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It was an awkward and impossible romance, given that the object of my affection was wholly fictional and living somewhere in Nova Scotia around the turn of the century. I knew that Gilbert Blythe, he who taunted Anne of Green Gables with the nickname “carrots” and pulled on her braids, wasn’t real. And yet, I had to believe in the idea of Gilbert Blythe; I was in love with the sheer dream of a boy that falls for the smart outcast and then doesn’t give up.