In Chapter 27 of Anne of Green Gables, Marilla comes home expecting to find Anne stoking the fire and preparing supper, but Anne is nowhere to be found. Marilla eventually finds her cowering in her bedroom, covering her face and asking Marilla not to look at her - which is kid language for "I did something bad."
What did Anne do to her head? How was a peddler involved in the debacle? And will Marilla ever give her the benefit of the doubt before jumping to the worst conclusions?
In Chapter 26, Anne turns thirteen years old and officially enters her teen years. She wonders whether she has any hope of growing up to be "perfect" like the minister's wife, and resolves not to engage in any more "uncharitable speech." Meanwhile, Diana wishes to be better at making up stories, and Anne creates a Story Club to help her friends cultivate their imaginations.
Things to reflect on in this chapter:
- Learning from Anne's hope that we can all grow and change, while also learning to be present and grateful for where we are today.
- Thinking about the Story Club as a creative, loving way to connect with people - as opposed to "hot wiring" connection (Brene Brown's words!) through the destructive force of gossip.
In Chapter 25 of Anne of Green Gables, Matthew wakes up and decides to do something special for Anne, even if it means going outside of his comfort zone and leaving Marilla out of it. Will Marilla allow Anne to keep Matthew's Christmas gift? Will Anne have the nerve to get up onstage at the school concert and deliver her recitation? And what can we learn about giving and receiving from this special chapter?
In Chapter 24, Anne returns to school amidst the glory of October, and her dreams come true when Miss Stacy announces the students will be putting on a Christmas concert. Unfortunately, gross beauty standards rear their ugly heads once again. As usual, Anne finds a listening ear in Matthew when Marilla has no patience for her raptures.
This chapter leaves us with some questions: who gets to decide what a fairy queen looks like? Will Anne's imagination get big enough to free her from damaging societal messages about beauty? And while Matthew's loving acceptance of Anne is beautiful, is it fair for him to leave all of the disciplining to Marilla?
In Chapter 23, Anne goes to a party at Diana's house, and the girls start daring each other. Anne pricks Josie Pye's pride, and Josie in return dares Anne to walk the ridgepole of Mr. Barry's kitchen roof. Of course, Anne can't turn down the dare. Will she make it across the roof? Will she take a hard fall? Will Josie have to live the rest of her life with a dark stain upon her soul?
In Chapter 22 of Anne of Green Gables, Anne gets invited out to tea with her favorite Sunday School teacher, Mrs. Allan. From the moment of the invitation, Anne basically turns into Kristen Wiig as Sue on SNL - a sundae of excitement with a big ol' dollop of hot anxiety melted on top.
Will the tea get rained out? Will Anne commit some majorly embarrassing social faux pas? And will Marilla ever let her cold dusty heart crack open a little bit and just feel excited for Anne?
In Chapter 21 of Anne of Green Gables, Anne's school teacher leaves town (byeeeee Professor Patriarchy!) and a new minister and his wife, Mr. and Mrs. Allan, arrive. Mr. Allan prays like he means it, and Mrs. Allan, who assumes the role of teacher, actually welcomes questions? Anne can't wait for the couple to visit Green Gables and is eager to bake a cake for her new kindred spirit, but she fears something is going to go wrong. (Spoiler alert...something does.)
In today's reflections, I think about the importance of asking questions and holding authority figures accountable; how silence on the part of people like Marilla upholds the status quo; and how Anne can inspire us to be not only better individuals, but better citizens of the world.
Chapter reading: 0:14 - 17:18
Reflections on the chapter: 17:22 - 32:56
Original air date: June 21, 2020
In Chapter 20 of Anne of Green Gables, it's springtime and everything is coming up roses, except for the spruce grove which, in Anne's imagination, is now absolutely teeming with ghosts, goblins, ghouls and all manner of dreaded "white things." Will Anne have the courage to journey through the Haunted Wood to fetch an apron pattern for Marilla? Will she survive the harrowing trip? And for the love of mayflowers, will Marilla ever tell Anne how much she loves her?
Chapter reading: 0:14 - 11:19
Reflections on the chapter: 11:23 - 18:28
Original air date: June 7, 2020
In Chapter 19 of Anne of Green Gables, Diana invites Anne to a late night concert and sleepover at her house for her birthday. Anne can't wait to have the honor of spending the night in the Barrys' spare room, like a proper guest. But when Diana and Anne go barreling into the spare room and dive onto the bed, they find someone under the covers. Who did Anne and Diana unwittingly attack in their sleep? And will this person react with good humor...or will she vow to take out her wrath on the Barry family?
Original air date: June 1, 2020
In Chapter 18 of Anne of Green Gables, Anne and Matthew are enjoying a cozy winter evening at home, while Marilla, Mrs. Lynde, and many other Avonlea residents (including both doctors...which seems like a bad idea, in hindsight) are off at a political rally a few towns over. Diana comes flying to Green Gables in tears, because her baby sister has fallen sick and the babysitter is totally clueless about croup. Matthew races off to find a doctor while Anne hurries to the Barry household to take care of Minnie May. Will Anne save Minnie's life? And might this act be enough to melt the icy heart of Mrs. Barry?
Chapter reading: 0:14 - 16:26
Reflections on the chapter: 16:30 - 25:11
Original air date: May 22, 2020