Marilla of Green Gables, by Sarah McCoy, is published by William Morrow, a US imprint of HarperCollins Publishers. HarperCollins Canada is selling and distributing the book, to be released in October, in Canada.
Marilla illuminates the early life a well known fictional woman in 20th century literature. When we first meet Marilla Cuthbert in Anne of Green Gables, written in by Lucy Maud Montgomery and published in 1908, she’s a spinster, running a farm in rural Prince Edward Island with her unmarried brother, Matthew. Now we have a back story.
Plucky, ambitious Marilla Cuthbert is thirteen years old when her world is turned upside down. Her mother dies in childbirth, leaving Marilla to take care of her father Hugh and her brother Matthew. At an all too early age, she must bear the responsibilities of a farm wife: cooking, sewing, keeping house, and overseeing the day-to-day life of Green Gables.
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. She soon finds herself caught up in the dangerous work of politics, and abolition—jeopardizing all she cherishes, including her bond with 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.
Sarah McCoy is New York Times, USA Today, and international bestselling author of the novels The Mapmaker’s Children; The Baker’s Daughter and The Time It Snowed in Puerto Rico. She lives with her husband and dog in North Carolina.