What I’m Reading: Marilla of Green Gables

I had seen this book but was really afraid to read it.  The book Marilla of Green Gables is a different author’s view of the years before in the Anne of Green Gables series.  Oh I have loved Anne of Green Gables.  I’ve loved the books since I was a young girl.  I so didn’t want anything to “ruin” them for me.  For the same reason, I have not watched the TV series Anne of Green Gables.  But the book kept coming up in my recommended book list so I broke down and decided to give the book a try– BUT…the second I thought the book might be ruin my love of the original book series, I gave myself permission to quit listening to the book.

This book is authored by Sarah McCoy.  I’ve read another of her books, The Baker’s Daughter which I also enjoyed.

I ended up making it all the way through the book.  I wasn’t disappointed.  In fact, I was SUPER happy with the book.  It made me feel especially nostalgic for Anne of Green Gables.  It might be time that I read that series again.  I’m hoping Hoopla or my other online library have them.  I liked this so much that I listened to the entire book in one day.  That’s saying a lot!!

Here’s what Amazon had to say:

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 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.

Amazon readers gave the book 4.5 stars.  I would say even higher….  4.7.  I loved it.  I always wondered what made Marilla a “hard” person.  The story that this book told was totally believable.  I highly recommend it for any Anne of Green Gables fans.

10 thoughts on “What I’m Reading: Marilla of Green Gables”

  1. I absolutely love Anne of Green Gables and also Ann of Avanle. The spelling probably wrong on Avanle, but you know what I mean. I have watched them with my grand kids and by myself many times. I have the movies and love them. The kids liked them too and want to watch them over again. I bet it is good. Thanks for the heads up on this as I have not heard of it yet.

  2. Martha Whitaker

    Jo, I also loved the Anne of Green Gables series since 7th grade (that was 60 years ago!) I’ve read and re-read several times and always read the first book to my students. The PBS films were excellent, true to the story line, and characters were cast perfectly, especially Anne.

  3. Janelle Merillat

    Jo, Have you considered reading Wicked? It really isn’t what one would think by the title! It is the story of the wicked witch in the Wizard of Oz. There are some others too, telling the story of her son. I loved reading the “Other” point of view! It was interesting! You are still in my daily prayers. <3

  4. Brenda Fiedler

    Oh, how I have loved Anne of Green Gables and Anne of Avonlea for many many years. I finally broke down and bought the VHS tapes way back yonder a year or two ago, LOL.
    Have not heard about this book about Marilla, but it definitely sounds like something I want to read. Wouldn’t it be grand to have lived in a simpler time such as what they had?! I know I would like it for sure.
    My thoughts and prayers are still with you and your family. Keep Smiling and know someone in South Carolina is thinking of you and your family!

  5. I loved the original tv series too believe it was maybe on PBS? The one where Marilla was played by Colleen Dewhurst. She was the perfect Marilla. Didn’t watch the newer version Anne with an E but heard it was disappointing.

  6. Ahh, I did find you on your website and bookmarked it. Whew. Thanks for the tip on Marilla, it sounds very good, and I’ll certainly look into it.

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