I can remember watching the Anne of Green Gables movies on PBS when I was a kid and falling in love with Anne, Matthew and Marilla- a story that is still one of my favorites. When I heard best-selling author Sarah McCoy was writing Marilla’s story I was beyond excited! It’s the perfect fall, coastal read that you will want to cozy up by the fire with a hot cider. I am thrilled Sarah is my latest “Open Book” as she is a gal after my own heart- US Weekly, Andy Cohen and Audrey- Hepburn that is- and after reading her “Open Book” you will see McCoy is just as charming.
via Amazon ~
A bold, heartfelt tale of life at Green Gables . . . before Anne: A marvelously entertaining and moving historical novel, set in rural Prince Edward Island in the nineteenth century, that imagines the young life of spinster Marilla Cuthbert, and the choices that will open her life to the possibility of heartbreak—and unimaginable greatness.
Plucky and ambitious, Marilla Cuthbert is thirteen years old when her world is turned upside down. Her beloved mother has dies in childbirth, and Marilla suddenly must 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—a small, tight-knit farming town on a remote island—life holds few options for farm girls. Her one connection to the wider world is Aunt Elizabeth “Izzy” Johnson, her mother’s sister, who managed to escape from Avonlea to the bustling city of St. Catharines. An opinionated spinster, Aunt Izzy’s talent as a seamstress 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 and discovers new friends and new opportunities. Joining the Ladies Aid Society, she raises funds for an orphanage run by the Sisters of Charity in nearby Nova Scotia 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—Marilla is in no rush to trade one farm life for another. She soon finds herself caught up in the dangerous work of politics, and abolition—jeopardizing all she cherishes, including her bond with her dearest John Blythe. 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.
1. What three celebrities/authors/figures- living or dead, would you want to have a bookclub with?
Lucy Maud Montgomery, Ann Patchett, Audrey Hepburn.
2. Current binge series?
“The Great British Baking Show.” They’re all just so nice to each other!
3. Last favorite book?
Meg Wolitzer’s The Female Persuasion.
4. What 3 things to you pack in your bag for your dream vacation? Where is it?
Hair spray, stevia (for tea), and Burt’s Bees Lip Balm in pomegranate. I’d be on my way to the United Kingdom if I had a jet and bags of money.
5. Sunday NYT or US Weekly?
Oo, I’m a sucker for US Weekly. It’s my guilty pleasure. Sunday NYT makes me feel smugly good about myself—it’s smart reading! But if I just want entertainment, I gobble the gossip rags.
6. Last person you sent a text message to?
My husband, Doc B.
7. Book you read that you wished you wrote?
Circe by Madeline Miller. It’s so, so good. Madeline is a dear friend of mine so when I read Circe, I felt her beautiful spirit in every word. It’s luscious and unforgettable and totally her.
8. Do you have a teacher who encouraged you to become a writer?
My mother, Dr. Eleane McCoy. Before she retired, she was a career elementary school teacher then a principal. To this day, she is always learning something new and sharing that knowledge with others. She encouraged me to read and write from my earliest recollections.
9 Do you listen to music while you write? If so, who?
I write in complete silence. No music, TV, phones, or sounds of any kind. Even the doorbell sets me off, so that has to taped over. My postman knows the deal.
10. Describe your writing space?
Truthfully, I’ve moved so many times that I’ve come to realize my writing space is really a writing bubble. Inside that bubble is the beat-up desk I’ve been writing on since my first book, my wooden office chair, my MacBook, my magic mouse, and my dog Gilly at my feet. Everything around that has changed but those are the constant elements. Oh—and a window! My desk is always at a window so I can look out to nature. It inspires and soothes me.
11. Coffee or tea?
Tea! Heaps of it.
12. Do you have a favorite book that you gift?
Anne of Green Gables, naturally.
13. Book that you wished they would make a movie out of?
Anything by Kate Morton. Her novels are all so lush… and British!
14. If you could have one song as the theme song of your life what would it be and why?
U2’s “Walk On.” I’ve been a gypsy my whole life. My father was a career army office and then I married an army surgeon. The song resonates and reminds me that I can take love everywhere I go. It never gets left behind. That’s a beautiful, powerful thing.
15. What/Who inspires you?
People who aren’t afraid to be raw and let you see that rawness—for good or for bad, no pretenses. Nature, for similar reasons.
16. Bravo reality TV- yes or no?
Are we talking Andy Cohen world? Um, yes. I am obsessed.
17. Favorite Instagram account?
There’s this British Instagrammer named Jade. Her feed is called @thedarlings_. It’s gorgeous like a modern storybook, only it’s her real life. I’m spellbound by it.
18. If you could name just one lipstick after a book, what would you call it and what shade would it be?
1) “Cavendish Caliente” would be mellow red with hints of gold like the dunes of Cavendish Beach at sunset.
2) “Southern Pepper Gloss” would be a bright red and shiny slick.
19. Current #TBR pile?
My editor suggested I read a novel that released awhile back called Through The Glass Darkly by Karleen Koen. So that’s at the top of my pile. Followed by new releases: Kate Morton’s The Clockmaker’s Daughter, Jodi Picoult’s A Spark of Life, and Becoming by First Lady Michelle Obama.
20. Best advice you’ve ever received?
One of my dearest mentors told me, “You’ve got to sing your own song, Sarah.” Meaning: I have to live my life without worrying that it isn’t acceptable or traditional or perfect. It’s the singing that matters.