Sunday, June 29, 2008

BOOK EVENT: Meet the Author

It was the LM Montgomery Institute Convention this weekend, with a large emphasis on the 100th anniversary of the publication of Anne of Green Gables. There are a lot of events surrounding the anniversary here on Prince Edward Island. A colleague of mine is acting in The Nine Lives of Lucy Maud that is playing this summer at the Georgetown Theater; I am hoping to finally get to see Anne & Gilbert, the Musical after several summers.

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.


  1. That sounds cool.

    And a link for those who've never read it:

    Anne of Green Gables

  2. I saw that later movie with Anne and Gilbert during the war, and I was extremely disappointed and wish I had never seen it :( I've read several favorable reviews of this prequel, but I'm a bit wary of reading it myself. I'm curious to see your take on it.

  3. That's the edition I saw at the bookstore! It was so beautiful...I fairly drooled when I saw it.

    Now that I'm "hooked on Anne" I want to read the prequel by Budge Wilson. I believe she's got plenty of respect for the character and LM Montgomery.

  4. ctoan - thanks for the link. I try ot spread the Anne love whenever I can.

    laura - I refused to watch that movie, but I am looking forward to this book now.

    bybee - Isn't it gorgeous? It has gold on the inside cover too. I'm so glad you are hooked on Anne! Anytime you want to talk Anne, come on by.

  5. Sounds interesting. I generally avoid prequels but it'll be fun to see what you think.

  6. What a great opportunity - I read the prequel last month and really enjoyed it - I think she did Montgomery proud.

  7. Thanks for you comments about the prequel. I just finished reading Anne of Green Gables for the anniversary celebrations, and I've been hesitant to pick up Wilson's book. I'm more open to it. Thanks.
    -Jessica @


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