6 Favorite Retellings of Classics

I can’t help but love books that take a classic story and give it a fresh, modern twist. While there are countless titles that take what’s familiar and make it into something new, these are my fave recent examples:


Cover_Wonderful Wizard of OzCLASSIC: The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L Frank Baum

RETELLING: Wicked by Gregory Maguire

cover_WickedTold from her point of view, we see young, misunderstood, green-skinned Elphaba grow up to become among the most infamous villains in recent history: The Wicked Witch of the West. And her side of the story will make you question the nature of good and evil.




Cover_Pride and PrejudiceCLASSIC: Pride & Prejudice by Jane Austen

RETELLING: Longbourn by Jo Baker

Cover_LongbournWhile Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy are making literary history on the main floor of the Bennett household, the spotlight shifts to the happenings downstairs, in the realm of Sarah, their orphaned housemaid. With a love story just as brilliant, this novel proves you don’t need zombies to create a vivid reimagining of Pride & Prejudice.




Cover_HamletCLASSIC: Hamlet by Shakespeare

RETELLING: Ophelia by Lisa Klein

Cover_OpheliaPoor, water-logged Ophelia gets to tell her side of the story in the eponymous YA novel by Lisa Klein. Her infamous suicide in Hamlet gets a brilliant and harrowing retelling.





Cover_DraculaCLASSIC: Dracula by Bram Stoker

RETELLING: The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova

Cover_The HistorianWhile not exactly a retelling, The Historian draws on Dracula to inject new life (pun totally intended) into the legend. A young woman discovers the secrets of her father’s past, causing her to embark through a labyrinth that will uncover history’s darkest secrets—and Dracula might just be at the center of it all.




Cover_Pride and PrejudiceCLASSIC: Pride & Prejudice by Jane Austen

RETELLING: Bridget Jones’s Diary by Helen Fielding

bridgetThe long literary shadow of P&P lives on in Bridget Jones’s Diary, which gives the classic love story a modern, alcohol-infused makeover. And if you haven’t seen the movie, you definitely should; Colin Firth plays a wonderful Mr. Darcy…





Cover_Don QuixoteCLASSIC: Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes

RETELLING: Going Bovine by Libba Bray

Cover_Going BovineWhen 16-year-old Cameron is diagnosed with Mad Cow Disease, he embarks on a journey to find a cure, one that is bombarded with hallucinations (or are they?) parallel to Don Quixote’s journey.





Do you have a favorite modern retelling of a literary classic that we missed? Tell us in the comments below!

    Natalie Hallak

    Natalie Hallak is an Editorial Assistant for Park Row Books, Harlequin’s literary fiction imprint. She loves reading whip-it smart, emotional literary fiction with commercial appeal, as well as speculative fiction, psychological suspense, and narrative nonfiction/memoir. She has a particular interest in underrepresented voices and loves books that fearlessly blend genres. When Natalie’s not reading, she’s either traveling, playing the French Horn, experimenting with photography, or watching cat videos. You can find her on Twitter: @NatalieHallak.

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