First appearance: 1.1: The Journey Begins
Sara Stanley was the daughter of Blair and Ruth Stanley. Blair was a wealthy businessman who provided a life of luxury for his family in Montreal. Tragedy struck when Ruth died of tuberculosis when Sara was very young. When her father was accused of embezzlement, Sara was sent to live in Avonlea with her King relatives.
Sara faced an unkind welcome from her cousins Felicity and Felix and had to endure strict discipline under the domineering watch of her Aunt, Hetty King. Sara learned to adapt and was soon accepted by her cousins.
Her strong will and desire to make friends with everyone in Avonlea would take her on many adventures. Sara met the secluded Jasper Dale and together they staged a magic lantern show to restore stolen school funds. During the show, Sara gave a heart rendering reading of 'The Little Match Girl' and people started calling her 'The Story Girl' (1.2: The Story Girl Earns Her Name).
Nothing Endures But Change
Blair was acquitted of charges and he arrived to take Sara with him to Montreal. The King family were surprised by Blair's sudden arrival and a fierce battle ensued between the Montreal businessman and Hetty King over Sara's residence.
Hetty blamed Blair for the untimely death of Sara's mother and didn't want Sara exposed to worldly adventure. After Sara suffered a near fatal injury, Blair and Hetty compromised and decided that Sara could remain in Avonlea until she recovered (1.13: Nothing Endures But Change).
The winter season passed and Sara received a letter from Blair, calling her back to Montreal. She met briefly with her father, but soon Blair was distracted by his business obligations.
That same day, Sara discovered that Blair was instantly killed after being crushed when a second story scaffold collapsed at the Stanley import warehouse. Sara was devastated and sought solace from the fortune teller named Isis.
Sara discovered that the fortune teller was really a con artist and was kidnapped and held from ransom. Sara was saved by her Uncle Alec in a daring rescue.
Sara's nanny, Louisa Banks, argued with Hetty over Sara's legal residence. Louisa eventually allowed Sara to remain in Avonlea with her King relatives (2.1: Sara's Homecoming).
A Mother's Love and Discipline
The rivalry between Sara and Felicity was rekindled when Felicity teased her for entering Hetty into a 'Mother of the Year' contest. Having lost her own mother, the comments hurt Sara deeply.
In retaliation, Sara and Felix devised a scheme, writing a letter stating that Felicity was switched at birth with Sally Potts. The scheme sent Felicity into an identity crisis and caused an uproar between the King and Potts families.
Sara eventually revealed her scheme, which caused anger from Janet, Alec and Clara Potts. Hetty was quick to defend her niece however, and showed that motherhood was not all about giving birth, but about love and nurture as well. Sara won the contest and Hetty was awarded the 'Mother of the Year (2.12: A Mother's Love).'
Despite Hetty's motherly support of Sara, she was also very strict and overprotective toward her niece. A heated conflict occurred when Sara attempted to purchase a dress, but was met with Hetty's strong disapproval.
Sara befriended a petty thief named Jo Pitts, who shared an uncanny resemblance with her. When Hetty's disciplinarian nature became too much for Sara to tolerate, Sara switched places with Jo and departed with Gus Pike on a daring adventure to search for Captain Crane.
Jo Pitts wreaked havoc on the King family and nearly drowned Hetty before she was apprehended by Gus. The incident caused Hetty to become more lenient in her upbringing of Sara (3.2: But When She Was Bad, She Was Horrid).
Sara would frequently help the villagers of Avonlea with their romantic relationships, but was occasionally distraught with the absence of romance in her own life.
In the winter of 1907, Sara became infatuated by a wild west showman, Marshall Zak Morgan. Sara learned to ride a horse and won a barrow race in order to impress the Marshall.
Zak considered allowing Sara to join his wild west show, but had second thoughts. Sara was devastated when Zak left town without taking her with him (4.5: Moving On).
The following winter, the new reverend's son, Booth Elliot, became interested in Sara and invited her to an Acadian dance. Sara deceived Hetty by pretending to be sick in order to attend the celebration.
The next day, Sara admitted her scheme and asked her Aunt not to interfere with her involvement with Booth. Hetty, having previously learned her lessons of smothering Sara, promised her niece that she would allow her to spend time with the minister's son (5.12: Enter Prince Charming).
Comings and Goings
Sara left for finishing school but returned in the summer of 1909 with her nanny, Louisa Banks. Sara became torn between Hetty and Louisa's plans for her future. During this troubling time, she was able to confide in Arthur Pettibone.
A moonlit rendezvous by the lighthouse between Sara and Arthur drew suspicions from Louisa Banks and Hetty. Eventually, Sara informed them of her plans to attend school in France (6.4: Comings and Goings). Sara would return to Avonlea once again for the wedding of Gus and Felicity Pike (7.13: So Dear to My Heart).