Anne of Manhattan: A Novel
If you’re into twenty-something rom coms, this book is for you. The reference to the original Anne of Green Gables might be misleading if the famous tale is an all-time favorite. The names are the same: Anne, Gilbert, Marilla and Matthew, along with many more of the original characters. Author Brina Starler opens her modern version with a clever prologue that takes the form of emotional diary entries by teenage Anne.
Fast forward to present day. We meet Anne Shirley, a bright NYU grad who is immersed in a graduate program at a small university near Greenwich Village in Manhattan. Clearly, the glimpses into Anne’s life promise to be of the grown-up kind. But that’s not exactly what Ms. Starler intends for her reader.
The chapters switch from “then” (high school) to “now” (grad school) and so forth. These eras of Anne’s life are layered with heavy-duty longing and need felt by both Anne and Gilbert. The reader can easily discern a distinct atmosphere of hot and cold in the past and present. Fortunately, Ms. Starler injects some lurking potential for trouble.
Overall, Anne of Manhattan is a charming book that promises an escape from our 2021 issues.
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