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#kindredspiritsbuddyread
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StayCurious
Reading Goals: Extended Readers for Basic Reading | Glenn McCracken, Charles Child Walcutt
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This month I‘m focusing mainly on my buddy reads: The time Traveller‘s Guide to Regency Britain with #Pemberlittens; The Hurricane with #LittensLoveRomance; Anne of Green Gables with @IndoorDame ; finish Before Green Gables and start Anne of Manhattan with #KindredSpiritsBuddyRead; and I‘d like to finish Kale for #loveathon - and read some other romances of course! Too bad February is a shorter month!

Clwojick Nice! Good luck 💖 1d
IndoorDame Looks like such a sweet month! I‘m looking forward to Anne! I got my copy down off the shelf last night 💚 1d
Birdsong28 @StayCurious Can't wait to start the Time Traveller book with you. Is today's just the introduction or is it chap 1 as well? Do you normally put up a schedule? 1d
StayCurious @Birdsong28 hi:) we‘re starting with the intro and doing a chapter a day afterwards. Hopefully the chapters aren‘t too long - but I think the way he writes it‘ll keep your interest 1d
Birdsong28 @StayCurious Thank you. I have read his other time traveller books and love them so I know that I will enjoy this. 😊 1d
53 likes5 comments
review
BarbaraJean
Before Green Gables | Budge Wilson
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Pickpick

#KindredSpiritsBuddyRead
This is a low pick for me. I enjoyed the way Wilson imagines Anne‘s life before Green Gables. Although early on, I think Anne was written too “old” for her age, I do think Wilson has a really good grasp of Anne as a character. The pacing was a bit off for me, though—the narrative felt rushed toward the end and there were a few scenes that felt like Wilson was trying too hard to foreshadow events in the main series.⤵️

BarbaraJean (Continued) Overall, though, it was an enjoyable, believable depiction of how a beloved character came to be who she is when we first meet her in LM Montgomery‘s books. 4d
45 likes1 comment
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BarbaraJean
Before Green Gables | Budge Wilson
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#KindredSpiritsBuddyRead - Before Green Gables Discussion (5 of 5)

How did the injustice depicted through the book affect you? Of course, the injustice that Anne experiences, but also the choices that were (or weren‘t) available to the women in the story: Mrs. Thomas, Mrs. Hammond, Eliza, Miss Haggerty.

What are your thoughts on the way women‘s roles are represented and lived through these characters?

Bkwrm7 It seems pretty clear that Wilson was at least partly trying to highlight these issues for women - something that is much more clearly visible from a modern perspective than it would have been at the time. It definitely made me angry, partly on their behalf and partly that a child like Anne bore so much due to those injustices. I appreciate that Wilson did make the effort to view these women as full characters and not just props in Anne's story. 5d
BarbaraJean @Bkwrm7 I appreciated how Wilson fleshed out her characters, as well. When Mrs. Hammond said hoped Anne wouldn't know she was supposed to attend school, I was angry with her but also understood her desperation. Similarly with Mrs. Thomas. And then the women who would have taken Anne in if not for their husbands: Jessie early in the story and then Eliza. How different Anne's story could have been if these women had better options! 5d
Bkwrm7 @BarbaraJean The scene where they split up the Hammond children while Lottie sits there almost catatonic was just heartbreaking. 5d
BarbaraJean @Bkwrm7 Ugh, yes. I couldn't believe the casual way the various relatives and neighbors talk about which kids they prefer to have. And I wondered what those children's lives would be like down the road. Similarly with Mrs. Thomas when her family comes and basically abandons her, blaming her for having an alcoholic husband. Awful. 5d
19 likes4 comments
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BarbaraJean
Before Green Gables | Budge Wilson
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#KindredSpiritsBuddyRead - Before Green Gables Discussion (4 of 5)

📚 What are your thoughts on the more unsympathetic (or complicated!) characters we meet: Mrs. Thomas, Mr. Thomas, Mrs. Hammond, Miss Carlyle and Edna at the orphanage?

📚 How do these more negative characters shape who Anne is?

Bkwrm7 Wilson writes these characters with such compassion - especially the Thomases and Mrs. Hammond! Mr. Thomas' alcoholism is depicted as the disease it is rather than pure villainy or laziness. And without using the words it is perfectly clear that Wilson sees Mrs. Hammond as suffering from post-partum depression 5d
Bkwrm7 Whoops - hit send a little soon! I think Wilson intends to show Anne's experiences with these very flawed people as being part of what makes her such a compassionate person as she grows up. 5d
BarbaraJean @Bkwrm7 Mr. Thomas was such a complex character. Seeing his internal struggle made that part of Anne's life even more heartbreaking. And Mrs. Hammond!! I always have a picture of her in my head based on the Megan Follows series, when she's screeching at Anne to come change Megan and Peter. 😂 The depiction of her here was so humanizing. I think you're right--post-partum depression and pregnancy exhaustion for what, five full years? 😱 5d
15 likes3 comments
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BarbaraJean
Before Green Gables | Budge Wilson
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#KindredSpiritsBuddyRead - Before Green Gables Discussion (3 of 5)

There are so many wonderful characters who care for Anne and offer some brightness in her difficult life: Eliza, Miss Henderson, Mrs. Archibald, the Egg Man, Miss Haggerty.

📚 How do these characters contribute to Anne‘s growth?

📚 How do they shape her spirit and personality?

