A heart-rending work of historical fiction telling the story of Marilla Cuthbert, long before Anne came to Green Gables farm.
Marilla Cuthbert was fifty-two years old when the plucky red-headed Anne Shirley came to live with her and her brother, Matthew, at Green Gables farm on Prince Edward Island. A seemingly cold and dour spinster, her heart eventually softens to the loveable orphan girl. But for over a century readers have wondered, who was Marilla before Anne?
In Louise Michalos's remarkable debut novel, readers are introduced to a spirited eighteen-year-old Marilla Cuthbert—a girl not unlike Anne herself—who is desperately in love, and whose whole life is spread before her. But when a moment of defiance brings life-changing consequences, a new Marilla begins to take shape, one who would learn to bear tragedy like a birthright, and loss as an inevitability, and who would hold steadfast to the secrets that could shatter the lives of everyone around her.
Weaving its way from Marilla's early life in Avonlea to her coming-of-age in Halifax, Nova Scotia, and back, Marilla Before Anne is the story readers of Anne of Green Gables have longed for. Told with a refreshingly original East Coast voice, 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 Note From the Publisher
This is adult fiction, with adult scenes, not for young children
“A sensitive, fascinating journey into the story of one of Canadian literature’s most unexplored characters. I thoroughly enjoyed this thoughtful, debut novel, including the unexpected twist at the end! Everyone who loves the epic Anne series needs to read this book!”
–Genevieve Graham, bestselling author of The Forgotten Home Child
“There's such ‘scope for the imagination’ in L. M. Montgomery’s Marilla Cuthbert, and in her debut novel, Marilla Before Anne, Louise Michalos depicts a rich and vivid history of love, heartbreak, and resilience to illuminate this character we know so well. I was captivated by this story.”
–Kerry Clare, author of Waiting for a Star to Fall
“Taking us back to Marilla's passionate youth, this book is part old-style romance, part history, with complicated heroes, heroines, and villains. It plays fast and loose with the Marilla and Matthew who may already live inside readers’ heads—those willing to take that leap are in for a galloping ride.”
–Liz Rosenberg, author of House of Dreams: A Biography of L. M. Montgomery
“Beloved characters live in our minds. For those who think they know Marilla Cuthbert, Louise Michalos creates a heart-rending and imaginative fantasy of who our Marilla might have been.”
–Lesley Crewe, bestselling author of The Spoon Stealer
“Talk about family secrets! For people who love imagining the world that swirls around Anne Shirley, this rendering of Avonlea and its inhabitants will keep you spellbound. Louise Michalos reminds us that who we are is a fleeting moment between what we have become and what we are becoming. This first novel is an entertaining immersion in the possibilities of narrative.”
–Linda Little, award-winning author of Scotch River and Grist
Available on NetGalley
Average rating from 27 members
Oh my stars! I was so happy to revisit Green Gables and see what life was like before Anne got there. All the characters from the story were introduced and their backgrounds revealed, including of course the most prominent, Marilla, because without her there would be no Anne. Rachel and Thomas and William and Matthew were all introduced and my favorite-Gilbert Blythe! There was a lot of sadness in this story which would probably be a trigger for some people, but it really did a good job of building up the storylines that lead to the famous books. I especially liked that it helped to explain why Marilla was always so cold and unsupportive if you’re a fan of the books or the show, you’ll enjoy this. I’ll definitely be purchasing this to add to my collection. Thanks to Nimbus Publishing and Netgalley for this Arc in exchange for my review.
This book took me back to childhood and reading Anne of Green Gables. I had always wondered what life was like before Anne arrived and this novel has allowed me to explore that. To anyone that has read Anne of Green Gables it would have been obvious that Marilla Cuthbert would not have had an easy life, otherwise she wouldn’t be the character she is in Anne of Green Gables, however, that didn’t make this novel any less heart-breaking or emotive even though you expected it. I loved that it gave a backstory and explained why Marilla was so cold, I loved how it made me feel and I loved going back to my childhood. I would recommend this 4 star read.
I received an advance copy of, Marilla Before Anne, by Louise Michalos. I really liked this story, it was great to be in Marilla and Matthew's world again. I love Avonlea and Anne of Green Gables.
I adore Anne of Green Gables, so I was especially excited to read "Marilla Before Anne." It was stunning, beautiful, and poignant. The plot was well-developed, and captivating to the end with plenty of surprises and twists and turns. This is one I will return to again and again. Many thanks to the author, publisher, and NetGalley for the advanced copy of the book.
Thanks Netgalley for allowing me to read this book. I remember watching Anne of Green Gables many years ago. This book is about Marilla when she was eighteen. Marilla who gad endured many things when she became an adult. The decisions she made, led to many challenges. I enjoyed this book.
🌸Marilla Before Anne🌸 Author: Louise Michalos To be Published: May 24, 2021 I was gifted this copy from Net Galley in exchange for an honest review ⭐⭐⭐⭐ Do you love Anne Shirley of Green Gables? Then you probably have a soft spot for one Marilla Cuthbert. For me, she is a profound but subtle character that grew on me without me realizing it. When I had the chance to read a book about Marilla as a girl, to find out the reasons she became who she was when they got Anne, I couldn't pass it up. And what a book it was! Reading this book allowed me to experience Marilla beginning at 18 up until the time she first meets Anne. Her loves, passions, heartaches, growing pains, and regrets touched me deeply. Such a full-bodied book about loss and hope and family. I was so sad when it ended that I think it might be time for me to return to Green Gables soon. Also! This book releases soon! If you are an Anne enthusiast, just want to know more, or are a sucker for a back story, pick up a copy! You'll be glad you did.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!!!
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.