Mar 9, 2018
Book Blogger Hop is a weekly meme run by Coffee Addicted Writer. Every Friday, a question is posted for the book blog community to discuss. This week’s question is…
Do you enjoy reading retellings of, or ‘sequels’ to, classic novels? Why or why not?
I can’t think off the top of my head of any retellings of classic novels that I’ve read before. I’ve read plenty of retellings of myths and fairy tales. I’ve also read books where characters from classic novels appear in usually different situations (in terms of time period and setting).
One series that I read when I was younger was The Bard Academy Series by Cara Lockwood which features characters from the classics (of course, Heathcliff is in it and the female main character has feelings for him). At the time I enjoyed the books but looking back on it now, I’m not so sure if I would enjoy them today.
Recently, I have read fictionalized biographies of some of the Bronte sisters (I am obsessed with the Brontes if you can’t tell) but it’s not quite the same as retelling classic novels.
Overall, I’d say that I enjoy them but it really depends on the author. The author would have to be able to suspend my sense of belief enough for me accept their retelling of a story. It’s definitely a little jarring to have a set of perceptions about certain figures or settings be retold through the eyes of another author.
If it’s the original author and a sequel is being told, I would have faith in them to stay true to their own characters and worlds. Especially if the novel is deemed to be a classic. Authors who are considered classic are usually not one hit wonders and are extremely good writers.
When it comes to more recent books, I can’t say I enjoy sequels very much.
For example, Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli is one of my favourite books. The sequel didn’t come until after many years and when I finally picked it up… I was disappointed. Maybe it’s because so much time has passed that I idealized the characters but it didn’t have the same spark as the first book did.
So really, it depends. I can’t have a blanket answer. It all depends on the author.