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Marilla of Green Gables

Cover art for Marilla of Green Gables, by Sarah McCoy

Marilla of Green Gables is a historical novel by Sarah McCoy that reimagines the adolescent years of Marilla Cuthbert, who appears as an older woman in Anne of Green Gables and many of its sequels. The book was published as a jacketed hardcover and as a trade paperback by William Morrow, an imprint of HarperCollins, in October 2018. A second paperback edition appeared in October 2019.

A French-language translation by Anath Riveline was published by Michel Lafon as Le bruissement du papier et des désirs in April 2019.

From the Dust Jacket

A bold, heartfelt tale of life at Green Gables . . . before Anne

Plucky and ambitious, Marilla Cuthbert is thirteen years old when her world is turned upside down, leaving her to 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, life holds few options for farm girls. Marilla’s one connection to the wider world is Aunt Elizabeth “Izzy” Johnson, her mother’s sister, who fled Avonlea for the bustling city of St. Catharines. An opinionated spinster, Aunt Izzy is a talented seamstress, which 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. With her friend Rachel, she joins the Ladies’ Aid Society in helping an orphanage run by the Sisters of Charity in nearby Nova Scotia—a home for abandoned children 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—but Marilla is in no rush to trade one farm life for another. Instead she is caught up in the dangerous work of politics and abolition—jeopardizing all she cherishes. 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.


Prologue (1–4)

Part One: Marilla of Green Gables

I. A Guest Is Coming (7–13)

II. Aunt Izzy Is a Surprise (14–20)

III. A Family Recipe (21–29)

IV. Learning Aunt Izzy’s History (30–41)

V. Introducing Rachel White (42–51)

VI. Introducing John Blythe (52–61)

VII. Aunt Izzy Gives a Lesson (62–70)

VIII. Marilla Entertains a Caller (71–76)

IX. Marilla and Rachel Go to Nova Scotia (77–84)

X. The Hopetown Orphanage (85–96)

XI. The May Picnic (97–102)

XII. The Amethyst Brooch (103–12)

XIII. Tragedy at the Gables (113–21)

XIV. Green Gables Is Named (122–24)

Part Two: Marilla of Avonlea

XV. Rebellion (127–33)

XVI. Two to Study (134–40)

XVII. John Blythe Suggests a Walk (141–49)

XVIII. An Exam, a Letter, and Mayflower Regrets (150–59)

XIX. Avonlea Makes a Proclamation (160–68)

XX. First Vote of the Ladies’ Aid Society (169–74)

XXI. Raspberry Cordial Secrets (175–82)

XXII. An Auction of Unforeseen Consequences (183–89)

XXIII. A Return to Hopetown (190–98)

XXIV. Safe Havens and Letters (199–205)

XXV. Apologetic Unforgiveness (206–214)

Part Three: Marilla’s House of Dreams

XXVI. A Child Is Born (217–24)

XXVII. A Congratulation, an Offer, and a Wish (225–35)

XXVIII. A Christmas Party (236–44)

XXIX. A Telegram (245–50)

XXX. Aunt Izzy and the Three Magi (251–57)

XXXI. A Green Gables Christmas (258–66)

XXXII. Introducing Mrs. John Blythe (267–72)

XXIII. Fugitive Slave Hunt (273–81)

XXXIV. A Friend Closer Than a Brother (282–86)

XXXV. Morning Revelation (287–91)

Author’s Note (293–96)

Acknowledgments (297–300)

This page last updated on 9 December 2022. Please contact the site owner with additions, corrections, questions, and suggestions.