Anne of Green Gables was required reading in my group of childhood friends. I can fondly remember reading those stories over and over and watching the series whenever it ran on tv. Now to get a peek at what inspired it all is a real treat. In Maud, Lucy Maud Montgomery is just as much of a character as that of Anne Shirley. She’s friendly, funny and just a bit melancholy. After being moving unceremoniously from eastern to western Canada, and back again, she felt unloved and unwanted. Shameful really as she still had a living parent and a large extended family. Family drama aside, Little Maud also had some guy trouble — isn’t that the best kind? Coquettish and flirty she never suffers from a lack of male attention. So much that a friend cautions her to be, “careful about how you lead boys on because they want one thing.” Sage advice, now and then — have you seen The Bachelor? Maud is capable and confident and even had the gravitas to give a paramour the “it’s not you, it’s me.” Bold and at times brash, I appreciated her strength, even as I felt for Nate (the brush off is always hard). Maud struggles against sexism and those age old disfavors, which unfortunately are still with us. However, this aspect does not take away from the feel good ending, and although the conclusion is presented in a tidy package, it is worth noting that the true story is rich with even more layers. Coming in at 400 pages it is not a quick read, but the storytelling is so compelling that you can get lost in Maud’s world. Maud is a treat for the senses. It brought back wonderful childhood memories of a girl who had her head in the clouds but was one of the most centered characters ever. Anne and Maud’s ambition and dreams are just as inspiring today.