Books

How Anne of Green Gables brought Ify Chiwetelu's family together

"It was the first, and would be the only gift, my father ever brought back from a business trip," the Now or Never host recalls.
CBC Radio host Ify Chiwetelu on Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery. (CBC/Tundra)

July 1, 2017 marks 150 years since Confederation in Canada. CBC Books is creating the Great Canadian Reading List — a list of 150 books curated by you. 

Ify Chiwetelu, co-host of CBC Radio's Now or Never, adds Anne of Green Gables by Lucy Maud Montgomery to the reading list.

"The Anne of Green Gables three-book box set appeared in our home after my dad returned from a business trip in P.E.I. It was the first, and would be the only gift, my father ever brought back from a business trip. For weeks we were swept up in the magical world of a red-headed orphan girl. We never sat around together with one person reading aloud to everyone else and the books became a battleground. Every day you'd fight to be the first to claim it after dinner, battle sleep to steal it back from someone who was staying up late reading, push yourself to catch up to the dog-eared page of someone else's bookmark. Anne of Green Gables provided an experience that I don't think I've had since, my sister, my father and myself were at once charmed and captivated by the same thing. For a magical few weeks we talked, laughed and argued about what Anne should have done, what raspberry cordial actually tastes like, frustrations with Gilbert Blythe. Anne of Green Gables is a wonderful book, and a delightful series, but it's meaningfulness to me is not for its content, but for allowing our family a moment of being on the same page."

Ify Chiwetelu co-hosts Now or Never on CBC Radio One with Trevor Dineen. The show airs Saturdays at 3 p.m. (3:30 p.m. in NFLD and Labrador).

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