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When Marnie Was There
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When Marnie Was There

4.34 of 5 stars 4.34  ·  rating details  ·  341 ratings  ·  47 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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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
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. :)
Stefan Bachmann
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
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
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
Cheryll Manatad
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 of times 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 sup ...more
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.
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 ...more
Title:When Marnie Was There
Author:Joan G. Robinson
Published: November 6 2014
Publisher:HarperCollins Children's Books
Genre:Children's fiction, Classics, Fantasy
Buy: Book Depository

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
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
Stephen Mozug
When Marnie Was There gives a great account of a shy and lonesome girl attempting to relate to others and develop friendships. The book is successful at creating the laid back atmosphere of a sleepy coastal town in summer. My favorite aspect was Marnie's distinct voice which I found original and heartfelt. A great recommendation for anyone interested in children or young adult literature.
Sarah Yasmin
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
I was interested in this mostly because of the Ghilbi adaption that is coming out and because I saw a shiny new reissue at my library. I really enjoyed this especially the first half, I found some things confusing toward the end though. Its great the movies coming out because I think this book deserves to be read more.
Anna, an adopted child, takes a trip to the seaside in the summer to visit some friends of her foster mother. While there, she meets the mysterious child Marnie, who lives in the big house by the water. The story shows Anna's transformation from an excluded, unhappy girl to when she finally feels part of a family. The author did a great job of showing the story through Anna's eyes and putting emotion into the piece.
John Wiley
This was a pretty, magical book that got better as it went on. My only complaint is that it wasn't explained how Marnie was there. Sometimes you just have to accept that there's magic in the world though.
A winsome timeslip that I read as a child and like just as much as an adult! My review is available at:
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.
Maryam Al-Thani
This took me by surprise, never shall I ever walk away from the children literature aisle in any book store. EVER. This has easily become my one of my Fav standalone , and fav book in general. They way the depict Anna , and her emotions and thoughts, really conveys a lot of lonely pre-teens or children in this world. How they are on the "outside" while everyone else is "inside" . It has a mysterious twist to it, which just draws you in further and further. The interactions in the novel is very b ...more
Minaho Isaji
7/12 20min 7/13 40min 7/14/20min

summer, girl, village, friends, parents, barrier, ordinary

Main character, Anna has no parents and no friends. Is it a sad thing? - Yes, I think it is a sad thing. Anna thinks she does not need friends. However, I think she only does not know the loveliness of friendship.

The ward "ordinary" is often used in this story. I've not understood why the word is often used yet. I would like to understand the reason.

Wow. What a book. Such a strange, magical story. Much of the narrative is quite predictable (but one must take into consideration that it is a children's book), but in other ways so completely unique and mysterious.

Anna, after a term of being 'ordinary' and 'not-even-trying', worrying all of the adults around her, is sent off by her foster mother to the countryside of Little Overton for the summer. There, as she passes the days, still just as 'ordinary' and 'not-even-trying' as before, one day
Was only motivated to read this because its the next Studio Ghibli Anime coming out (came out in Japan but not where I live). A very interesting tale. I suppose I could connect to Anna in some way, which made the story more attractive. There is an unusual focus in the book, and many true lines and themes. A easy read but with very nice and thoughtful. The description of the scenery also matches extremely well with everything, and its written very beautifully.
I enjoyed reading this book. It was written quite a long time ago, and it's about Anna who seems lost in the world. She's been through some hardships including the passing of her parents and grandmother. One summer Anna is sent to spend the summer with friends of her "auntie" who live on the coast. It is here Anna discovers friendship.
Dmitri Parker
I loved this book. It's now very clear to me why so many reviewers claimed this novel had been a childhood favourite. I, on the other hand, am quite happy I read it as an adult. I noticed and appreciated things, I may not have spotted at a younger age.
The story is lovely, sad yet soothing as I imagine a quite beach would be. The way time-frames are played, real and imaginary inter-mingle is simply fascinating. It brought to mind Laura Kasischke's works. The loneliness and isolation of Anna remin
Charming, satisfying, and I wish I'd read this when I was younger! A lovely tale - there's something about mid-20th century children's fiction that surpasses both its predecessors and successors, a special quality that accepts children for what they are and not what they ought to be.
Anna Ryan-Punch
I've always been enchanted by this book, and cry every time. Poor little Anna at the start, and her "ordinary" face, and how lovely the magic and the changes in her.

Can't wait for the Studio Ghibli film.
Marnie Rogers
This book is available now from Amazon UK. It will be re-published in the US in January 2015 because of the new Studio Ghibli film.
One of the best books I've read.. now I can't wait to watch the Studio Ghibli movie!
A beautiful tale that whisks you far away to a windy village in Norfolk.
Sarah Elizabeth
I read this as a child and re-read it recently. Utterly captivating.
Sue Jackson
A sweet & surprising story of friendship and coming this spring as a Japanese anime movie. Read my full review at:
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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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“You can write books, but there’s only ever one book that’s really you.” 3 likes
“she was a little frightened that first afternoon. There seemed such a huge expanse of water and sky, and so little of herself.” 2 likes
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