I am the biggest fan of L.M. Montgomery’s famous “Green Gables” series. I even own the whole collection of novels and the doll! So when I read Catherine Cookson’s book, I was delighted to find the same strong and humorous character in Mary Ann as I did when I read about the red haired orphan girl. There are striking similarities between the two series. That’s right. Cookson has a series with her protagonist as well—starting from when she is a child, to well after her marriage. Although Cookson’s character is not an orphan, she too has a troubled childhood (dealing with her father’s drinking habits and living in working class conditions). Biggest difference between the two: setting. Anne of Green Gables takes place on the Eastern coast of Canada, leading all the way up to the years of World War I. The Mary Ann stories are located in Northern England and occur after World War II. In any case, Mary Ann Shaughnessy could very well be the freckled Anne Shirley in a different time and place. Even their names are almost the same!