Matthew and Marilla Cuthbert are unmarried siblings who live on their ancestral farm, Green Gables, in the quiet town of Avonlea in Prince Edward Island, Canada. Matthew is sixty, and since he is getting too old to handle the farm work on his own, the Cuthberts decide to adopt an orphan boy to help him. This decision shocks the town gossip, Mrs. Rachel Lynde, who does not think Matthew and Marilla fit to raise a child. Matthew, who is terrified of women, arrives at the train station and finds a girl orphan instead of a boy; the orphanage sent the eleven-year-old Anne Shirley by mistake. Anne's talkativeness and spirit charm Matthew, who shyly tells Marilla that he wants to keep her. Marilla hesitates at first, but after a trial period, she agrees to let Anne stay on.