“Anne With An E”

“Anne of Green Gables” was one of the first novels that fostered my love of reading as a kid and Anne Shirley will always be one of my biggest literary role-models.  ( I’ve seen the 1985 mini-series film numerous times). So naturally, I was intrigued when I saw “Anne With An E” pop up on Netflix just last week. After finishing the show within a few days, here are my thoughts:

The casting for Anne, Matthew, and Marilla is spot on in terms of appearance.  The soundtrack is beautiful and the show is also visually appealing with lots of greenery and breathtaking nature shots. The clothing is accurate for the time period and hair and makeup was tastefully done. No issues there. 

 This show feels like a completely different story with some parts of the original Anne of Green Gables plot-line thrown in. This is why I watched the first two episodes with confused horror and took time to warm up to all the changes. Also, a few character personalities have been noticeably altered. For example, the new Gilbert Blythe evokes sympathy from the viewers because of the new backstory the show gives him. It adds emotional depth to his character, but it also changes the original Gilbert Blythe we all know and love. Despite this, I actually really liked the actor for the series! His chemistry with Anne (and the rest of the cast) was definitely noticeable. He was different from the smug and teasing Gilbert Blythe from the book, but he was just as charming!

The show has a noticeably darker tone than previous adaptations and it also attempts to elaborate on Anne’s troubled history. After all, the details of the potential abuse Anne went through in her past homes was a topic never explored in the book. So I appreciated the insight that the show gave with Anne’s struggles with being an orphan at the turn of the century. 

So the main thing that I really truly disliked about this adaptation was the  irritating melodrama that took away from the heart-warming story of Anne of Green Gables. I understand that the show was attempting to interpret Anne of Green Gables through darker adult lenses. But it really could have been accomplished without the clumsy dialogue, the forced acting, and a few of the really unnecessary situations that were tossed in. Basically, “Anne With An E” often lacked subtlety and really seemed like it was trying too hard. 

Overall, I have no idea how I would rate this first season. It was a little hard to swallow at times and didn’t quite live up to the eager and uplifting spirit of the original story. But it was creative, risky, and also entertaining at times. I find myself looking forward to season 2.

 

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Jinni: A Poem

Lost within an enchanted city street

I came upon a creature of bright light

Born of ravage wind and quivering might

That burned my soul with scorching heat

 

Reverence found a home in me

As I faced this otherworldly fire

With dancing flames that would not tire

As impassively unbound as the sea

 

Written by: Grusha Singh

 

A poem inspired partially by the tales of Arabian Nights

Still needs work, but just something I wanted to share! Feedback is appreciated, as always. This is my interpretation of the mythological Jinni (also spelled “genie”) inspired by what I have read about them. Hope you liked it!

 

Review: Northanger Abbey 

Novel by Jane Austen

7/10

Short: A young woman obsessed with Gothic novels goes on a socializing holiday with her rich neighbors, befriends two families and almost allows her naivety to ruin her life.

(I’m very proud of that mini summary)

Long: Catherine Morland is a refreshingly relatable and unglorified heroine. She’s a teenage girl who loves to read novels but cannot seem to read people. She is invited by the Allen family to go to Bath (an English town) to partake in winter balls and they’re. She meets Henry Tilney, a potential love interest. She also meets the Thorpes and befriends Isabella Thorpe in particular. It turns out that Catherine’s brother, James and Isabella’s brother, John, are friends. Isabella is in love with James and tries to set up John with Catherine. But John is a rude and boastful man who Catherine dislikes, so she continues to focus on Henry. The Tilneys invite Catherine to their estate, Northanger Abbey. Due to Catherine’s morbid obsession with gothic novels, she is intrigued by the mysterious rooms that no one is allowed to enter.

A series of comical and dramatic events unfold, almost all of which highlight Austen’s desire to satirize society and the gothic fiction genre. The book is entertaining, the dialogue is witty, and readers will be satisfied with how much Catherine Morland grows and matures as a person.

