Full disclosure here, I adore Anne of Green Gables. Gilbert Blythe was my first crush, and Anne, with her spitfire ways and flaming red hair, could very well be a mirror of who I was at say…eleven (and maybe a wee bit still). Having gotten that out in the open, let’s just say that Lorilee Craker just gets Anne lovers (perhaps Craker’s primary audience). Anne of Green Gables, My Daughter, and Me is Craker’s memoir, and it oozes Anne, Gilbert, and all things Anne-girl. But Craker’s memoir does much more than show just how much Craker, and the world, loves Lucy Maud Montgomery’s heroine. Craker’s work shows that what makes Anne enduring is who Anne is and isn’t. Anne is an orphan (like Craker and Craker’s daughter Pheobe) and longs for love, for a place to belong.
Interweaving stories from her own life growing up as an orphan in a home with loving adoptive parents along with stories of Anne Shirley who endures a rocky childhood while looking for a family to love her, Craker beautifully shows that humanity longs after, is meant to long after something or Someone, Love. The memoir chronicles Craker’s misfit years and her longing to know where she really belonged and what her biological parents were like. Like Anne, Craker wanted to know who she was and spent part of her life imaging who she might have been.
Anne of Green Gables, My Daughter, and Me beautifully points back to the idea that all of us are longing to be known and to be loved. We want to know that we have a place in the world even if we feel like we are orphaned, cast aside either at birth or by the whims of society. Continually, Craker points us back to the idea that no matter who we are or who are family is, we have a Heavenly Father who loves us and gives us a place to belong regardless of what others think of us.
“He never forgets the children whose names are written in the palms of His hand. God makes us belong,” (Craker, 223).
Craker’s memoir is for those of us who have struggled with insecurity and feeling like we are not, or ever will be, enough. The memoir is for those who need to be reminded that Christ came for the poor, the miserable, the outcast, and the orphaned. He came for the Anne Shirleys, Josie Pyes, and Gilbert Blythes of the world. Craker gives readers a funny, poignant, and emotional reminder of the truth of Christ’s love while sharing her own journey to feeling complete in who she is in Christ.
“At every bend in the road, our Father is waiting for us, reaching out his arms. And we are orphans no more” (223).
*I was provided with a complimentary copy of Anne of Green Gables, My Daughter and Me by Tyndale House Publishers in return for this review. All ideas expressed here on the memoir are entirely my own.