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When Marnie Was There
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When Marnie Was There

4.31  ·  Rating Details ·  1,297 Ratings  ·  197 Reviews
Anna lives with foster parents, a misfit with no friends, always on the outside of things. Then she is sent to Norfolk to stay with old Mr and Mrs Pegg, where she runs wild on the sand dunes and around the water. There is a house, the Marsh House, which she feels she recognises - and she soon meets a strange little girl called Marnie, who becomes Anna's first ever friend. ...more
Paperback, 288 pages
Published April 2nd 2002 by Harper Collins (first published January 1st 1967)
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Julian Poon It doesn't really matter actually. Both have vastly different interpretations, but they are both nonetheless interesting.

Community Reviews

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Sep 19, 2014 Roya rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: quite-good
Final rating: 4.5 stars

If you didn't know by now, I'm a die-hard Studio Ghibli fan. It was a huge part of my childhood and thus far, has made all of my favourite movies. So last year when I heard that they were taking a hiatus, I was heartbroken. Fortunately, they made their (most probably) last film before the announcement. After looking into it, I found out that the film is based on this book. The English version of the film will be released in less than a month, and what better time to start
Nov 03, 2015 Mariel rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: osmosis
Recommended to Mariel by: window lavender
If she really got to know them, and they her, all that would be spoiled. They would be like all the others then- only half friendly. They, from inside, looking curiously at her, outside- expecting her to like what they liked, have what they had, do what they did. And when they found she didn’t, hadn’t, couldn’t- or what ever it was that that always cut her off from the rest- they would lose interest.

I don’t know if nostalgia for what never was is all there is. It feels like that is true, like to
Stefan Bachmann
Jul 05, 2014 Stefan Bachmann rated it it was amazing
Apparently this is going to be a Studio Ghibli movie, and when the bookseller lady in Tokyo told me I was of course like "Must own this nowwwwww" so I bought it and read it and loved it. It's a very quiet, bittersweet book, taking place in England in the early 60's. It has sort of that C.S. Lewis-y feel to it, very British.

It's about a lonely, unhappy orphan who makes friends with another girl who may or may not be real. The mystery of who Marnie really is and whether she even exists is what pro
Cass -  Words on Paper
Dec 12, 2013 Cass - Words on Paper marked it as wishlist
Shelves: classics
There will be a new Studio Ghibli film based on this book in 2014! Directed by the man who made the Arietty film, so I'll be expecting gorgeous backdrops and music. :)
Orinoco Womble (tidy bag and all)
This book is going to haunt me. Not because the animated film based on it is Studio Ghibli's swan song. Not because of the plot itself--which is the tiniest bit predictable in spots. No, it's because these sentences from the first few pages hit me like a punch in the gut: She knew perfectly well that things like parties and best friends and going to tea with people were fine for everyone else, because everyone else was "inside"--inside some sort of invisible magic circle. But Anna herself was ou ...more
Cheryll Manatad
Apr 11, 2014 Cheryll Manatad rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
The book is so enchanting. My heart was filled with so much emotion and my imagination was so free, creating those wonderful scenery that felt so dreamy and magical. I felt like Anna, I can relate with her a lot and how lonely she was sometimes. I love Marnie and how she's created to be like a dream and a reality all together. I love how the book transported me to my own childhood and all those fantasies I once have as well. The pacing of the story is so so good, the storytelling is superb! It i ...more
Jan 28, 2014 Holly rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: childrens, timeslip
What an enchanting book.

I've been wanting to read When Marnie Was There for over a year now, but I had a ridiculous amount of trouble getting my hands on the book. Until the last year or so, it hadn't had many printings, so there aren't all too many copies out there. When Studio Ghibli announced their adaptation, prices for the book rose astronomically. When I was looking to buy the book a year ago, I couldn't find any copy for less than a few hundred dollars (seriously). No library even close
Jul 12, 2012 Pippa rated it it was amazing
This was my absolute favourite book as a child. A really beautiful story about a lonely girl who learns to make friends with the help of another girl, who comes through time to help her. (I won't tell you who the girl is). Beautifully written. Absolutely superb.
Rebecca McNutt
This strange yet wonderful little book was filled with mysteries all the way through. Is Marnie an imaginary friend? A ghost? A human girl? This question is what leads the main character searching for her long-lost friend and what makes this book certainly worth reading.
Jul 13, 2014 Stephanie rated it liked it
The Ghibli movie is coming out in Japan soon, so I gave this book a read-through. Maybe now I can try seeing it in the theater even though I probably won't get most of the dialog...

