Sharing six of my favorite gothic novels to send shivers down your spine.
When the weather turns cold it makes me long to settle down with a good story. Perhaps a gothic story with old houses, haunted pasts, and mysterious heroines? Or maybe a thick classic novel I’ve never read? Or maybe a bit of magic?
No matter what I pick I think a mug of tea, a wedge of dark chocolate, and a soft throw are autumn accessories needed for autumn reading! Today I’m sharing some of my favorite gothic novels, some old, some newer.
Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen
Catherine loves gothic novels and begins to imagine a gothic-inspired plot around every corner when she visits Henry Tilney’s family home, Northanger Abbey. One thing that makes this book different from all other Austen novels is how the narrator IS a character in the book and she makes lots of asides and comments about what is going on, which is delightful. A very funny take on many of Austen’s fellow contemporary writers.
Shelley was way ahead of her time when she contemplates: who is the monster? The creator or the creature the creator has brought to life and won’t take responsibility for? This classic is probably nothing like the pop culture ideas you have of it.
Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte
I have a hunch that those who love Jane Eyre don’t like Wuthering Heights and vice versa. I’m in the Wuthering category. I’ve probably read it about three times. The first time I absolutely devoured it. The characters are not nice or likable. If you are a person who must have “nice” main characters, you won’t find them here, but if you want interesting characters, Heathcliff and Catherine are definitely that. A classic gothic novel that would be fun to pair with Northanger Abbey.
Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier
When the young, insecure, second Mrs. de Winter gets married without knowing her husband for very long, she’s plunged into a new life, a new home, and new expectations. She is also haunted by the first Mrs. de Winter’s legacy to the point of ruining her perfect new life. If you’ve already read Rebecca, try My Cousin Rachel.
The Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton
This first novel by Kate Morton will always be my favorite. A mysterious book of fairy tales, an author who disappeared years ago, and a newly inherited cottage tempt Cassandra to begin looking into the past. This duel narrative will have you spellbound as it crosses time periods and oceans.
Once Upon A River by Diane Setterfield
When I mute child is discovered and brought to an inn near the Thames river, three families try to claim her. If you are a Kate Morton fan, then I think you might also like this one. I loved the touch of magical realism and I found the ending very satisfying.
What are your favorite gothic novels to read?
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