Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm has delighted readers for over 100 years. Published in 1903, when girls were inevitably depicted as pretty, gentle and proper, Rebecca Rowena Randall burst onto the scene of children’s literature. Sent to live with her prim and proper Aunt Miranda, who is expecting her much more demure sister, Rebecca is a “bird of a very different feather”. She has “a small, plain face illuminated by a pair of eyes carrying such messages, such suggestions, such hints of sleeping power and insight, that one never tired of looking into their shining depths…” To her Aunt Miranda’s continual dismay, Rebecca is exuberant, irrepressible, and spirited – not at all “proper” or “demure”. She wins over her aunt soon enough, and the whole town, and thousands of readers and listeners everywhere.
Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm by Kate Douglas Wiggin
Published 2017 by Post Hypnotic Press (Originally Published 1903)
Format: e-audiobook; 8 hours, 11 minutes
Classics / Young Adult
Also By This Author: The Bird’s Christmas Carol, Mother Carey’s Chickens
Goodreads | Audible
My Rating: ♥♥♥♥
Surprisingly, I had never heard of this novel until very recently, which shocks me because it’s the type of classic young adult novel that I usually gravitate towards. I was also pretty surprised at the similarities between this novel and L.M. Montgomery’s novels Anne of Green Gables and Emily of New Moon, especially since Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm was published several years beforehand.
Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm follows the journey of Rebecca Randall as she leaves her family home to live with her two polar opposite aunts. When Rebecca arrives, she is rather plain and unbecoming, but her personality and imagination are quite the opposite. Her guardians, especially Aunt Miranda, do their best to raise Rebecca into a respectable young lady. If you’re familiar with L.M. Montgomery’s most iconic heroine, Anne Shirley, then you will probably notice the similarities between her and Wiggin’s Rebecca Randall, although I would argue that Rebecca is a milder mix between Anne Shirley and Emily Starr, another one of Montgomery’s heroines.
My favorite aspect of Wiggin’s novel was Rebecca’s character growth. She reigns in her temper and impulsive reactions fairly quickly, and her adolescent mistakes become fortuitous opportunities, such as when she sells a large amount of soap to Adam Ladd. She also possesses a pure heart and genuinely cares about others.
Read This Book If…
…you enjoy novels with fierce, unconventional heroines.
…you appreciate the traditions and values of small town, early 20th century life.
…you are a fan of novels like Anne of Green Gables and Emily of New Moon by L.M. Montgomery.
I previously listened to (and loved!) the first three Anne of Green Gables novels which were produced by Post Hypnotic Press, so I was looking forward to listening to their adaptation of Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm. Ann Richardson’s performance did not disappoint! She brought a liveliness to the characters that was enjoyable and engaging. I especially love listening to classic novels on audiobook, and I would definitely listen to another one of Ann Richardson’s narrations :)
About the Narrator: Ann Richardson has been narrating for major publishers as well as independently published authors since 2008, happily giving voice to classics such as “Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm” (Kate Douglas Wiggin), “Greenwillow” (B.J. Chute), and Zane Grey’s “Riders of the Purple Sage”. Her narrations have been awarded AudioFile Magazine’s Earphones Awards, as well as having been finalists in the Voice Arts Awards in 2016 and 2017. In her spare time Ann is a volunteer narrator for Learning Ally (formerly Recording For the Blind and Dyslexic), and speaks to author groups and at writers’ conferences about the process of making an audiobook.
And stop by the tour page to check out other blogger’s reviews for Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm :)
Disclaimer: I received this audiobook as part of my participation in a blog tour with Audiobookworm Promotions. The tour is being sponsored by Post Hypnotic Press. The gifting of this audiobook did not affect my opinion of it.