Gertrude's early life is described as being sorrowful—shadowed. When Rilla is anticipating her party with much delight, Gertrude shares in her joy.
- "I had no real girlhood, Rilla. It's a sad loss. That's why I want you to have a splendid, happy girlhood. And I hope your first party will be one you'll remember all your life with pleasure."
- —Gertrude Oliver to Rilla Blythe, about Rilla's first party[src]
However, Gertrude's first party was no success—or anywhere near.
- "I had a hateful time. I was shabby and homely and nobody asked me to dance except one boy, homelier and shabbier than myself. He was so awkward I hated him--and even he didn't ask me again. "
- —Gertrude to Rilla about Gertrude's first party[src]
Engagement with Robert GrantEdit
Robert Grant, a lawyer in Charlottetown, loved Gertrude. Gertrude was extremely happy, even though she worried gloomily at times if it was good she was so happy.
World War IEdit
When World War I came, Gertrude was filled with foreboding. She, like Walter, knew it would not be a mere scuffle. A 'death grapple', she feared that this was the reality of her worries.
At one time, word came through that 'Robert Grant was killed in action'. Gertrude was crushed—but she never cried—and just carried on. When Mrs. Grant, mother of Robert, called Ingleside and told a relieved Rilla that it was all a mistake and that Robert merely had a wound, she dashed down and told Gertrude, enroute to Ingleside from her teaching job. Gertrude fainted! Fortunately, after 'working frantically over her for a few minutes', Gertrude revived.
When World War I concluded, it is presumed that Gertrude married Robert. The two were very happy.
Gertrude's personality was a poetical sensitivity, quick to feel when trouble is coming, and occasionally over-drastic. At times, she was sarcastic and liked to tease Susan.
Gertrude was known for her dreams. At times they came true—or so she says. The Blythes always laughed at her, though, whenever she told them of her dreams.
- "I was standing on the veranda steps, here at Ingleside, looking down over the fields of the Glen. All at once, far in the distance, I saw a long, silvery, glistening wave breaking over them. It came nearer and nearer--just a succession of little white waves like those that break on the sandshore sometimes. The Glen was being swallowed up. I thought, 'Surely the waves will not come near Ingleside'--but they came nearer and nearer--so rapidly--before I could move or call they were breaking right at my feet--and everything was gone--there was nothing but a waste of stormy water where the Glen had been. I tried to draw back-- and I saw that the edge of my dress was wet with blood--and I woke-- shivering. I don't like the dream. There was some sinister significance in it. That kind of vivid dream always 'comes true' with me."
- —Gertrude's Dream about World War I
Gertrude is a female given name of Old German origin and means strong spear.
- Gertrude shared name with Gertrude Cromwell and with Katherine Brooke's aunt Gertrude. Also, Diana Barry had been named Gertrude before Lucy Maud Montgomery changed her name to Diana.