Shy Anna, 12, is sent to stay with friends of her foster mother for the summer with hopes the fresh air will help alleviate her asthma symptoms. Despite attempts from local girls to make friends, Anna prefers to be by herself, sketching and exploring the small seaside town. On one of these explorations, Anna comes upon an abandoned mansion that looks somehow familiar. But is it really as abandoned as it appears? One evening, Anna thinks she sees a light in an upstairs window, so she investigates. This is how she meets Marnie, a girl her age who claims to live in the mansion--which really isn't as abandoned as it first seemed. The two girls strike up a friendship and become very close very quickly. But each girl is keeping a dark secret they can't even admit to herself. Then one day Marnie disappears. When Anna goes looking for her, she discovers her new friend may not be who, or even what, she claims to be. Can Anna ever forgive Marnie for not being completely straight with her? And can she ever learn to accept (and forgive) herself?
When Marnie Was There is one of our new DVDs this month. Based on a novel by Joan Robinson and given vibrant screen life by Studio Ghibli (Sprited Away), this is a gorgeous story of friendship, family, and self-acceptance. This beautiful film comes highly recommended! --AJB