In today’s blog, we have curated for you a list of books released in 2020 that are reminiscent of great classics. Incidentally, all of these books are either historical fiction novels or retellings of classics. That’s because both these categories of novels are set in the bygone eras and are written in a style typical to those eras. Full of poise, grace and minimal expression of emotions, these are books of 2020 that remind you of great classics.
Books Of 2020 That Remind You Of Great Classics:
- Where the Wild Ladies Are by Aoko Matsuda
- Miss Austen by Gill Hornby
- Anna K by Jenny Lee
- The Jane Austen Society by Natalie Jenner
- The Secret Guests by Benjamin Black
- The Thief of Lawyn Manor by Sarah E Ladd
- The Light Within Us by Charlotte Betts
- The Other Bennett Sister by Janice Hadlow
- The Unsuitable by Molly Pohlig
Where the Wild Ladies Are by Aoko Matsuda
This is a book is short stories that are feminist retellings of traditional Japanese ghost stories. From magic trees to shapeshifting women, this book includes members from the realm of magic and death and mingles them with humans. Lovers of Japanese classics are sure to love this book. Plus the added appeal of the celebration of womanhood with all its emotions, positive and negative, definitely makes it a must read.
Miss Austen by Gill Hornby
Borrowing her titular character’s name from the great classic writer Jane Austen, Hornby weaves a story and a female protagonist exactly like Austen would. Set in England of the 1840s, this is the story of Cassandra and her sister Jane and involves vicarage, letters and death. If that doesn’t remind of you of Sense and Sensibility, then we don’t know what will!
Anna K by Jenny Lee
This is a Korean reimagination of the revered Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy. Except, it adds to it more entertainment, more gossip and more drama. The book brings contemporary adolescent issues into light, but it also tackles the age old themes the original is renowned for – betrayal, forbidden love and longing. This book is one that will keep you immersed in the confluence of the archaic and the modern and will give you the best of both worlds.
The Jane Austen Society by Natalie Jenner
Jenner’s tribute to Jane Austen is a wonderful book set right after the Second World War in Chawton. Chawton was Austen’s last home and decades after her death, it is decadent. When the final Austen heir dies, there seems to be no candidate to receive the large book library and heirlooms. To save Austen’s legacy, a group of eight unlikely people come together, tied by their love for Austen which helped them sail through the trauma of WW2. Incorporating Jane’s wit and specific humour, this book is full of blasts from the past.
The Secret Guests by Benjamin Black
This book is set during the beginning of the German blitz of England, when the two young princesses took off to Windsor Castle and to safety. With a host of entertaining, witty and subdued characters including a duke, a secret agent and our two precious princesses, this book is definitely reminiscent of the writing and lifestyle of the classics period.
The Thief of Lawyn Manor by Sarah E Ladd
Set in Regency England of 1818, this novel follows the recently heartbroken Julia as she enters her cousin’s home and meets Isaac, the younger brother of the mine owner. As she gets pulled into dark and mysterious secrets, an old-fangled romance brews between Julia and Isaac. This is the perfect book to remind you of English classics with their lucid yet subtle prose.
The Light Within Us by Charlotte Betts
Set in Cornwall in 1891, this introduction to the trilogy tells the story of Edith and Benedict’s troubled marriage. It also focuses on the theme of art, since both Edith and Benedict are artists and it is art that Edith seeks solace in when her marriage is in trouble. Replete with scandalous events and snippets of Bohemian Paris, this book is perfect for lovers of classics who are looking for a new dimension in traditional plots.
The Other Bennett Sister by Janice Hadlow
This is a retelling of the insanely popular Pride and Prejudice from the perspective of the forgotten Bennett sister Mary. This is in every possible way reminiscent of the original Jane Austen classic – it involves all elements. The plot involves a romance with a man, and Mary must decide if he’s the one for her. Her character arc is also like Austen’s traditional heroines. She must get rid of unreal expectations to embrace her true self and her real desires will land her the man she will spend her happily ever after with. Plus, the setting and the characters are the same as well. All these elements make it a must read and bring to light the obscure Mary’s life and possibilities.
The Unsuitable by Molly Pohlig
Set in the Victorian era, this novel brings to life the story of Iseult Wince. She’s a Plain Jane with a superstition that her mother lives in a scar on her neck. She’s old enough to get married but her ‘mental condition’ prevents her from getting a groom. As her father tries avidly to marry her off, he invites a crowd of unsuitable grooms, including a silver skinned man. As the marriage nears, Iseult’s condition worsens and she must make a decision. Although a comedy of errors, it offers deep insight into the patriarchy and abhorrence of mental illnesses during the era.
Books Of 2020 That Remind You Of Great Classics