Going back to Green Gables was lovely. That is the only word that comes to mind. The descriptions of a place I’ve never been to shouldn’t seem as familiar as they do- but here we are.
Marilla Cuthbert, as a grown-up was on the surface, stern with no time for nonsense. Underneath all that, Marilla was a great Mom to Anne, and I loved getting to know her as a teen girl. Marilla goes from child to young adult almost overnight when her Mother dies in childbirth. Both Marilla and Matthew are written true to character and never once did I feel any bumpiness or disjointedness that could have easily been present with two authors. After all, we have no idea what the entire backstory would have been if Lucy Maud Montgomery had written this prequel.
I’ll admit to wondering what on Earth had happened between Marilla and John Blythe in the original Anne book and this story more than answered that question. Watching Matthew and Anne stumble their way through their respectful relationships made me wince and want to hug both of them and then sit down and talk it out over tea. They did the best they could (in this imagined version), and as we know, it did all turn out okay.
I must mention the abolitionist/Underground Railway subplot. I read some other reviews that didn’t like it. I felt it was plausible. Marilla being a person of high moral standards would, of course, want to help if she could. The entire concept for this novel is one of fan fiction, and to be a complete story unto itself I felt like it needed this subplot, else it would be just a fling back to Avonlea and not being a novel unto itself. KWIM?
Marilla of Green Gables by Sarah McCoy