I really liked the first two-thirds of this book. Reading the imaginings about Marilla's life as a quiet, reserved girl who knows loss at a young age, who makes friends with the extroverted Rachel White, and who gradually falls in love with John Blythe was just a joy. The last third was less delightful for me, and I'm not sure if that's because it was sadder (I don't think I need to say "spoiler alert" about the fact that she does NOT marry John Blythe) or because it got sort of exciting and suspenseful all of a sudden, and the tone didn't quite fit the rest of the book. So I'm kind of adopting the first two-thirds into my personal head-canon for the Anne universe, and the last third I'll just... gradually forget.
This book is beautifully written, and I do recommend it to fans of the Anne books. There are a lot of sweet little nuances, moments where you can say, "Oh, THIS is why she's so attached to that amythest brooch!" or "Aww, no wonder she encouraged Anne to go make friends with Diana -- she knows what it is to need a friend." Also, the Pyes and the Blythes and the Andrewses and so many other familiar names appear, which was charming and fun.
|(Mine from Instagram)|
Particularly Good Bits:
"I like doing," said Marilla (p. 22).
"Greatness can be found anywhere. It doesn't need grandeur. There's greatness in the ordinary. Maybe even more than elsewhere" (p. 34).
She was just as she was. It didn't bother her to be plain (p. 56).
Marilla frowned. His words rang of fatalism, and despite her no-nonsense nature, she was covertly a hopeful spirit (p. 161).
Silence had always been a Cuthbert comfort (p. 191).
If This was a Movie, I Would Rate It: a soft PG-13 for discussions of death in childbirth, a few minor curse words, a suspenseful part involving men with guns, and some kissing scenes.