Modern Retellings of Classic Stories

27 Oct 2016

There’s nothing quite like reading a classic. Returning to familiar characters and comfortable settings can be a completely different reading experience because, in the end, you know how it will all turn out. With these modern retellings of classic stories, you’ll find the same familiar characters in not-so-familiar settings. You may read about Romeo’s adventures in an urban gang or find Dorian Gray set against the AIDS epidemic of the 1980s, but ultimately you get the chance to experience your favorites for the first time, all over again.

Modern Retellings of Classic Stories


The Bachelor Auction

Rachel Van Dyken

A retelling of Cinderella

Release Date: October 4, 2016

Running a cleaning business and waiting on her entitled sisters may sound like a Cinderella story but Jane is missing one very important piece: the prince. So when a broken shoe and a party lead her to meet Brock Wellington, a gorgeous billionaire, it seems everything is finally coming together. Except Brock Wellington is no prince. Princes would never agree to be auctioned off in marriage to the highest bidder… and that’s just what Brock has done.

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Margaret Atwood

A retelling of The Tempest

Release Date: October 11, 2016

The artistic director of the Makeshiweg Theatre Festival Felix has the chance to boost his already growing reputation by staging a Tempest like no other. But when an act of unforseen treachery leaves Felix in exile in a backwoods hovel, haunted by the memories of his lost daughter Miranda, he begins to plan his revenge. Now with a theatre course at a nearby prison, Felix hopes to use the inmates to finally stage the Tempest he was meant to. But will an enchanting production be enough to bring down his enemies?

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Curtis Sittenfeld

A retelling of Pride & Prejudice

Release Date: April 19, 2016

Liz Bennett is a magazine writer in her late thirties who along with her older sister, Jane, lives in New York City. When their father suffers a health scare, they return to their childhood home in Cincinnati to find much of what they remembered in disarray. With the house crumbling and their younger sisters little to know help, the eldest Bennett sisters must come to the rescue. Their mother, though, has become obsessed with marrying off her daughters, especially as Jane approaches forty. So when Chip Bingley takes an interest in Jane, it all seems to be coming together perfectly. That is until Fitzwilliam Darcy reveals himself to Liz to be much less charming.

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A Thousand Acres

Jane Smiley

A retelling of King Lear

Release Date: January 5, 2011

Told from the perspective of Ginny Cook looking back on the time her father decided to split his 1000-acre Iowa farm between his three daughters and their mates. When the youngest daughter, Caroline, questions the decision she is written out of the deal. As the years pass, the sister’s lives are shaped by this falling out and it culminates in the explosion of long-suppressed emotions and dark secrets.

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Going Bovine

Libba Bray

A retelling of Don Quixote

Release Date: September 22, 2009

16-year-old Cameron just wants to get through high school with as little effort as possible. That is until he gets the shocking news that he is sick and going to die. Enter Dulcie, a loopy punk angel/possible hallucination with a sugar habit. She tells Cameron there’s a cure if he’s willing to go search for it. So with the help of Dulcie and a yard gnome, Cameron sets out on a road trip to find a solution.

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Second Star

Alyssa B. Sheinmel

A retelling of Peter Pan

Release Date: May 13, 2014

When seventeen-year-old Wendy’s two surfer brothers go missing, she sets off on a search to find them. What she finds instead is a mysterious hidden cove inhabited by a tribe of young renegade surfers, most of them runaways like her brothers. Wendy is instantly drawn to the charismatic leader, Pete, but she is determined to find her brothers and not get distracted. But when she meets Pete’s drug-dealing nemesis, Jas, he has no trouble pulling her in.

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Solsbury Hill

Susan M. Wyler

A retelling of Wuthering Heights

Release Date: May 13, 2014

When a dying aunt invites New Yorker Eleanor Abbott to the family estate she is about to inherit, she discovers a world she didn’t realize she was missing. Leaving behind a fiance, Eleanor travels to the Yorkshire moors where she meets Meadowscarp MacLeod who challenges in ways her American fiance cannot. As she learns more about her family, she learns of a familial connection to Bronte and the novel Wuthering Heights. As her ancestors’ devastating romantic history bears down on her she is forced to choose between her former life and the life she is just now discovering.

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Re Jane

Patricia Park

A retelling of Jane Eyre

Release Date: May 5, 2015

Half-Korean, half-American orphan Jane Re has always wanted to escape her mundane existance at her strict uncle’s grocery store in Flushing, Queens. So when the opportunity arises to become the au pair for the Mazer-Farleys, two Brooklyn English professors and their adopted Chinese daughter, she jumps at the chance. As she starts to wrap her head around the world of organic food co-ops, she is met with Beth Mazer’s feminist lectures and Ed Farley’s very male attention. But just as she thinks something may happen between her and Ed, a death in the family sends her off to Seoul to try and figure out what she really wants.

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Sara Benincasa

A retelling of The Great Gatsby

Release Date: April 8, 2014

Naomi Rye is dreading having to spend the summer in the Hamptons with her socialite mother, her mother’s mega-rich friends and their horribly entitled children. Yet, Naomi finds herself drawn to Jacinta, her beautiful next-door neighbor and Hamptons “It” girl. Jacinta throws wild, lavish parties that keep her on the tip of every socialite’s tongue but a dark secret she’s been keeping leads to tragic consequences.

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Lara Chapman

A retelling of Cyrano de Bergerac

Release Date: May 10, 2011

Sarah Burke is almost perfect. She has blue eyes, blonde hair, and exemplary grades. But she also has her nose. Her huge, misshapen flaw right in the middle of her face. But she’s grown used to it, so used to it in fact that she doesn’t even hesitate to say yes to her best friend’s Kristen’s pleading to help her attract a guy she likes. Even when said guy is Rock Conway and Sarah also has a crush on him. But Rock and Kristen are like Barbie and Ken and Sarah has her nose so she does the only logical thing — she agrees to help her best friend seduce her own crush.

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