One of my daughters shares more than her red hair and Sri Lankan-American background with the main character of Anusha of Prospect Corner. They share a “superpower” too. Anusha is uncommonly good at finding four-leaf clovers, and yesterday, my daughter showed she is also quite good at finding them. We stuck her clovers in a copy of Anusha, a middle grade novel we wrote together:
Anusha of Prospect Corner is a multicultural take on L. M. Montgomery’s Anne of Green Gables. I love adaptations of classics, both in written form and on the screen, and I am looking forward to watching the new retelling that will debut on Netflix in the United States on May 12th. Anne is already airing in Canada, which gave us L. M. Montgomery and her timeless creations in the first place.
This new adaptation focuses on some of the darker aspects of Anne Shirley’s life. In a recent interview on Smithsonian.com, Moira Walley-Beckett, the show’s producer and writer, said:
I guess I don’t really agree that it’s a darker take. I think that it’s a deep, honest take. All of Anne’s backstory is in the book. She’s had a terrible early life. She talks about it in exposition, and I just took us there dramatically.
Yes, Anne’s early life was bleak. When I read the book with my daughters, before we wrote Anusha of Prospect Corner together, they teared up at these words:
Marilla asked no more questions. Anne gave herself up to a silent rapture over the shore road and Marilla guided the sorrel abstractedly while she pondered deeply. Pity was stirring in her heart for the child. What a starved, unloved life she had had—a life of drudgery and poverty and neglect; for Marilla was shrewd enough to read between the lines of Anne’s history and divine the truth.
We will watch Anne together next month. I wonder how my children will react to seeing the story behind these lines transferred to the screen.
PS. If you’d like to see a picture of a six-leaf clover I found last summer, see A Review of Anusha of Prospect Corner (scroll to the bottom).