Thursday, June 14, 2018

"Anne of Green Gables, My Daughter, and Me" by Lorilee Craker

I got this book from my mom for my birthday a couple months ago.  My mom and I sort of discovered the Anne books together when I was like six or seven years old.  Maybe eight.  Anyway, a friend of hers told he we would love them, and that friend was right.  Mom read the books aloud to us, we watched the Sullivan movies over and over and over, and they generally informed my childhood about as much as the Laura Ingalls Wilder books did.  Anne Shirley and Laura Ingalls were my kindred spirits.

Anyway, as soon as I learned of the existence of this book, I knew I needed to read it.  I put it on my birthday wish list and was not at all surprised when my mom decided to give it to me.  I should probably loan it to her sometime, because I think she'd enjoy it too.

Lorilee Craker was adopted as an infant.  After having two sons, she and her husband adopted a daughter.  In this book, she entwines her own childhood, her adoption of her daughter, and Anne's fictional life in a sweet, lyrical way.  She meditates beautifully on how all of us, adopted or not, often feel "bereft, left behind, and left" just like an orphan, and how our Heavenly Father fills that hollowness within us with his love.

Oh, and you know how I said both Anne Shirley and Laura Ingalls were my fictional kindred spirits (or maybe spirit animals) when I was a girl?  Lorilee Craker was inspired to write this by Wendy McClure's book The Wilder Life. Isn't that an intriguing coincidence?

(From my Instagram.  Yes, that is my hair.)

Particularly Good Bits:

Experiencing true friendship after a poverty of loneliness is like suddenly having access to the treasure chest in Villa Villekulla (p. 41).

What I didn't know then was that even after you've found the one, a good and steady love, only a Father's love, on the Bread of Life, can really make you full.  Only a Father's love can make you belong (p. 59).

I want to teach my daughter how to act when someone trips her wires and that it's okay to be angry but not to sin.  I want to teach her the difference as I continue to understand it (p. 125).

In my experience, secrets hold you hostage, while the truth, though painful and scary, leads to peace (p. 184).

Through Anne, Maud speaks volumes about the desire we all have to belong and to matter to the people we love.  Coutless readers, including me and my girl, have come to understand friendship, abiding love, and the power of redemption in a more significant fashion (p. 220).

If This was a Movie, I Would Rate It:  PG because both the author and her adopted daughter were conceived out of wedlock, which might cause some kids/preteens angst or make them ask questions they're not ready for the answers to.  NO inappropriate scenes, bad language, or other truly objectionable content.


  1. This sounds like excellent themes or topics for conversation, especially for young people. I'm going to see if my library has it.

    1. Ruth, it's just a gem of a book. I loved how she made things applicable for everyone, not just adopted kids/adoptive parents. I hope you can find it!

  2. I love when books are inspired by other pieces of literature. I loved Laura Ingalls growing up, I didn't find Anne till later.

    1. Skye, I agree! Literary memoirs, I guess they're called? I know I have several others on my TBR list, like My Life in Middlemarch.


What do you think?

Comments on old posts are always welcome! Posts older than 7 days are on moderation to dissuade spambots, so if your comment doesn't show up right away, don't worry -- it will once I approve it.

(Rudeness and vulgar language will not be tolerated.)