7 Romantic Retellings As Interesting As The Original
Retellings of famous fairy tales, myths, and books has become more and more popular lately. What's more fun than reading about a new spin on an old classic? Even some classics, such as James Joyce's Ulysses and C.S. Lewis' Till We Have Faces, are retellings themselves.
Romantic retellings of famous stories, tales, and myths have a well-deserved place in our hearts. Retellings are fun, but having the right amount of romance in a book gives it that something extra to make it a truly compelling story. Besides, it's always fun imaging classic characters falling in love in modern times during romantic retellings.
The seven romantic retellings we've included on this list span quite a spectrum. From Greek mythology to classic literature to fairy tales, there's a little something for everyone!
1. The Ice Queen by Alice Hoffman
Based on the Snow Queen fairy tale, Alice Hoffman's *The Ice Queen follows a woman who chooses to live a quiet, solitary live and experience awful tragedy as a child. She keeps others at a distance, certain she's happy with this choice. One day she's standing outside, she makes a wish and gets struck by lightning. Somehow, she doesn't die and instead finds this is just the beginning. She hears of another person, Lazarus Jones, who was struck dead by lightning and somehow rose again. She wants to learn how to live without fear and hopes Lazarus can teach her. He turns out to her exact opposite, the fire to her ice, and they begin a love affair while still closely guarding their secrets from each other.
2. Emma: A Modern Retelling by Alexander McCall Smith
Inspired by Jane Austen's Emma, in Alexander McCall Smith's novel, Emma Woodhouse graduates from university and returns home to Highbury, ready to make plans for her interior design business. She finds her father, a hypochondriac, surviving only on vegetables and vitamin supplements. Then Emma meets Harriet Smith, a teacher's assistant, who inspires her to use her skills in both guidance and matchmaking to good use. Many come to Emma, friends new and old, including Frank Churchill, Emma's former governess' stepson; Emma's brother-in-law, George Knightly; a charming man named Philip Elton; and the vexing yet perfect Jane Fairfax. What a summer it's going to be!
3. The Dark Wife by Sarah Diemer
Daughter of Demeter and Zeus, everyone believes Persephone has the perfect life in this interpretation of the Persephone and Hades myth. And she does, but for the fact she doesn't have her freedom. The gods and goddesses on Mount Olympus watch everything she does. Then one day, Persephone meets Hades, who gives her something she's never had before: choice. The goddess of the underworld, Hades tells Persephone she is welcome to live in the land of the dead and escape the destiny the Olympians have imposed on her. Once in the underworld, Persephone finds not only her freedom, but also her heart.
4. Kitsune by Nicolette Andrews
Blending Japanese mythology and The Little Mermaid brings us the tale of Rin, who has to claim Hikaru's life to save her own. It's the only way she can break the spell, and she only has until the next full moon to do so. She sneaks into the palace and, even without her voice, gains Hikaru's trust and falls in love with him. Rin is left with an impossible choice, one she doesn't know if she's prepared to make even for love.
5. A Study in Scarlet by Sherry Thomas
Based on Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes novels, Charlotte Holmes has never exactly been a demure woman. But being an upper class woman, it's made her something of a social pariah. After several death strike the city and Charlotte's sister and father are accused, she makes it her mission to clear their name by finding the real murderers. Under the assumed name Sherlock Holmes, Charlotte teams up with a few friends - a police inspector, a widow, and man in love with her - and must go head to head with a criminal mastermind.
6. Seeing Red by Cara Malone
Cara Malone's Seeing Red is inspired by the Little Red Riding Hood fairy tale. Hunter's life isn't her own. She's always behind on her bills as she tries to provide for her sister, Piper and Piper's sons, all while going to school for nursing. She's also trying to keep Piper's criminal husband, Jed Wolfe away from her. But with an overdue mortgage and an eviction notice on their door, Hunter knows Piper is tempted to go back to her husband. Then Hunter meets a lovely woman wearing a red hat. She needs Hunter's nursing skills to take care of her sick grandmother. With the decent pay, Hunter feels like she's able to catch her breath for the first time in ages.
7. The Spellbook of Katrina Van Tassel by Alyssa Palombo
Alyssa Palombo's novel is inspired by Washington Irving's Legend of Sleepy Hallow. After Ichabod Crane gets a job as the new schoolmaster in Sleepy Hollow, Katrina Van Tassel finds herself immediately drawn to him. They both love books and music, and soon their friendship grows into something more. Ichabod knows he doesn't have the wealth or standing Brom Van Brunt has, Katrina's childhood friend who grew up to be her enemy, but Katrina doesn't care about that. One night, Ichabod and Katrina sneak into the woods to be together, weary of the Headless Horseman they've heard so much about. On All Hallows Eve, Ichabod disappears and Katrina asks her friend Charlotte Jansen, who may be a witch, to help her uncover the truth of what happened to her lost love.