As far as setting, description, and memorable characters go, I found this book an immersing read. The town is based on a real place, and it really feels solid. The author paints a vivid description of Anna's inner mind, so you can always relate to what she's going through.

(One thing I have to ask is why is Anna so sl
Jan 02, 2015 Caren rated it really liked it
Shelves: children
Quite by chance, I read about this book somewhere in connection with the Japanese film to be made from it. The book itself, a British children's novel, was published in 1967. It is a quiet, mysterious little book about a lonely little girl, living for the summer with an older couple, foster parents, at the British seaside. She is something of a misfit and is given a lot of freedom to roam the shore alone. She is fascinated with an old house, which appears to be uninhabited, near the water's edge ...more
Nov 24, 2015 Alexxy rated it liked it
Shelves: 2016-reads

Last year, I marathoned all Studio Ghibli movies and 'When Marnie Was There' is also one of their works. Back then, I didn't know it's based on a book but I picked it up as soon as I found out because let's face it, all of us love comparing the book to the movie. (there wasn't much difference anyway)

Anna, a very quiet girl moves to a village and there, befriends Marlie. That's it. That's the whole story.

Now, I'm not being mean or anything. The story is good. It's about the importance of family,

This was a really touching story. While the prose was beautiful, it was a little jarring to read in such a fancy style compared to most of the other books I've read before. Yet, it was still lovely and I found myself putting this book aside so that I could savor it when I finally did return to read another few chapters. I definitely recommend this if you want to read something relaxing with gorgeous writing and British slang.

I think I will compare this to the movie when I see it so that I can
A winsome timeslip that I read as a child and like just as much as an adult! My review is available at:
Oct 24, 2015 Michael rated it it was amazing
I really miss being able to pass little gems like this one onto my mum. She would have adored Anna and Marnie. Anna is a young orphan girl who by her own judgement is both friendless and unloved. Her foster parents send her to live with an elderly couple in Norfolk in a cottage by the sea. She roams the beach and the marshes all day long, becoming fascinated by a large property called Marsh House and the ethereal little girl spied having her hair brushed in an upstairs window. The prose evokes t ...more
Mar 28, 2017 Melanie rated it really liked it
First published in 1967 this children's classic is one I'd never heard of, and am surprised of. It was a great story! The type of thing I would have loved when I was 10, like The Secret Garden or something wistful like that... The loneliness of childhood is something that will always be a favorite subject of children's stories... This was made into Studio Ghibli movie in 2014 and it felt like reading a Miyazaki movie, if you know what I mean...
Another thing about this book is that a kind student
Feb 19, 2017 Shaikha rated it it was amazing
I remember being enchanted by this bittersweet book as a kid.
Jul 30, 2014 Noora rated it it was amazing
Well Studio Ghibli, you have made the right choise and that's the reason I picked this book in the first place. I can't imagine any other studio to give this story the justice it deserves, and I'm happy it gets a bigger audience due the film. In Finland you don't seem to find the book anywhere and libraries have put it to the storages to gather dust or have tossed it away from the collections for eternity; and it's a huge shame. Maybe this book doesn't have much readers here and it was published ...more
Mar 18, 2013 Melody rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I would have liked this better had I read it at 12. It's pretty predictable and slight from my 50-something perspective. I'm not unhappy I read it, but it's already slipping away from me.
Sep 23, 2010 Lynn rated it it was amazing
Here began my love of reading
Ali imanzade
با وجود داستان ساده و ریتمِ آرام و باطمانینهاش، با عظمت و عمیق است ...more
Katie Fitzgerald
Anna struggles to make friends and frequently gets into trouble at her boarding school, which troubles her foster mother, Mrs. Preston. In order to help Anna, Mrs. Preston, whom Anna calls "Auntie," sends her for an extended summer holiday to stay with Mr. and Mrs. Pegg in Norfolk. While exploring the marshes surrounding the Peggs' house, Anna discovers The Marsh House, and eventually meets Marnie, a young girl always dressed in fine clothing who lives in the house and comes to meet Anna in secr ...more
Sheuly Verstraaten
Feb 17, 2017 Sheuly Verstraaten rated it really liked it
If you don't know I absolutely adore studio Ghibli and when I watched the movie I did some research and I found out there was a book, so I bought the book an instant later. When I started reading I found out that the film was almost a replica of the book. So reading it was fun but I already knew everything that would happen. It had some details the film didn't have but there were only a few. The story would have been 50 times better if I didn't watch the movie beforehand.
I wish I'd read this book as a child. I still enjoyed it very much as an adult, but I think it would have definitely resonated with my younger self. Anna is like a lot of children - the quiet type more inclined to their own imagination than joining in with everyone else. The child who everyone sees as having a problem, because being quiet is "wrong" somehow, and thus feels very out of place and alone - until she finds that is a place that accepts her for who she is.

