Cover Image: Marilla Before Anne

Marilla Before Anne

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Member Reviews

Well, of course I was intrigued at the idea of a prequel for Anne of Green Gables! 

Sadly, this wasn’t quite what I was hoping for. Mind, my Marilla is the one portrayed by Colleen Dewhurst in the beloved miniseries. It was rather difficult to see a connection between the two.

We first meet Marilla as a flighty young woman sneaking out of her strict parents’ home for a night of dancing with the beau that her parents strongly disapprove of. A dock worker at the port, he is only in town for a short while. He is determined to marry her, but her parents have someone else in mind. 

Long story short, he has to leave town; she discovers she’s pregnant. After a tragic accident, Marilla believes him to be dead and goes to another town to bear her baby, whom she gives up for adoption.

A series of rather unbelievable coincidences happen after this. By the end, when Anne is introduced, it’s really too much to believe.

A lot of things happen in between, of course, and we see many beloved characters. But the overall premise of the book just doesn’t do it for me.

Possible Objectionable Material:
Unmarried sex, drinking, disobedience. And if you’re like me, it just doesn’t feel like Marilla.

Who Might Like This Book:
People who love the source material, love stories, young women who fight expectations.

Thank you to the publisher and NetGalley for providing an ARC for my honest reaction.
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This was a fun book about Marilla! I've read a couple similar to this theme and it is always fun to read about this incredible character in a new light. This version of Marilla is so different from the one we know in the Anne series, and I loved reading about her early life. Highly recommend for fans of Anne :)
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I love Anne of Green Gables. I love PEI. I didn’t love Marilla Before Anne. I didn’t care for the author’s interpretation of LM Montgomery’s beloved characters. I know trend now is to retell classic stories or even have prequels but I don’t think this novel enhances that trend. It was clever how the author connected the characters, but the ending completely belies the very beginning of Anne of Green Gables. How Marilla acted in the first part of the novel is out of character for the character Montgomery created.
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I was given an ARC of Marilla for an honest review.

If you loved Anne of Green Gables, you will love this book, which gives you the chance to read about Marilla in her younger years.  It was an awesome book!  You can travel with Marilla and  her loves, heartaches, regrets and much more.  This book will make you want to read Anne of Green Gables again since you now understand more of what made Marilla the way she is.
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Really enjoyed reading what Louise Michalos envisioned as Marilla's backstory. It's a shame LM Montgomery never got a chance to write Marilla's own story and Michalos has given reader's what we've all been wondering about for years! For fans of other reimagined classics like Anne of Manhattan or Caroline: Little House revisited. Definitely one I recommend. Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for my e-ARC.
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I enjoyed the Anne of Green Gables books.  I liked "Marilla Before Anne" by Louise Michalos very much because it gave another perspective to the story.  The characters seemed really human and not filmed through gauze.  If you are a die hard, true blue, all about Anne of Green Gables fan, this may not be your cup of tea.  I liked it and will recommend to others.  Thanks NetGalley for letting me read and review.
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2021; Nimbus Publishing

As you already know, if there is a fire at my place, I am stopping and grabbing my Anne of Green Gables (AoGG) book before I go. Just my first copy. I won't be too reckless. AoGG has been my constant companion so I have lots of biases. It is only recently, that I was able to read Before Green Gables and Marilla of Green Gables. I was so scared that they would ruin what I had in my imagination, I kept putting it off. I loved both books, not as much as the originals, but I could appreciate them. Marilla and Matthew just have this place in my heart that they feel like real people I once knew. Sarah McCoy who wrote about Marilla at Anne's age, captured that Avonlea "tone". I am not sure how to describe it, but I felt like I was in Avonlea. 

Okay, I may be stalling a bit from doing this review as I don't want to be negative. I will start with how much I do like this cover, and it reminds me a bit of Jane Austen/Bronte covers. The biggest issue for me in this book was that I didn't find the characters endearing. How can my beloved Avonlea characters be so meh. I do get that Michalos was trying to give a realistic view of what might have happened before AoGG occurred, but it didn't work for me. As a child when I read AoGG there was always this silver lining and positivity with each book. That viewpoint still lives in me today as an adult. I saw Anne as role model for how I wanted to be as a person. I don't want to give spoilers, but the ending...that was just...disappointing. It not only veered away from what the following books would portrayed. With McCoy's novel, it literally is a prequel and follows Montgomery's intentions. If this book was a prequel, it would change the whole series. I mean I liked the idea of why Anne becomes Marilla and Matthew's in this novel, but now that changes the series. Maybe that was Michalos intention to completely rewrite the story, and give it a spin with some outlandish things. If so, she has done her job, but I still don't like it. 

