Authors steal. All the time, but it's impossible not to be influenced by someone whose books you've loved or hated, depending. I was reading an article recently about contemporary novels that are modern retellings of classic works. I thought it was a really interesting article as a lot of the time when I'm reading, I think "Oh this is a lot like this or that book." So I'm going to share a couple of the pairings they presented that highlight some of titles I'm actually interested in adding to my bucket list.
The first comparison is between Edith Wharton's The Age of Innocence and Francesca Segal's The Innocents. Both books follow the scandals of upper class and privileged families that deal with the fall out and consequences of their character's actions. In The Innocents, Ellie is kicked out of college for her after hours activities. She then captures the hearts of more innocent men not quite ready for the force of nature that is Ellie. This book is an homage to Wharton's classic, where in the world of fancy balls and high society in New York the nonconformist Ellen, a Countess, turns everything upside down.
Another book that takes inspiration from a classic is Laurie Sheck's A Monster's Notes. This book reimagines Mary Shelley's Frankenstein, which is the book we're featuring for this year's One Book, One San Joaquin by the way, and looks at what Shelley's life would have been like if she would have actually met the monster in real life. This is a perfect book to read in conjunction with the original classic.
So there's two options for retelling I'm going to add to my list. I'm especially excited to read The Innocents, because who doesn't love a good family scandal?