I’m a massive fan of The Anne of Green Gables series. I’ve adored the books since childhood, and my copies are ragged and show all the signs of my many re-reads. So when I heard about Marilla of Green Gables by Sarah McCoy, I immediately bought an audiobook copy.Marilla of Green Gables by Sarah McCoy
Published by William Morrow on October 23, 2018
Genres: Historical Fiction
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A bold, heartfelt tale of life at Green Gables . . . before Anne: A marvelously entertaining and moving historical novel, set in rural Prince Edward Island in the nineteenth century, that imagines the young life of spinster Marilla Cuthbert, and the choices that will open her life to the possibility of heartbreak—and unimaginable greatness
Plucky and ambitious, Marilla Cuthbert is thirteen years old when her world is turned upside down. Her beloved mother has dies in childbirth, and Marilla suddenly must bear the responsibilities of a farm wife: cooking, sewing, keeping house, and overseeing the day-to-day life of Green Gables with her brother, Matthew and father, Hugh.
In Avonlea—a small, tight-knit farming town on a remote island—life holds few options for farm girls. Her one connection to the wider world is Aunt Elizabeth “Izzy” Johnson, her mother’s sister, who managed to escape from Avonlea to the bustling city of St. Catharines. An opinionated spinster, Aunt Izzy’s talent as a seamstress has allowed her to build a thriving business and make her own way in the world.
Emboldened by her aunt, Marilla dares to venture beyond the safety of Green Gables and discovers new friends and new opportunities. Joining the Ladies Aid Society, she raises funds for an orphanage run by the Sisters of Charity in nearby Nova Scotia that secretly serves as a way station for runaway slaves from America. Her budding romance with John Blythe, the charming son of a neighbor, offers her a possibility of future happiness—Marilla is in no rush to trade one farm life for another. She soon finds herself caught up in the dangerous work of politics, and abolition—jeopardizing all she cherishes, including her bond with her dearest John Blythe. Now Marilla must face a reckoning between her dreams of making a difference in the wider world and the small-town reality of life at Green Gables.
My Thoughts on Marilla of Green Gables by Sarah McCoy
Books that continue on stories of beloved characters are tricky. The author can’t change too much, as it will feel out of kilter. But they need to add enough detail to remain authentic, while also adding something fresh to the series.
Thankfully, this book was everything I wanted a pre-Anne book to be.
Full of nature and gorgeous PE Island descriptions. The Anne books instilled my love of the countryside deep within me as they made me notice my surroundings. This book really captures all the same feels.
Marilla felt like the Marilla I know and love. Younger, more hopeful but very quintessential Marilla. My fear was that the author would make her too “Anne” like and my imagination would never allow that.
Glimpses of other characters that are major players in the Anne books. Mrs Rachel Lynde, Lavendar Lewis and many more. I felt like I was waving at old friends.
Delivers a gentle, poignant storyline that is full of heart. Marilla’s story and Matthew’s story were delicately woven and fit in so well with the facts as we know them. They touched my heart and made me gladder than ever that Anne entered their lonely lives.
As you can see, it was a huge winner for me. As word of warning, if you don’t already love the Anne books, I wouldn’t start here. But if you are a fan, then this is a must read.
|Did I feel it?|
Who should read Marilla of Green Gables by Sarah McCoy?
Fans of the “Anne girl”, I think you will love this gentle book as much as I did.