First of all, let me admit something: I didn’t read Anne of Green Gables until I was an adult, and I’ve never seen the beloved mini-series. So I don’t have the connection to the story (or the crush on Gilbert Blythe) that many women of my generation do. That said, I liked the book, and when I saw Ana of California by Andi Teran, which is being marketed as a modern retelling of Anne of Green Gables, I was intrigued.
“Look at the shelf of beloved books that mothers and daughters read together. Anne of Green Gables. Betsy-Tacy. Ballet Shoes. The Secret Garden. Matilda. Harriet the Spy. Surely you notice what’s missing.
What would you change, if you could, about one of these books to make it more representative of your experience? What would you keep?
Andi Teran asked herself those questions about one of her childhood favorites, Anne of Green Gables. There is a lot to love about the book. Anne is a bold and spunky girl who makes things happen. She has inspired many young girls to do the same over the years. The book’s themes of family and belonging are still relevant today. But it is all so gentle and sweet in a way that modern readers might find fantastic. And the all-white world of the book doesn’t represent Teran’s Mexican-American heritage.”
So Teran created a new story that felt more true to her. She kept pieces of the original material, and fans of Anne of Green Gables will have fun finding them and making the connections. Will those long-time fans of Anne fall in love with Ana’s story in the same way as they did with the original? Probably not. But I expect they’ll find it fun and interesting, nonetheless.
Check out more of my reader’s advisory posts here.