Book Review of Before Green Gables

Before Green Gables
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Helpful Score: 2

Reviewed by Julie M. Prince for

Anne Shirley, a beloved character recognized worldwide for the past one hundred years, returns in this fantastic prequel.

Centered around Anne's life prior to her arrival in Avonlea, this book answers the questions of how the little red-headed orphan came to be herself.

Anne - with an e - had quite an upbringing in those early years, orphaned at three months of age and bounced around from home to home as free, live-in labor. So, how did she get that exquisite vocabulary and her love of all things beautiful? We thought it would always be a mystery, and so it may have been if not for Budge Wilson.

An award-winning Canadian author of many books for children and young adults, Wilson seems to have been the perfect choice to tell this tale. She managed to create a realistic backdrop using the many resources available about Anne's life, chiefly the eight books in L.M. Montgomery's renowned series, along with input from literary experts and historians.

It's hard to give oneself over to an Anne book not penned by Montgomery herself, but since Wilson has a unique and strong voice in her own right, and since most fans are eager for anything Anne-related, it doesn't take long to fall in love all over again with the perky little girl who has a ferocious appetite for life. I laughed, I cried, and I closed this book with a sense of satisfaction I haven't felt in a long time.

I can't help but feel that Budge Wilson is a kindred spirit.