Spinoffs not just for TV
Most of us are familiar with television shows that spin off new shows based on one or more characters from the original, but are you aware that the same thing happens in the literary world? These novels aren’t always easy to find unless you have heard about them, so here are a few fictional spin-offs for your summer reading enjoyment.
Geraldine Brooks chose as her inspiration “Little Women” by Louisa May Alcott and produced a story about the father who is absent in that classic tale. “March: a Novel” informs the reader of Mr. March’s experiences in the South as a chaplain in the Union Army. Brooks acknowledges the literary license she takes, but also meticulously researched and presents the events surrounding the Battle of Ball’s Bluff.
Another classic American novel provides the character brought to life in “Finn” by Jon Clinch. This is the earthy and brutal story of Huck Finn’s father. It is a tale of racism and deprivation, of Finn’s past, present and end as imagined by Clinch from the brief glimpses in Twain’s “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.”
Jane Austen’s novels, especially “Pride and Prejudice,” have spawned a whole host of spin-off titles. Mr. Darcy, particularly, is the main character in Amanda Grange’s “Mr. Darcy’s Diary,” a quick read that more fully tells the original story through a man’s eyes and “Marrying Darcy” by Elizabeth M, a tale that borrows only the characters from Austen while the action belongs to the modern author.
Sherlock Holmes is another classic literary character who reappears often in modern novels. Nicholas Meyer claims to have discovered and edited for publication heretofore unknown manuscripts of Dr. Watson, published as “The Seven-Per-Cent Solution” and “The West End Horror.” A whole new relationship and career are forged for Holmes when he meets the young Mary Russell and takes her on as an apprentice. This is the basis for Laurie King’s Mary Russell series, which starts with “The Beekeeper’s Apprentice.”
Check out one of these familiar characters in a new setting at the Hastings Public Library.