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Marilla of Green Gables: A Novel Hardcover – October 23, 2018

4.7 out of 5 stars 570 ratings

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

For Anne of Green Gables fans who always wondered about Marilla Cuthbert's long-ago romance with a Cuthbert boy, this well-researched historical novel will satisfy their every longing. McCoy captures the dry wit, warm honesty, and strong sense of duty of the elderly woman from L.M. Montgomery's Canadian classic, while imbuing this tale with its own unforgettable characters and adventure. Marilla is barely a teen when her mother passes away from complications at childbirth and she has to take up the mantle of "lady of the house." McCoy explores the limitations on women at the time, the politics of a colony inching toward nationhood, and the abolition movement that Marilla eventually gets involved in with fascinating, nuanced detail. Fans of the source material will enjoy getting to meet familiar characters as young upstarts, especially Rachel Lynde and John Blythe. Echoes of the "Anne" books include references to old rivalries and friendships, but newcomers won't feel lost. The setting comes alive with every delicious meal, death-defying sickness, and richly described landscapes that would do Montgomery proud. There are some missteps as the author tries to present the Cuthberts as accepting of non-white people, but the enlightenment of the title character at the cost of fully realized secondary characters of color mars that aim. However, the interracial relationship featured in later chapters does feel authentic the plot development. VERDICT The bittersweet romance and family drama will engage fans of Green Gables and enchant historical fiction readers.-Shelley M. Diaz, School Library Journalα(c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


BOOKBUB, Best Historical Fiction of Fall 2018 

Library Journal Fall 2018 Editors' Pick 

"A must read for fans of Anne and historical fiction alike."
―POPSUGAR, Best New Books of Fall 2018

"Marilla of Green Gables is the addition to the Anne cannon you didn't even know you needed."
Lindsay Crist Lawson, Joseph-Beth Booksellers, OH 

"Great for lovers of Anne who need more Avonlea in their lives. This book was very well done in the style of L.M. Montgomery that I had to remind myself that it wasn't actually written by her..."
Alison Frenzel, Fabled Bookshop and Café, TX

"Fans of the original series and those entering this landscape for the first time will be captivated..."
Beth Seufer Buss, Bookmarks, NC

"Prepare to meet Marilla, a captivating heroine who will transport you back to the treasured world of Anne of Green Gables. Rich in historical detail, this charming novel vividly explores love, loss, friendship, and the coming-to-self of a girl on the cusp of womanhood."
Sue Monk Kidd, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Secret Life of Bees and Oprah's Book Club 2.0 pick for The Invention of Wings

"L.M. Montgomery's Marilla Cuthbert flares to life in Sarah McCoy's enchanting novel of Avonlea. But this Marilla feels very much earned by McCoy, and her story, one of wrenching family sacrifice and the enduring pleasures of home, as much a love letter to the world of Green Gables as it is a breath of fresh air. Hats off to McCoy for enlivening this classic with such heart and grace."
Paula McLain, New York Times bestselling author of The Paris Wife and Love and Ruin

"Fans of the Anne of Green Gables series will rejoice at this warm and heartfelt addition to their world. McCoy's love for the characters is palpable, and with an insightful eye she illuminates the original Avonlea, while also offering glimpses into the turbulent history of the time."
Madeline Miller, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Circe

"Sarah McCoy has given readers a precious gift: the opportunity to step back into the world of Avonlea, and the chance to get to know Marilla Cuthbert as a leading lady in her own right. In McCoy's skillful and sensitive hands, Marilla emerges as a heroine of depth, complexity, and heart. I savored my time with this cast of old friends, enjoying the dilemma of whether to speed through these compelling pages or to pause and relish everything about the lovely world imagined within them."
Allison Pataki, New York Times bestselling author of Beauty in the Broken Places and Sisi

"Another girl once came of age at Green Gables. Spunky, smart, buffeted by tides of duty and ambition, loss and love, young Marilla finds her voice in Sarah McCoy's beautiful rendering of a beloved place, a complex woman, and a long-ago time. Deftly and tenderly told, Marilla of Green Gables is a must read for anyone who adored Avonlea and Anne and ever wondered, what came before?"
Lisa Wingate, New York Times bestselling author of Before We Were Yours

"A pitch perfect love letter to Lucy Maud Montgomery's Green Gables. Even if you weren't an ardent fan, you'll still want to read this book. Marilla is a loving, captivating fictional portrait of a woman and a time that is well worth escaping to. A beautiful, heart rending story, a wonderful novel." 
M.J. Rose, New York Times bestselling author of Tiffany Blues   

"Anne aficionados will get a kick out of seeing Avonlea's eccentric cast in their youth... McCoy captures the magic of Prince Edward Island, describing the changing seasons in lovely prose... [fans] will appreciate the way she reexamines characters they thought they knew so well."

"A rich, historically intense life for Marilla... McCoy weaves in fascinating historical details of Canada's religious and political tensions of the mid-19th century... fashioning Marilla as a flawed hero of her times is a lovely tribute."
Kirkus Reviews


Product details

  • Publisher : William Morrow (October 23, 2018)
  • Language : English
  • Hardcover : 320 pages
  • ISBN-10 : 0062697714
  • ISBN-13 : 978-0062697714
  • Item Weight : 12.8 ounces
  • Dimensions : 5.5 x 1.05 x 8.25 inches
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.7 out of 5 stars 570 ratings

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Customer reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5
570 global ratings
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Top reviews from the United States

Reviewed in the United States on October 28, 2018
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Reviewed in the United States on October 29, 2018
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Reviewed in the United States on October 23, 2018
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Top reviews from other countries

4.0 out of 5 stars Leaves a warm, fuzzy feeling inside.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on October 27, 2018
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4 people found this helpful
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3.0 out of 5 stars A lovely book
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on January 26, 2021
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3.0 out of 5 stars A lovely book
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on January 26, 2021
I saw this book in a shop in America when I was on holiday. I thought the cover was beautiful and couldn’t forget it. I managed, eventually, to order it in England on my return home.

Firstly, the presentation of the actual book has to be commended because the cover is absolutely beautiful and the ‘feel’ of the book, owing to the old style paper, is just gorgeous.

I found it really wonderful to have a back story for Marilla and Matthew, it was beautifully written and I think the story was very good. I particularly liked the references to runaway slaves towards the end, and the feeling that Marilla had done something really good in her life. I very much enjoyed the characters and the settings.

However, the worst thing for me personally was the realisation that this author knows absolutely nothing about horses. In one instance she has a horse pulling a sleigh in the snow setting off at a gallop! In another part of the book a character, sitting in a buggie “sets the host into a bolt“ as if that’s a perfectly normal thing to do. It doesn’t take very much to run a manuscript past someone who knows something about horses because it does spoil the story to some degree.

Other than that, I’m glad I read it. I took my time reading this title because it isn’t one of those books that you race through.
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Yoga Girl
5.0 out of 5 stars Must Read
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on December 25, 2020
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Wannabe Spanish Speaker
5.0 out of 5 stars A fantastic addition to the Anne series
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on March 18, 2019
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Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on July 3, 2020
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