Many Jane Austen novels are ignored and this is definitely one that needs to be read and talked about more! Its not always about Pride and Prejudice 🙂 

The Wolf Inside (Prose)

I wrote this piece a year ago for a school writing assignment. It was loosely based off of a dream I had and I really want to expand it further. As of now, it seems too wordy and I know it’s a bit unclear where I’m going with it, so I wanted some feedback!

Give it a read and let me know in the comments what kind of vibe you’re getting from it:

The sun was beginning to set, letting in the last gasps of light through the large windows. I was in the main hall of the school, surrounded by fellow students.  Sitting in inhibited silence, I wrote aimlessly, pen scratching on paper that was as dry as my spirit. I plowed through my work, trying to quell the persistent discomfort that had lodged itself in my brain. Each day was passing monotonously  and I was drowning in the current with no way to escape. I let out a sigh and dropped my head on the desk. 

Suddenly, the glass chandeliers hanging from the ceiling began to shake, clinking against one another. They made a screeching sound that pierced my ears and I lifted up my head in confusion. Soon, the whole room trembled violently, causing quill stands smash on to the ground. The pristine floor was soon engulfed in a sea of black ink.  I exchanged frightened glances with the others, who clutched onto their friends in mild panic.

The doors of the hall  burst open and a mass of black shot through the room. After my eyes adjusted, I saw that it was a massive wolf, a beast unlike anything else I’d seen before. He was both majestic and menacing, beautiful and terrifying. His aura radiated with blazing power, the kind of presence that made everything else in the room seem insignificant. The wolf began to growl. It was a guttural growl, sounding like it had come from the earth itself. His eyes darted around the hall restlessly, as if he were looking for someone. I could hear the scattering of footsteps as people moved away from the creature, but I didn’t move. Noticing my stillness, wolf’s gaze met mine and it threw it’s head back, howling. Goosebumps raised on my arms, but I continued to hold my ground, ignoring the gasps of everyone around me. The wolf was suddenly tearing through the room at full speed, heading straight towards me. 

Even as I faced a possible impending death, I was intensely aware of the fact that I was alive in this moment. My heartbeat pounded in my ears like drums as my breath heaved my chest up and down. The wolf was now stood at a mere foot away, it’s head leveled with mine.   An overwhelming smell of musk filled my nostrils as the wolf gazed at me, it’s breath hot on my face. The beast was so close to me that I could see my reflection in its eyes.

By that moment, people had begun to scream in panic, running around the room. I suddenly fell out of my trance and began to panic as well, backing away from the beast. My classmates managed to grab onto the wolf,  looping heavy silver chains around it’s neck to hold it down. The wolf was calm, however, still watching me with those ancient orbs. Then, as if it was the most natural thing in the world, it began to disintegrate, eventually fading away into nothingness.

©GrushaSingh

 

Review: The Secret History

(I read this book over the summer and I still think about it a lot, so I felt that it was important enough to do a review up here. )

Novel by Donna Tart

8/10

Short: An intense group of students at an elite university studying the Classics get involved in some really sketchy business involving Greek rituals, murder, insanity and malicious plotting.

Long: Richard Papen has lived a hum-drum life surrounded by people he could never really connect with, including his own family. He decides to attend Hampden College in Vermont, a small and prestigious school. When he’s there, Richard meets a mysterious professor named Julian Morrow, who allows him to join his selective Ancient Greek class. His classmates consist of four other boys and a girl. All of these students are distinctly intelligent, bizarre, flawed, melodramatic, and also extremely privileged. Their group dynamics are interesting and highly complex and Richard figures this out very quickly and most of the novel are his observations about their relationship and how he ended up fitting in with them.

The novel consists of a lot of foreshadowing right from the very beginning, but the action really picks up near the end of the middle of the book. Without revealing too much, let’s just say that some extremely dark and twisted stuff  happens, a few of the characters plunge into utter insanity and relationships are destroyed forever. I ended this novel feeling tired and overwhelmed… but also deeply impressed by the finesse with which Tart told this story. She makes extremely ridiculous events, people, and situations seem entirely plausible.

This is essentially a story about the complexity of the human condition. If that’s what you’re looking for, read it. It will not disappoint.

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