Marilla of Green Gables by Sarah McCoy
When I decided to start Marilla of Green Gables the weather had finally started to cool off a bit and I had pulled out a few sweaters. My son was in his third week of school, things felt a little more settled and I was finally looking forward to fall in a way I hadn't been able to yet with so much change happening at the end of summer/beginning of the school year. Sometimes that happens right? This cosmic fated moment where a book finds you just when you need it. As it was, Marilla of Green Gables found me the third week of September and it was simply just what I needed.
There is that feeling of hesitation when reading a book that takes places in a beloved world and its not written by the original author. Would it measure up? Would it feel forced? Would Avonlea feel different under a different author's hand and imagination? I worried about these things a bit as I started but I felt like I had a few things working in my favor. One, I hadn't re read Anne of Green Gables for almost three years (and chose not to this fall, once I saw this book was releasing). Two, I read the author's note. I highly recommend reading Sarah McCoy's notes at the end of the book. Nothing there will ruin the story for you. Reading her note opened my eyes to the dedication and time that went into this story and how deeply respectful the author was of L.M. Montgomery's world. I love that she used one line from Anne of Green Gables to fuel her story, a line that had touched McCoy her whole life. This isn't a book written by just another "fan" of Anne, this is a truly well written and thoughtful story of a character I personally really enjoyed spending time with.
Marilla of Green Gables took me back to Avonlea, years before Anne journeyed there, when Marilla was just a young girl herself. I enjoyed meeting her this way, seeing Matthew grow up as a quiet young man, and see what may have happened between Marilla and John Blythe. This story took me no time to read, just a few days, and when I finished I really and truly was sad to say goodbye to Avonlea and Marilla. If anything, to me this is what makes a book worth reading. That feeling of leaving friends behind when you close the book at the end, feeling sad that there isn't more to read.
If you love Anne or even just enjoyed her story I highly recommend reading this glimpse into Marilla's life as a young girl.