I came across this story beca
Non avevo mai sentito nominare questo libro fino a quando lo Studio Ghibli non annunciò che ne avrebbe tratto un film, che ora sono curiosa di vedere.
La protagonista di questo romanzo si chiama Anna, impossibile perciò non fare un confronto con l'altra Anna, quella della Montgomery, uno dei miei personaggi preferiti. A parte il nome e il fatto di essere entrambe orfane le due protagoniste non hanno nulla in comune.
Anna è una ragazzina solitaria e non riesce a fare amizia con gli altri bambini pe
Ho scoperto questo libro dopo aver visto il film della Ghibli qualche mese fa, quindi parte del bello della lettura (le ipotesi su Marnie e sui ragazzi, la lenta scoperta del segreto alla base di tutto) è venuta meno.
Mi sembra di poter dire che il film sia un adattamento perfetto, fedelissimo al libro al netto delloo spostamento di ambientazione dall'Inghilterra al Giappone, e con gli eventi giusto un attimo più condensati non tanto per ragioni di tempo quanto per dare più compattezza al tutto e
Jay Browne
Feb 05, 2016 Jay Browne rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a beautiful book that reminded me why I love children's literature so much. It's about feeling isolated and as though you are trapped on the outside, looking in on everyone else who seem to find it so easy, something anyone of any age can wholly relate to. Anna is a fully realised character with faults and honest feelings, most of which I feel everyone has felt at some point in their youth. She deeply dislikes herself and all of her thoughts and actions feel true to her age.

Not a lot of
Sarah Yasmin
Mar 11, 2013 Sarah Yasmin rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Книжни Криле
Преди малко повече от година, с огромно удоволствие изгледах поредният прекрасен филм на Studio Ghibli – „Когато Марни беше там” (“When Marnie was there”). Нещо, което обаче не знаех допреди това, е че филмът всъщност е базиран на книга. И ето че сега, благодарение на Студио Арт Лайн, тя е достъпна и на български. Прочетете ревюто на "Книжни Криле:
Ek Guevara
Oct 03, 2016 Ek Guevara rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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Around the Year i...: When Marnie Was There, by Joan G. Robinson 1 15 Apr 02, 2016 10:47AM  
Available? 2 15 Aug 04, 2014 09:18PM  
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Joan G. Robinson (1910-88) trained as an illustrator and began writing and illustrating her own stories in 1939. Among her many stories for children are Mary-Mary, When Marnie Was There and the enduringly popular Teddy Robinson. Working closely with her husband, she published over thirty books in her lifetime, many of which were tried and tested on her own family. And her family sometimes found th ...more
More about Joan G. Robinson...

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