23rd June, 2020

Review: Anne of Green Gables: A Graphic Novel by Mariah Marsden & Brenna Thummler (Andrews McMeel)

You know how they say that in times of trouble you turn to old comfort reads? That's exactly what I did last week. It was a bit of a rough time (no worries, everything is well now) and I felt the need to go back to Green Gables. As I had reread the novel not too long ago, I found myself wanting something slightly different though. And this is how I came across Marden and Thummler's wonderful graphic novel adaptation of L.M. Montgomery's wonderful classic Anne of Green Gables

Just in case anyone doesn't know what the original book is about, here is a quick synopsis: 

Anne Shirley, a young orphan is sent to live with Marilla and Matthew Cuthbert, siblings in their fifties and sixties, after a childhood spent in strangers' homes and orphanages. Marilla and Matthew had originally decided to adopt a boy from the orphanage to help Matthew run their farm at Green Gables, which is set in the fictional town of Avonlea (based on the community of Cavendish on Prince Edward Island). Through a misunderstanding, the orphanage sends Anne instead.

Anne is fanciful, imaginative, eager to please, and dramatic. However, she is defensive about her appearance, despising her red hair, freckles and pale, thin frame, but liking her nose. She is talkative, especially when it comes to describing her fantasies and dreams. At first, stern Marilla says Anne must return to the orphanage, but after much observation and consideration, along with kind, quiet Matthew's encouragement, Marilla decides to let her stay.

Of course, a graphic novel can only capture parts of a narrative source text but Marsden does a great job in boiling this little book down to the most important scenes and passages from Montgomery's novel. Thummler's art then is a real treat! Her illustrations are stunningly beautiful throughout and they transported me right back to Avonlea. The colour scheme may take a bit getting used to, but after a while you realise it makes a lot of sense and underlines the story perfectly with its whimsy.  

The book has all the iconic scenes, from Anne giving Diana alcohol instead of cordial to her cracking her slate over Gilbert Blythe's head. Sometimes, I only whished that some passages had been explored a bit more in depth. Still, this graphic novel is a brilliant rendition and does the original material justice. It's beautiful and magical and perfect for when you need something to pick you up from the chaos of life - in fact, it's like a warm hug. 

Rating: 4.5/5 stars

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All texts and photographs are mine, unless indicated otherwise.