So, apparently this is common knowledge (judging by it appearing on all the Top Ten Tuesday lists this week), but I didn’t know there was a book about Queen Guinevere coming out (THE GUINEVERE DECEPTION by Kiersten White) until like literally 5 minutes ago when I was browsing the master list. And can we just applaud White for writing two amazing books about two amazing women who usually get so little attention in their OG stories (Elizabeth Frankenstein and Queen Guinevere). I started Elizabeth Frankenstein, but sadly was not able to finish it as the library recalled their property—so rude. Anyway, I hope I can carve out some time later this year to revisit it and to read The Guinevere Deception.
I’ve been thinking about retellings a lot this year since there seems to be so many (the year of retellings 2019) and I’ve realized a lot of them are gender-bent or fundamentally changed from the original story. This is a reaaaaaaaallly short discussion post because so far there’s only a few books that fit the bill (hopefully there will be more forthcoming), but I’m really excited to see retellings focusing on women traditionally forgotten about in famous stories. There’s so few women in older stories, but they are so complex and fascinating and every bit as fierce as the men. So here are some retelling about women often, but not always, forgotten about in stories!
- Éowyn from Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien
I mean this lady is just AMAZING. I would love a book about her growing up and the events that shaped her into the character in the Lord of the Rings books. I also feel a little shafted by the ending of The Return of The King. Yeah she gets with Faramir and lives happily ever after but it feels abrupt and disjoined because they don’t show their love story so yeah. OR a romance about how they fall in love as they slowly start to sword train again after both of their injuries. Actually yes, I want that.
- Daisy from The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
You know her, I know her, we all know her as “The American Dream”, “The Green Light”, “The One that Drove Away” (do you get it???) and Daisy is a fascinating character. We all know her complexities, thanks to being forced to read and discuss it in high school/college and we all know what happens when that ex shows up. Either way, I think a book from her point of view would be highly interesting, especially because by the end of the book we know Daisy isn’t as stupid as she lets people think.
- Penelope from The Odyssey by Homer
Penelope is intelligent, clever, and persevering. Maybe there’s already retellings about her. But I would love to see a long book (maybe not as long as The Odyssey) about her running Ithaca while dodging suitors and protecting her son. Think like Cersei level conniving but not Cersei level evil? I mean Penelope sounds like a badass, but not a bad ass. You get me?
- Hermione from Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling
This one is kind of a no-brainer. It would obviously be interesting to from Hermione’s POV, but it couldn’t be a straight retelling of one of the Harry Potter Books or something. Hermione pretty much says everything she’s thinking outloud, so it doesn’t leave much unknown about her. She’s very honest and candid. I’m not even sure I would give a retelling about Hermione a chance until I read the summary to see what changes they made. But I would be highly interested in a book about when she runs for Minster of Magic (if we take Cursed Child as cannon) or some other ambitious project.