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When Marnie Was There
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When Marnie Was There

4.33 of 5 stars 4.33  ·  rating details  ·  258 ratings  ·  34 reviews
Anna is a solitary foster child sent away to a small Norfolk village one summer. Here she makes friends with a mysterious and significant girl called Marnie and discovers a good deal about her past. At first their chats are awkward, then become more convivial on this desolate part of the coastline. As the plot unfurls, it becomes obvious that loneliness is not the only thi ...more
Published January 1st 1971 by William Collins (first published January 1st 1967)
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Cass -  Words on Paper
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 that 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 wha
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
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
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
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
Sarah Yasmin
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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.
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.
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.

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
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.
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.
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!
Sarah Elizabeth
I read this as a child and re-read it recently. Utterly captivating.
Jennifer Kabay
A lovely, English read. I cannot wait to see what Studio Ghibli does with this film.
I can't remember why I decided to re-read this. Someone must have mentioned it, and brought it to my mind. It's a book of two halves: the Marnie bits are haunting and memorable, but when Anna gets more-or-less adopted by a family of wannabe Swallows and Amazons I rather lost interest. Those people were just too hearty for me.

While I loved it and couldn't stop reading it until late in the night when I finished, I still have questions left unanswered... and I hope that maybe the director's interpretations in the upcoming Ghibli movie will give me some more clues to that!

Not entirely sure about the ending but rather a nice story. There was a plot twist that I wasn't expecting, and now I can see why Studio Ghibli is making this into a movie.
Mason Marcobello
Absolutely beautiful in every sense of the word :)!!!
Jo Butler
One of my favourite books as a child. I re-read it recently as an adult and still absolutely loved it. There is something perennially powerful about it for me in its themes of loneliness and companionship.
Just managed to get this for my girls, I last read it when I was 9 or 10, and remember it because it had an impact on me then, still enjoyed it this time round as did the girlies.
One of my childhood favourites, I still read it from time to time and am transported back.
I never expected the twists and how lovely the ending would be.
One of my favorite childhood reads when I was about 10 or 11.
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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.” 2 likes
“Anna turned away abruptly. “You needn’t bother,” she said. But the girl held her back. “No, don’t go! Don’t be such a goose. I want to know you! Don’t you want to know me?” 1 likes
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