you agree these were good compliments?  What did you think of the books themselves?

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Now that I have gotten to know all the characters involved, I have a better sense of the injustice (in my humble opinion) of comparing Anne and Diana to Cait and Baba.  But I’m getting ahead of myself.

“Anne of Green Gables” is about Anne coming to a new home and her coming of age story.  She is a precocious and enthusiastic child who is not afraid to be anyone, but exactly who she is.  She adores the outdoors and cannot get enough of it.  She immediately bonds with Diana who becomes her “bosom” friend, or best friend, in the most serious manner.  Anne and Diana create a beautiful and genuine friendship that is realistic and grows as they do.

Cait and Baba however, have a fairly twisted friendship when it really comes down to it.  As they get older they learn to become somewhat actual friends, but in the beginning Baba is Cait’s tormentor.  Baba abuses and belittles Cait at every turn and Cait just goes along with it.  There were so many times in the book I just wanted to shake Cait.  Stand up for yourself! Make a decision for yourself!  Do SOMEthing on your own gumption!

Prince Edward Island - the setting for "Anne of Green Gables".  I can at least see somewhat of a comparison in location of the two books... though Cait & Baba flee to the city to get away from the country.

Prince Edward Island - the setting for "Anne of Green Gables".  I can at least see somewhat of a comparison in location of the two books... though Cait & Baba flee to the city to get away from the country.

And then that brings me to a detailed comparison of the characters.   Who exactly is supposed to be Anne’s counterpart?  Cait the pushover certainly doesn’t fit though she’s the other narrator.  Baba the bully?  That doesn’t fit either because Anne specifically goes out of her way to stop bullies.  The closest comparison of the characters are that Anne and Cait both happen to be successful in school.  The difference is that Anne does something with her success whereas Cait is willing to throw it all away.

Though both coming of age stories, I believe that the comparison of “Anne of Green Gables” and “The Country Girls” is forced.  I don’t see many comparisons and I don’t think many people who enjoyed “Anne” would enjoy “The Country Girls”.

Summary: I do NOT think they’re complimentary!