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Publisher's Summary

A bold, heartfelt tale of life at Green Gables...before Anne: A marvelously entertaining and moving historical novel, set in rural Prince Edward Island in the 19th century, that imagines the young life of spinster Marilla Cuthbert and the choices that will open her life to the possibility of heartbreak - and unimaginable greatness.

Plucky and ambitious, Marilla Cuthbert is 13 years old when her world is turned upside down. Her beloved mother dies in childbirth, and Marilla suddenly must bear the responsibilities of a farm wife: cooking, sewing, keeping house, and overseeing the day-to-day life of Green Gables with her brother, Matthew, and father, Hugh.

In Avonlea - a small, tight-knit farming town on a remote island - life holds few options for farm girls. Her one connection to the wider world is Aunt Elizabeth "Izzy" Johnson, her mother’s sister, who managed to escape from Avonlea to the bustling city of St. Catharines. An opinionated spinster, Aunt Izzy’s talent as a seamstress has allowed her to build a thriving business and make her own way in the world.

Emboldened by her aunt, Marilla dares to venture beyond the safety of Green Gables and discovers new friends and new opportunities. Joining the Ladies Aid Society, she raises funds for an orphanage run by the Sisters of Charity in nearby Nova Scotia that secretly serves as a way station for runaway slaves from America. 

Her budding romance with John Blythe, the charming son of a neighbor, offers her a possibility of future happiness - Marilla is in no rush to trade one farm life for another. She soon finds herself caught up in the dangerous work of politics and abolition - jeopardizing all she cherishes, including her bond with her dearest John Blythe. 

Now, Marilla must face a reckoning between her dreams of making a difference in the wider world and the small-town reality of life at Green Gables.

©2018 Sarah McCoy (P)2018 HarperCollins Publishers

What listeners say about Marilla of Green Gables

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  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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I wanted to like this book

I wanted to like this book but, I just could not. Disappointing. Slow, unengaging. I did like the narrator's voice though.

6 people found this helpful

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I want more!

Oh I loved, loved, loved this beautiful story. I’m a long time devoted reader of LM Montgomery books and this addition to the beloved characters I’ve loved for so long doesn’t disappoint.

Highly recommend to any readers who love Anne stories. Get to know the woman behind the tough exterior of Marilla Cuthbert. So much love and heartache and grit.

6 people found this helpful

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wonderful story

I loved this book!! I'm going back to read Anne of green gables now!! If Anne of Green Gables was one of your childhood favorites, you will love this book.

4 people found this helpful

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Fun Listen

The Anne of Green Gables books are among my all-time favorites, so I was apprehensive about this book. This is sacred ground we’re dealing with. But someone I trust recommended it, so I gave it a try. It was an engaging story, well-written, and the narrator did a fine job (although sometimes her overly-open vowels got on my nerves, and the women all sounded no older than in their twenties, even the characters who were much older than that). It was fun to read Marilla and John’s story, and to read about Marilla and Matthew’s parents. But I did think Matthew’s character was not quite as shy as in the Green Gables book (and he did say in Anne of Green Gables that he never courted anyone, so that part of the story felt unbelievable to me), and I thought Marilla’s character was a bit too warm and passionate and motherly, compared to how she was in the Green Gables books (especially before Anne “softened” her up a bit). I felt like the author was maybe trying a bit too hard to make the characters fit the story she wanted to tell, rather than making them more true to the Green Gables series. But all in all it was a fun listen and I’d recommend it to someone looking for a light read who wants a bit more Green Gables in their life.

3 people found this helpful

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feels like anne with an e fanfiction

this reads like anne with an e fanfiction, and I mean that as an insult. I would not recommend to a friend.

3 people found this helpful

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Couldn’t Stop Listening

As I’ve read the first three books of Montgomery’s ANNE OF GREEN GABLES, I’ve wondered about what had been the relationship of Marilla and John Blythe from the brief mention in the first book. I was thrilled to find that someone else had thought about it and written a book of her own imagining of what had happened. I ordered it on audible and finished it in one day. I highly recommend this book to anyone who loves the ANNE OF GREEN GABLES series.

3 people found this helpful

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Authors poor choice of story line.

Had I know this book was about the American South and slavery I would not have bought it. I will not ever read another book by this author.

2 people found this helpful

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Marill a of Green Gables

Very well written, I enjoyed understanding Marilla's part in the Anne books. I had already put some things together about John. Matthews part I understand now as to why he never married.

2 people found this helpful

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AOGG Fan Fiction

This was a pleasant story that provided me with the perfect pallet-cleanser between twisty psychological thrillers!!


2 people found this helpful

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Loved it.

Painted a beautiful picture of Marilla and what made her, her. It was well written and narrated. Thoroughly enjoyed this book.

1 person found this helpful