I remember the first time I met Anne Shirley. I was a young girl not knowing that I was looking for a heroine. This spunky, dramatic, and orphaned redhead who just wanted to be loved struck a cord with me. Though decades have passed, she is still one of my favorite literary characters.
Author Brina Starler‘s new novel, Anne of Manhattan, transports Anne of Green Gables from Prince Edward Island in the late 19th century to New York City and the fictional town of Green Gables on the East End of Long Island. Anne Shirley is now a twenty something graduate student living with friends and balancing school and part time work. She is not looking for romance. But it comes to her in the form of Gilbert Blythe. Back in the day, Anne and Gilbert used to play the game of academic “top that”, in addition to the question of “will they or won’t they”.
This book is easily one of my favorite books of the year. It is the perfect blend of the original text and what it is to be a modern woman in 2021. I’ve read many modern reboots of classic novels. This is how it should be done every time. It would have been easy for the author to do a literal cut and paste, replacing a horse and buggy with a car. What she did so brilliantly was to transport the soul and the voice of Montgomery’s work into our time while still retaining the magic that continues to enchant readers generations after its initial publishing.
Do I recommend it? Absolutely.