As I said I have SO many biases with AoGG, so you may wish to check out other reviews. There seem to be some high ratings, so it could just be me.

***I received a complimentary copy of this ebook from the publisher through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own.***
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For lovers of Anne of Green Gables you will no doubt need to read this book to find out what could have made Marilla the character that she is in LM Montgomery's beloved books. In my head I thought I could predict what might have happened in her early life but I was wrong. Even though this clearly isn't the work of Montgomery I thought it was a real success and would encourage the many Anne fans out there to give it a try, you won't regret it!!!
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I love the concept, the characters (of course), and thought it was well written. However, it was just a bit too twee for my taste. I thought Marilla was a bit too different at the end of the book than she was at the beginning of Anne. It's fun to reimagine but I thought it strayed a little too far for me.
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This is very well written and I hope to be able to finish it .... however, the Marilla I met in the first chapter was not the Marilla I thought I was going to meet. I’m going to have to prepare myself to have all preconceived notions of who Marilla is as a character, flipped on their head.
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35 years~ that's how long Anne of Green Gables has been my favorite book. The story it tells has a place in my heart no matter how many hundreds, if not thousands of, other books I have, and will, read. With that said, I had high standards for Marilla Before Anne. My heart is totally, completely satisfied with the result. 
   Louise Michalos has given us a gift of a novel. I am fully accepting Marilla Before Anne as the truth of Marillas life story. and want to send a thank you note to the author for being so thoughtful in the way she created it. For anyone who reads this review, I won't "do spoilers" but I will tell you this.: Read it. Trust Me. The story is beautifully woven into the original story line by LM Montgomery. For fans of Anne of Green Gables, this will satisfy every question, wish and hope for answers that there might have been. Welcome Home to Avonlea.
   I was blessed to receive this book from Netgalley in exchange for a fair and honest review. Here it is.
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This book starts out promisingly enough: Marilla Cuthbert at eighteen is as high-spirited as the orphaned Anne Shirley the Cuthberts adopt in late middle age. Subdued most of her life by an emotionally abusive mother who realized that her husband loved someone else and only married her because it was "the right thing to do," Marilla and her older brother Matthew have lived for the few kind words from their reclusive father. She has bloomed after she meets William Baker, a shipbuilder, and William returns her love, but her mother wants her to marry local, and wealthy, John Blythe, who has always assumed he would marry Marilla. William promises to come back to Avonlea after he completes a job in a Boston shipyard and ask Marilla's father for her hand in marriage, and if he doesn't say yes the couple still plans to run away together. The night before William leaves, Marilla spends the night with him. Sometime later, the news arrives that William has been killed in an explosion at the shipyard. Marilla is not only heartbroken, but now she has a secret that may destroy her future in Avonlea. Thankfully her Aunt Martha arrives to help her out of her problem.
I find I can't review this book without giving away spoilers, so
Of course you've figured this out by now. Marilla is pregnant, out of wedlock, a disgrace in 1841. Her aunt takes her away to Nova Scotia under pretenses of helping her to get over William's death, but in reality so she can have her baby and it can be adopted. Only after the baby is born and her aunt's partner (Aunt Martha is in a "Boston marriage" which shocks Marilla briefly) has found a wonderful couple to take the child, Marilla discovers William is alive. He has been writing to her mother and her mother has hidden the letters instead for forwarding them, so he thinks she found someone else. It turns out he's living right near her, with an overprotective landlady, and by the time he finds her and then she finds him and the misunderstanding is sorted out, the baby is safely with its new family. William later dies and Marilla becomes a friend to the couple who adopted her child. The child writes her letters and meets her in person, but she can't reveal who she is, she can only follow the child's progress during its growing years.

If this wasn't all soap opera-y enough, Marilla has named the baby "Anne," which is her middle name. The adoptive parents change the child's first name, keeping "Anne" as her middle name.

To Bertha.

If you are any kind of an ANNE OF GREEN GABLES fan, you must get it by now. Bertha is the young woman who became a schoolteacher and married a nice young man named Walter Shirley. They had a little daughter they named Anne, and then died of sickness within days of each other, and little Anne was sent to strangers who, as she grew older, used her simply as a servant. And then she ended up in an orphanage. So Marilla, who by now has lost touch with Bertha, is Anne Shirley's REAL GRANDMOTHER.