Bkwrm7 I feel like these supporters help to keep Anne's love and spirit alive. Her romance with words is also so nourished by them all. It makes sense that Anne had to have some teachers and access to books and learning for her to be as capable and knowledgeable as she is right from the beginning. I particularly loved the touch about learning how to fight the croup! 5d
BarbaraJean I felt like these characters shape Anne but also respond to & nurture who she is already: her imagination, her love for words, and her eagerness for learning. They give her a lifeline to keep going. And of COURSE Anne would have loved every teacher she had! I was glad she didn't end up with a teacher like the one Emily Starr had--the one who ridiculed her poetry. @Bkwrm7 Honestly, for me, the croup part felt a little forced! 😬 (edited) 5d
15 likes2 comments
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BarbaraJean
Before Green Gables | Budge Wilson
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#KindredSpiritsBuddyRead - Before Green Gables Discussion (2 of 5)

📚 Did you find the book to be a believable depiction of Anne‘s early life?

📚 To you, does it plausibly explain how Anne became the girl Matthew Cuthbert meets at Bright River station?

📚 Why or why not?

Bkwrm7 At first, I was a little startled at the inclusion of people who clearly love and care for Anne, but once I thought about it, this actually makes sense because otherwise she probably would have been more closed off and damaged than she is in the main books. I did find it startling that Miss Henderson (? I listened so character names don't always stick- the teacher) and the older neighbor didn't attempt to take Anne in after Mr. Thomas' death. 5d
sblbooks Yes, it was plausible. Seeing her parents we understand that it's in their nature to be happy and exuberant. Then seeing all and had to go through, I could understand why she was so desperate to stay at Green Gables. 5d
BarbaraJean @Bkwrom7 Same here - it was surprising to read about people like Miss Henderson (yes, the teacher!), because I feel like Anne would definitely have mentioned them later in her life! But their inclusion felt like a realistic depiction of how Anne became the person she was when she arrived at Green Gables. And I completely agree - there wasn't a good reason given for why Miss Henderson and the Egg Man didn't try to adopt Anne!! 5d
BarbaraJean @sblbooks Yes, this book really explains Anne's desperation for a home, in a way I didn't FEEL it reading the brief descriptions of her previous life in the main series. Green Gables would have felt like an oasis!! I hadn't really thought through all that her early life would've entailed. The way the neglect was depicted here felt very real. But with positive characters that helped explain how Anne could have kept such an irrepressible spirit! 5d
16 likes4 comments
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BarbaraJean
Before Green Gables | Budge Wilson
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Here we go with the first #KindredSpiritsBuddyRead discussion of the year! My tag list record-keeping has been spotty this time around, so hopefully I'm not missing anyone!

Before Green Gables Discussion (1 of 5)

📚 What did you like or dislike about the book?

📚 How did its plot and characterizations compare to the original series for you?

📚 Do you feel Budge Wilson captures LMM‘s writing voice? Anne as a character?

Bkwrm7 Overall I enjoyed how Wilson imagined and fleshed out Anne's backstory, but it did seem a little long to me. I thought Wilson's choice to make both the Thomases and the Hammonds well rounded was interesting and added depth - it is pretty easy to imagine them as unfeeling and villainous from Montgomery's brief descriptions. I thought the nature descriptions matched Montgomery's writing quite well and Wilson generally captured Anne's character. 5d
sblbooks It's been a year since I read this one, but I remember thinking the author did an excellent job. I loved Anne's parents they seem so much like her. I like that they stayed true to the original story and didn't change it too much. 5d
BarbaraJean @Bkwrm7 For me, the pacing felt off. The Thomases took up the bulk of the narrative, which makes sense time-wise but made the book feel rushed at the end, as if Wilson was hurrying to get Anne to Green Gables. And Anne just felt too “old“ early on. Yes, she's precocious & perceptive, but I felt it was over-done for such a young child. I did really appreciate the depth given to the Thomases & Hammonds and the other people in Anne's life. 5d
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Bkwrm7 @BarbaraJean Absolutely agree about the pacing. The orphanage in particular went very, very quickly and I somehow expected the Hammonds section to have closer to even weight with the Thomas section. 5d
BarbaraJean @sblbooks I loved that early section with Walter & Bertha and wished we could have seen more of their story! I guess that would be a different book, though. 😊 5d
julieclair I thought Wilson did an excellent job capturing Anne‘s exuberance and intelligence. And, like @Bkwrm7 I appreciated that the characters were well rounded, although this made it even sadder, particularly in the case of Mr. Thomas. 5d
15 likes6 comments
review
lauraisntwilder
Before Green Gables | Budge Wilson
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Mehso-so

I finished this just in time for the #kindredspiritsbuddyread discussion. I liked it okay, but because it was a prequel, I felt like it suffered from having to reach a specific ending. The beginning and middle were interesting, but the closer we came to Green Gables, it felt more and more constrained.

BarbaraJean I agree--the later sections felt a little rushed to me, and definitely like they were now having to conform to the approaching “known“ parts of Anne's story. There were certain plot points that felt a little forced to me as well, like the author was trying to foreshadow events in later books, but doing it a little heavy-handedly! 5d
lauraisntwilder @BarbaraJean Yes, exactly! I didn't need to know how Anne learned how to administer ipecac and I would've been fine if she'd never heard of PEI until she got there. 5d
BarbaraJean YES! Both of those felt SO forced. 5d
15 likes3 comments
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LitsyEvents
Before Green Gables | Budge Wilson
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Repost for @BarbaraJean

Just a reminder about our #KindredSpiritsBuddyRead discussion of Before Green Gables on Saturday (for anyone who‘s planning to join). I‘ll post questions mid-morning (Pacific Time), but feel free to jump in whenever you‘re able.

And a look ahead to February: we‘ll be discussing Anne of Manhattan on Saturday February 25th. Let me know if you‘d like to be tagged for that discussion!

45 likes1 comment