You know that feeling, Savvy Readers, when you’ve been reacquainted with a dear friend after a long time and everything just feels so right?! As I read Marilla of Green Gables by Sarah McCoy, this feeling was my constant companion. Returning to Avonlea with Marilla, Matthew, Rachel and John Blythe was a reunion full of heartwarming antics and bittersweet first loves.
First, I have to tell you: I was struck by how skillfully Sarah McCoy brought young Marilla to life from the subtly nuanced details left like crumbs in L.M. Montgomery’s Anne of Green Gables. Sarah McCoy was a faithful reader with questions! Questions about John Blythe and Marilla Cuthbert, for one: Were they ‘just’ friends? Were there truth to the rumors that they were once beaus?
Marilla of Green Gables is an answer to these questions and more. Upon the death of her mother and newborn brother, Marilla must oversee the daily household chores of the farmstead. The family tragedy weighs heavily on her and we get the chance to see how this strengthens and fractures some of her relationships.
At the same time, there are rising political tensions with the slave trade in the south and a divide between loyalty to the crown and independence. The ways that Marilla faces these obstacles truly defines and shapes her into the woman that we know and love. It is all captured by Sarah McCoy in her beautiful lyrical writing style that holds true to the original writings of L.M. Montgomery.
It is no easy feat to write in the wake of L.M. Montgomery’s Anne of Green Gables but Sarah McCoy (very impressively) rises to the occasion. I whole heartedly recommend this novel to anyone who loves Anne of Green Gables. To those of you who have not had the chance to visit Avonlea, I recommend this book as one that honestly and tenderly tells the story of a young woman who must come-of-age amidst family tragedy and great political change.
Who is your favourite Avonlea character? Are you excited to return to Green Gables?! Let us know in the comments below or on Twitter @SavvyReader!
Here are to the books that reunite us with long lost friends.