I've blogged before about my love of all things Anne (https://www.reloten.com/post/back-to-the-beginning-part-1) , so I won't go into too much detail about that here because I want to focus on this book in particular. All I would add at this point is that this is another series I chose to have on my study wall.
I wouldn't go as far as to say that I shed actual tears when I read this, but my heart certainly does its little happy dance at the end. Anne and Gilbert are a pairing that is meant to be and I spent most of the book annoyed with Anne that she couldn't see that and thoroughly disliking poor Roy, who was totally unsuited to her. However, I think that the joy of the moment when they finally accept each other is made all the more emotional by what has gone before. We have watched the ups and downs of their relationship, felt their jealousy as they have watched others move in on 'their' territory and finally, felt Anne's fears that she was going to lose Gilbert forever before she had a chance to tell him how she felt. And then there is Gilbert's speech.
There was nobody else - there never could be anybody else for me but you. I've loved you ever since that day you broke your slate over my head in school.
Anne is fanciful and prone to dreaming - she needs someone like Gilbert, quiet, stoical and sensible, to balance her out. Without him, she could never be truly herself and this is the book where that starts to happen. The only other piece of literature that comes close to evoking the same sensations in me is the train station scene from 'North and South' by Elizabeth Gaskell and it's not the book that does it, but the TV adaptation with Richard Armitage and Daniella Denby-Ashe. Every time I watch it, I can feel my heart filling up to bursting point and Montgomery achieves the same effect with what she writes. I close the book with a smile and a sigh of relief that everything is as it should be.