Oh, for heaven's sake. Just NO. I could see that with Marilla having a child, and then losing the man she loved, and the child, and knowing her mother had kept secrets from her, it had made her dour and not finding much joy in her workaday life. But Anne actually being her granddaughter? And then manipulating it so that Mrs. Spencer thinks she's supposed to bring a boy back to Avonlea, but she's really going to bring Anne all the time? And finally Marilla never having to let on her real relationship to Anne because there would be a scandal (for both her and Anne, as well as Matthew)? I'm about to flip myself over with eyerolls because it's like one big TV soap opera. What a shame because the book was well-written and could have been good. Instead, it's just another storyline in an 1800s DAYS OF OUR LIVES.
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Marilla Before Anne was an exciting adventure.  I love Anne  of Green Gables, and everything about it.  This book is as different from the original as Anne with E is from the original  PBS series.  By the way, I love Anne with an E.  I love reading the back stories of characters .learning what makes them the way they are.  This book was a bIt shocking at times, but I loved  that about it.  I learned to appreciate Marilla for different reasons.   I highly recommend this book, Thanks to Netgalley for the arc, the opinions are my.own.
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Before picking up this book for reading, I remembered all the fan fiction that I read from my Harry Potter days. Some were amazing while some felt very flat. I didn't know what to expect from this book. I wasn't sure if this will make me love Marilla more or not but I was hoping to get to know her better, although from a different author. I picked up the book.
Anne from Green Gables made the word "Imagination" my favorite word and Louis Michalos has used that brilliant imagination to weave a beautiful story about my favorite characters like Marilla, Matthew, Rachel whom we think we know so well. I was amazed and I was turning page after page after page to know what happened next. I have to thank this book for introducing me to young and rebellious Marilla whom I haven't imagined so so far. I enjoyed reading this book and I would recommend it to all "Anne of Green Gables" fans.
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I don’t know how I can write a review that could truly express how much I loved this book. I can’t thank Nimbus Publishing and NetGalley enough for allowing me to read this ARC. 

I have always been an avid reader and growing up in a small village with no extra income the majority of books I read were borrowed from the library at our small school. That meant rereading a book if I liked it. I have read the entire series of Anne of Green Gables several times and they always made me laugh out loud, cry and feel like anything was possible. Marilla Before Anne has left me with the exact same feelings.  

I was so moved by this book and knowing Marilla and Matthew, I felt like I was reuniting with old friends.  The author did an amazing job of creating a believable and truly heartbreaking yet heartwarming back story for Marilla. Everything that happened in this book was totally in line with the character that we came to love in the Anne series. It gave me a story that does not alter the Anne books in any way and in fact is a perfect accompaniment to the series. The author did justice to each of the characters and I like that Gilbert was even mentioned, in passing. 

I was nervous to read this book as I didn’t think anyone besides Lucy Maude Montgomery could rightly do justice to these characters but I believe that Louise Michalos has done a wonderful job of creating her version of Marilla’s life.  For a day, as I read this nonstop, I was reunited with some of the characters that filled my mind for hours on end as a child.
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Anne of Green Gables is one of my favorite books and to be able to revisit this world is just beautiful. I really appreciated how  the author stuck to the universe and was true to LM Montgomery's work. I fell in love all over again.
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The characterisation of Marilla in Marilla Before Anne doesn't quite line up with the character in Anne of Green Gables, but the story was intriguing. Marilla has always been one of my favorite characters, and it was interesting to have a glimpse of her early life. This may not be for purists, but as a seperate story, I definitely  recommend it.
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I have loved the Anne of Green Gables series since I was a child and it was so wonderful to get a chance to read a new book that brings those old, familiar characters back to life.
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Thank you to NetGalley and Nimbus Publishing for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for my honest review.  Thank you to the author for the pleasure of her ideas.
#NetGalley #NimbusPublishing #MarillaBeforeAnne #LouiseMichalos #AnneShirley #AnneofGreenGables 
This book contains everything you want to know about the residents of Avonlea before Anne Shirley graces it with her presence.  We learn all about Marilla and Matthew and Rachel and Thomas Lynde.  We even learn more about Gilbert Blythe.  
This book was a breath of fresh air.  I love Anne’s books and movies as so many do.  It was nice to see what happened to these characters and how they shaped them into the people they were when Anne came into their lives.  
There were a few choices made here that were hard to swallow.  I won’t mention what it was as to avoid spoilers, but a connection between Marilla and Anne was made that didn’t entirely make sense, even though it seems to wrap everything up nicely with a bow.  I can see why the author made these choices but I don’t think they had the desired effect, at least not for me.  Even still, I appreciated this return to Avonlea and its characters.
If you are a fan of Anne Shirley, then you will appreciate this novel whether or not you like all of the aspects of it.  I highly recommend this book.
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This is an adult fiction book with some scenes not suitable for children/young adults. This exquisite, heartbreaking work of historical fiction takes readers on a journey back in time, to the Green Gables where Marilla Cuthbert lived, loved, and learned, long before Anne. A fantastic read one which I enjoyed more than I expected! Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for a copy of this book, would of preferred a download copy for the kindle however.
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