Anne of Green Gables
By LM Montgomery
Audiobook on Listen With Audrey App
Audiobooks, they’ve been around in various technologies for eons. The Audrey App is actually unique. It offers much more than a read through of the book. What it offers is more immersive than what I’ve ever seen before. It really is worth giving it a go. I have Anne of Green Gables to review as well as the app and my experience of listening to it as part of a Love Books Group blog tour. You’ll also find links below, if you’re interested, since it is so new. Please note that I am not affiliated to anything here.
Possibly the most delightful book ever written, Anne of Green Gables takes us to a time and place that seems simpler than the one we find ourselves in today – Prince Edward Island off the east coast of Canada in the late 19th century. We accompany Anne, a young orphan girl, through her early teenage years, and we challenge you not to fall in love with her and the world – full of natural beauty, gratitude and wonder – that she inhabits. Narrated by Mary Kate Wiles and a whole cast of actors, illustrated by another Anne mega fan, Weronika Marianna, and guided for Audrey by L.M. Montgomery scholar May Toudic. May’s guide offers historical context, insights into the author’s life, thought-provoking questions, a collection of reviews, a Spotify playlist and much more.
I’ve listened to audiobooks off and on, ever since I was a child and they were more known as stories on cassette, and then apps, which was a lovely experience and this app certainly also is a lovely experience. It immerses its listener right into her life. Anne arrives at Matthew Cuthbert and Marella’s house, full of opinions, mischief, imagination, positivity and chat. They expected a boy to arrive, but soon they take Anne into their hearts and listeners can see her grow and develop into a unique and fine young lady. It has humour and sadness and is ultimately a wonderful story. The app adds to this further. It feels theatrical, a bit like if you’re listening to a high quality dramatised play on the radio, with all the sound effects, right down to a knock on the door. The app in itself adds a unique experience, the likes I have not seen before in an audiobook app, it has reminders of who characters are and how they are related to each other, as an option you can click on. It also provides a bit of an education in a way that it adds context to the story by including background to the times it is set in. It manages to do this in a way that is not disruptive to the story itself, through different options in icons to press, if you so choose. There are illustrations and photographs, which are beautiful (more so than the cover, so putting the cover aside, the rest of what it has to offer in terms of illustration is better, so don’t let that put you off). You will be able to see what the house would be like as well as the fashions of the day. It feels like the app is more than just making a story accessible, that you read and don’t think about what was happening at the times of it being written or at the times it was set in, what the author may have witnessed or lived through. This provides that richness and in a way, shows that historical knowledge and the need to look at the past is important and that everything has a context of its time, which matters. Books don’t just float into thin air, there’s always some sort of context, prompting a story. This app encompasses it all.
You can see your progress for each chapter, which is nice, but unfortunately not for the entire book, but apps, as they are, do progress from whence they began as creators develops, so perhaps this may be a future update. This, as a starting point is very good and very useable. It’ll be interesting to see how it is developed further.
Note from The Audrey App Team
We have developed the Audrey app, where we curate classic and contemporary audiobooks and pair them with a guide, who helps the listener engage with the book in a more meaningful way. The guide provides insights, context, information about the author, photos of the real places in the book, thought-provoking questions, a playlist and more. We also commission bespoke illustrations, and each book comes with chapter recaps and character descriptions to help readers who may get easily distracted.