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Marilla of Green Gables: A Novel by Sarah…
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Marilla of Green Gables: A Novel (original 2018; edition 2019)

by Sarah McCoy (Author)

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3915456,562 (4.11)33
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.… (more)
Member:MelindaN
Title:Marilla of Green Gables: A Novel
Authors:Sarah McCoy (Author)
Info:William Morrow Paperbacks (2019), Edition: Reprint, 320 pages
Collections:Your library
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Marilla of Green Gables by Sarah McCoy (2018)

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» See also 33 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 52 (next | show all)
What a fantastic book . . . until the last chapter or two. Felt artificial, contrived. ( )
  Jeffrey_G | Nov 22, 2022 |
Looking with a critical eye, I don't know that I could say that every single beat of this story and it's characters adds up. Looking with my rose colored glasses, I absolutely loved the chance to return to Green Gables, and learn more about dear Marilla. A lovely, heartwarming read. ( )
  NeedMoreShelves | Sep 24, 2022 |
I've seen tv-versions of ANNE OF GREEN GABLES, but I have never actually read the books. However, that didn't stop me from wanting to read this book about Marilla Cuthbert, before Anne came into her and Matthew's lives.

Marilla Cuthbert is only thirteen-years-old when her whole life is turned upside down. Her beloved mother dies in childbirth and she's suddenly the one responsible for all of the tasks of a farm wife: cooking, sewing, and overseeing Green Gables. Of course, she has her brother Matthew and her father Hugh, but the loss of her mother will stay with her for the rest of her life. As she grows up, Green Gables is her main focus, but friends and family will draw her out into the world. And, she will even find that there may be someone out there who could be more than and a friend...

READ THE REST OF THE REVIEW OVER AT FRESH FICTION! ( )
  MaraBlaise | Jul 23, 2022 |
It took me awhile to get into this book. It has the prequel problem where it can be hard to invest in the story when you know that things go wrong in the future. That said, once I got over it, this was a good story. The Marilla of this story grew into the Marilla we know from Anne's stories in a convincing and compelling way. (Rachel Lynde's character wasn't quite as convincing.) The story had a delightful number of call outs for fans of the Anne books from the obvious (currant wine and amethyst brooches) to the more subtle (sewing, knitting, and crochet skills).

I wish the plot hadn't made significant historical events so prominent. Not because the author didn't handle it well. She did. The historical events were integrated in a way that made it believable that they would touch an out of the way village on Prince Edward Island. Rather, this is a personal preference of mine where I like my classic literature shared universe novels to read more like contemporary novels than historical fiction. In historical fiction, the main characters generally end up interacting with grand History. In contemporary novels, life is just life.

Overall, this was a lovely read. ( )
  eri_kars | Jul 10, 2022 |
Ok, I give this high points for being extremely readable, and an interesting modern and progressive take on some of the politics and history that was taking place in Canada in a pre-Anne timeframe. I particularly enjoyed the racial politics. I quite enjoyed this book.

That said, the only thing that ties it to Anne of Green Gables is that she’s writing in the setting and using the same characters — it’s like Stephanie Barron’s Jane Austen mysteries — related and highly enjoyable, but not really authentic, although to be fair, I think Stephanie Barron is a little more believable. I’m not trying to be harsh, but frankly all of LM Montgomery’s heroines are extremely invested in the question of marriage, whatever role they choose in the matter — you can be absolutely assured that they will spend at least half the book making their feelings plain. That Marilla, at 15, with a serious beau would not have thought about the possibility of marriage until her friend Rachel brings it up is a modern writer’s complete rejection of some of the most persistent values of the time. I’m ok with that, in fact I found it refreshing, and I enjoyed the note in the back where McCoy claims the book as her own and distinguishes it from Montgomery’s work. If you are looking for a real return to Avonlea, I would caution you that this may not be exactly what you are looking for. However, if you’re a modern grown up lady who is slightly horrified upon re-reading your favorite tales of childhood and discovering the extreme gender roles and restrictions therein, you might have a really good time with this. ( )
  jennybeast | Apr 14, 2022 |
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Epigraph
The spring was abroad in the land and Marilla's sober, middle-aged step was lighter and swifter because of its deep, primal gladness.
Her eyes dwelt affectionately on Green Gables, peering through its network of trees and reflecting the sunlight back from its windows in several little coruscations of glory.

L. M. Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables, Chapter XXVII
Dedication
To my mother, Dr. Eleane Norat McCoy,
for being beside me on the journey, start to finish, apple seed to fruit
First words
It'd been a rain-chilled May that felt more winter than spring.
Quotations
Marilla hadn't ever stopped to consider colorless muslin as anything but ... colorless muslin. Assessing it afresh with Izzy made her understand how a homely thing can become quite extraordinary if given the chance to prove itself.
The smallest elements produced the most significant change. Salt in bread. Water in soil. Light in darkness. If she had been there, she could've saved her mother.
"...You can change your mind anytime you want, but you can't take words back. Not ever."
Money talk always felt like putting her hands in a bucket of tallow. No matter how many times she washed after, her fingers stayed too greasy to be comfortable.
The idea of bigotry based on color seemed foolish, laughable even, if it weren't so horrific. But people were killing and dying because if it. Red bled from all.
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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 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.

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