When readers meet Marilla Cuthbert in the initial chapters of Anne of Green Gables, she is middle-aged, stubborn and unyielding.
Sarah McCoy’s new book, Marilla of Green Gables: A Novel, takes the reader back in time. Decades earlier, Marilla Cuthbert is thirteen. Her life changes forever when her mother passes away. Now she must take her mother’s place as a farm wife.
The only way out of farm life is her aunt. Elizabeth “Izzy” Johnson never married and earns a living as a seamstress in St. Catharines. Izzy encourages her niece to expands her world. This expansion includes joining the local Ladies sewing circle and helping to raise money for an orphanage that is part of the Underground Railroad. Along the way, Marilla falls in love with John Blythe, the son of a neighboring family.
It seems that her future is set. But politics, history, and personal choices have a hand in changing that future.
I loved this book. I am also a huge Anne of Green Gables fan, which was the main reason I picked up this book in the first place. In telling the story of Marilla’s early days, Ms. McCoy is able to draw a complete picture of Anne Shirley‘s adopted mother.
Though this book is not strictly for the hardcore Anne of Green Gables fans, I would recommend that the reader goes into the book with at least some knowledge of the world that Lucy Maud Montgomery created.
My only criticism is that the beginning of the book is a little slow. But when it takes off, it really takes off.
Anne Shirley is one of those characters. Every little girl who loves books (especially the redheads, myself included) adores Anne Shirley for her spunk, vivaciousness and imagination.
Yesterday, PBS aired a new adaptation of L.M. Montgomery’s classic novel, Anne Of Green Gables. Anne Shirley (Ella Ballentine) is an orphan who has landed in the home of the never married, middle aged brother and sister duo, Matthew and Marilla Cuthbert (Martin Sheen and Sara Botsford). Matthew and Marilla requested that the orphanage send them a boy to help them around farm. What they got was a talkative, imaginative and fiery 11-year-old girl whose hair matches her temperament. Matthew is immediately taken with Anne, but Marilla is a little unsure about the new edition to the family.
I adore Anne Of Green Gables. I adore Anne Shirley. Redheads are only 2% of the population. Positive role models, especially for young girls with my coloring are far and few between. Anne Shirley is one of the few that we can call our own. I did not adore this adaptation. The biggest issue is the behemoth that is the 1980’s miniseries with Megan Follows playing Anne. Follow’s Anne Shirley is as iconic as Colin Firth playing Mr. Darcy in the 1995 Pride And Prejudice miniseries. It’s a hard act to follow.
While I did not have an issue with the casting, I had an issue with the narrative. It felt too fast, certain plotlines that are within the book and the previous adaptation were discarded. While I get that it was a 90 minute television movie and not a full miniseries, I just wish there was more meat on the bones, so to speak.
Do I recommend it? If you as the viewer are new to the world of AOGG, then yes. But if not, I would say no. There are too many changes for my taste.
Starring Martin Sheen and Sara Botsford as the supposedly curmudgeonly brother and sister duo Matthew and Marilla Cuthbert and Ella Ballentine as the title character, Anne Shirley is an orphaned girl adopted by Matthew and Marilla. They were expecting a boy to help them on the farm, what they got was a red-headed, uber imaginative, fast talking girl.
While the trailer is promising, only time will tell if this adaptation lives up to its predecessor.
My only wishes are that this new adaptation remains true to the books and Megan Follows has a cameo.
Anne Shirley is not the average heroine. She is an orphan with red hair, a big mouth and an even bigger imagination. Marilla and Matthew Cuthbert are a middle aged brother and sister duo who never married. What they ask for is a boy to help them around the farm. What they get is Anne Shirley.
Anne is the heroine of L.M. Montgomery’s immortal novel, Anne of Green Gables. While Matthew quickly warms up to Anne, his sister is not so sure that taking in this child is a good idea. It’s not easy for Marilla, a woman who has a crusty outer shell to raise a child, especially as impulsive and imaginative as Anne. But Anne will soon become the daughter that Marilla and Matthew did not have.
I am ashamed, as a bookworm, to say that I have not read any of the Anne Of Green Gables books until now. I did see the miniseries years ago. What I liked about this book is that Anne represents many young girls. She is dramatic, she is impulsive, she dislikes what she sees in the mirror and she sometimes does not think before speaking or acting. But she has a very big heart and when she loves, she loves completely.
I loved this book. Anne Of Green Gables is one of those books that many young girls should read, if they have not read it already.