One of the more controversial events has been the publication of Before Green Gables by Budge Wilson. Well, somewhat controversial. I haven't read the book yet, and I wasn't sure if I wanted to. Ever since that last Anne movie, where she was running around the trenches of Europe during World War I, many fans like myself have been very wary of 'adaptations.' Don't mess with LM's original stuff! However, this time, the family of LM and a publisher contacted writer Budge Wilson to see if she was interested in writing a prequel.
She spoke of this dilemma herself today at a Author Reading today at Confederation Center. There were only about 20 of us there, braving the driving rain on beautiful PEI. Wilson was still gracious and wonderful, and we all got a chance to get a book signed if we wanted, and after a short reading, she took questions. She said her biggest question was 'Would LM approve of someone else writing this prequel?" And while she emphatically thought No, after thinking about it for a while, the bug got in her head and she really wanted to write it. There was contact with the heirs of LM to keep everything within their 'scope of imagination' as they take protecting Anne very seriously. (Although, I have to wonder why they ever let the province put Anne on our license plates?)
So, while many fans have their back up, I am open to reading it. Wilson is a great children's writer, and I have seen some favorable reviews. Someone on my google reader really liked it, but unfortunately I can't find that review now. It was good enough that it made me put the book on my mental TBR. I don't usually buy hardcover books as soon as they come out, but the chance to buy it and then get it signed was too good to pass up. I quite enjoyed Mrs Wilson today and her somewhat meandering talk. Her enthusiasm and respect for the history of Anne came through. I don't think I will reread Anne this year, I've read her so many times, but I am looking forward to the prequel. I particularly like how this edition looks so similar to the original Anne book of 1908.