Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Marilla of Green Gables by Sarah McCoy

As you can see from the image, I gobbled down Marilla of Green Gables by Sarah McCoy while I was in Hawaii. I'd already read a little bit of it before I left home and I spent a blissful day reading outside to finish it up.

Marilla of Green Gables is the story of Marilla's early years, before Green Gables acquired its name. At 13, Marilla's responsible for helping her mother with chores while her mom goes through pregnancy. When tragedy strikes, her mother's twin arrives to help out. During this time, Marilla makes a new friend and falls in love. All of this is set against the backdrop of political upheaval and rebellion on Prince Edward Island.

I just finally read Anne of Green Gables in 2008 (link, through the title, leads to my 2008 review) and I have never managed to read on. In fact, I don't remember it all that well, apart from Anne's bubbly personality. Not remembering much about the original book was not a problem. I remembered that Marilla was a single woman with a brother she was close to and I remember the face of the woman cast as Marilla in the series I watched many years ago. I presumed that the author's intent was to explain what happened that led to Marilla being a spinster. From a friend's review (a friend who was a big fan of the books and series), I also know that Marilla of Green Gables introduces us to a friend of Marilla's who appears in Anne's story. I did assume she probably appeared in Anne of Green Gables, but I'm not familiar enough with the story to have known that, for sure; it was just a guess that turned out to be right. Marilla's love interest in Marilla of Green Gables is based on a single quote from Anne of Green Gables. This is mentioned in the author's notes.

Highly recommended - I can't speak from the perspective of a fan of Anne of Green Gables, since I've only read it once and (while I did love it) don't know the characters all that well. But, I found Marilla of Green Gables immensely absorbing and believable. The political situation is something I was totally unfamiliar with and I confess I found it a little hard to follow but I did think it was necessary to the storyline. I thought the author did an excellent job of staying true to what little I recall of the character and that it was convincing and entertaining. This is my first read by Sarah McCoy and it definitely won't be my last.

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