When Marnie Was There – The Book

A review of the book “When Marnie Was There” by Joan G. Robinson.

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The book “When Marnie Was There” is a heartwarming story about a girl named Anna who has a difficult time making friends. When she moves to the country to stay with her relatives, she meets a mysterious girl named Marnie who seems to live in an abandoned house by the sea. As their friendship grows, Anna starts to wonder if Marnie is real or just a figment of her imagination.

What the book is about

When Marnie Was There is the story of an emotionally disturbed twelve-year-old girl, Anna, who is sent to live with relatives in the country. There she meets Marnie, a beautiful blond girl who seems to be a figment of her imagination. As their friendship grows, Anna begins to wonder if Marnie is real or a product of her own unstable mind.

The characters in the book

When Marnie Was There is a novel by British author Sarah Waters. It was first published in 2005 and won the 2006 British Book Award for Fiction.

The book is set in Norfolk in the late 19th century, and follows the lives of two young girls, Marnie and Laura. Marnie is a mysterious girl who appears to be haunting Laura. As Laura tries to solve the mystery of who Marnie is, she starts to uncover secrets about her own past.

The book has been praised for its atmospheric writing and its exploration of themes such as grief, identity, and friendship.

The author’s style

The author’s style is very poetic and lyrical, and she has a gift for describing the emotions of her characters in a very visceral way. The book is also full of beautiful descriptions of the natural world, which makes it a pleasure to read.

Themes in the book

The novel explores themes of abandonment, belonging, and the Reaper.

The book focuses on the idea of what it means to be abandoned. Marnie was left at an orphanage by her mother and she has never forgiven her for it. This abandonment drives much of Marnie’s actions throughout the novel. She is constantly seeking out love and attention, but she is also afraid of being rejected or abandoned again. This leads to her being a bit of a loner.

The book also deals with the idea of belonging. Marnie feels like she does not belong anywhere. She does not fit in at the orphanage and she feels like an outsider in her small town. It is not until she meets Oskar that she finally feels like she belongs somewhere. Oskar is also an outsider in his own way and the two form a bond over their shared sense of isolation.

Finally, the book explores the theme of death. The Reaper is a constant presence in Marnie’s life. He seems to be stalking her and she is terrified of him. However, it is eventually revealed that the Reaper is actually her guardian angel and he has been watching over her all along.

The book’s setting

The book is set in the fictional town of Flint, Michigan, in the summer of 1992. Most of the action takes place in and around the city’s East Side, where the majority of Flint’s African American residents live.

The book’s structure

When Marnie Was There is a novel by Joan G. Robinson, first published in 1967. The book tells the story of a young girl named Anna who, after spending a summer in the Norfolk countryside with her foster family, befriends a mysterious girl named Marnie who seems to only appear during high tide.

The book is divided into three parts: “The Sea and the Marsh”, “The Hill”, and “The Sandbank”. Each part contains several chapters that follow Anna as she tries to figure out who Marnie is and where she comes from.

“The Sea and the Marsh” introduces Anna as she arrives in Norfolk and begins to explore her new surroundings. She meets Marnie for the first time and is immediately drawn to her.

“The Hill” follows Anna as she starts to investigate Marnie’s background. She learns that Marnie used to live in a house on the hill, but it was torn down years ago. She also discovers that Marnie has a strange connection to the tide.

“The Sandbank” is the final section of the book and follows Anna as she finally learns the truth about Marnie’s past.

The book’s symbolism

The book has a number of symbols which represent different things.

The first is the house which is said to represent Marnie’s soul. It is old and rundown and she is the only one who can see it. It is also said to represent her feelings of isolation and loneliness.

The second symbol is the sea which is said to represent Marnie’s emotions. It is always changing and she can never predict what it will do next.

The third symbol is the colour white which is said to represent purity and innocence. Marnie is always seen wearing white clothing and she is described as being very innocent.

The fourth and final symbol is the bird which is said to represent freedom. Marnie loves birds and she longs to be able to fly away and be free like them.

The book’s impact

When Marnie Was There has become one of the most influential books in recent years. It has been praised for its ability to capture the inner workings of a child’s mind, as well as for its beautiful prose. The book has won numerous awards, including the Carnegie Medal and the Whitbread Award.


The book concludes with Marnie’s funeral, after which she returns to her own time. The novel ends with a promise from Marnie that she will never forget Anna, and the two will always be friends.

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