Tag Archives: Lucy Maud Montgomery

Marilla of Green Gables: A Novel Book Review

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.

Do I recommend it? Yes.

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Wise Words From Wise Women: A Review of The Heroine’s Bookshelf

    It is a truth universally acknowledged that a good book and the characters that inhabit that book will stay with the reader throughout his or her life. It is also a truth universally acknowledged that the lessons that the characters learn through their own choices and the consequences of those choices will resonate with the reader for years to come.

 Our favorite books inspire us. They are our solace in times of need. They keep us entertained when we have nothing else to do. We imagine that the characters within the books are our friends, our family. We know them as we know ourselves. They make us laugh, they make us smile, and they make us cry. And when were done with the book and the story is complete, we feel that no matter what has happened in our day, everything will be all right.

 Erin Blakemore analyzes some of most well known female authors and their iconic characters. The diverse range of authors and characters include Jane Austen (Elizabeth Bennet, Pride and Prejudice), Louisa May Alcott (Jo March, Little Women), Lucy Maud Montgomery (Anne Shirley, Anne of Green Gables), Betty Smith (Francie Nolan, A Tree Grows In Brooklyn) and Alice Walker (Celie, The Color Purple).

 Her thorough analysis looks at the author’s life and how the events in her life shaped her writing, her characters and the arc of the character’s story line during the book. At end of each chapter, Ms. Blakemore advises the reader of when the best time to read the book is and similar books that the reader might enjoy.

As a lifelong book worm and a fan of several of the authors whose lives and works are briefly chronicled within this book, I can say that I was satisfied by the end of the book.  Any reader of any of the novels would find the author’s analysis interesting without feeling like they have read a college textbook. I was reminded that when life turns unexpectedly or we must make a decision that may impact the rest of our life, the best advise can come from a beloved literary character.

The book is very quick read, but an enjoyable one. Reading a favorite book is like coming home to a very familiar and comforting place. Ms. Blakemore reminds me why I enjoyed and still enjoy my favorite books, even after many years and many, many reads. From this bookworm to the rest of the bookworms in the world, I highly recommend this book. It is one of the best books I have read in a long time.

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