I have to start by saying the title of this post is not exactly accurate because, well…I couldn’t narrow down my favourite North & South variations to just 5. I tried, I really did, but it was impossible to exclude one of the below books so, in fact, this is a Top 5 North and South novels, plus the magnificient North and South Anthology which was released last year. This book brings you 12 different North & South stories and deserves a place of its own in the genre.
I have never published my top 10 favourite books from North & South, and I will have to do it eventually, but this week to celebrate the blog’s birthday, I thought I had to bring to you the 5 novels I love the most. And the anthology, don’t forget about the anthology 😉 It would have been easier to just say this is my top 6 North & South books, but then I it would escape the whole “5” theme I’m using in this celebration. I know… I should have just picked 4 plus the anthology, but they are all so good that I really could not choose.
And if you are new to this blog and you’re wondering why I’m talking about North & South, well, the blog’s name is From Pemberley to Milton because I love, read and review both Pride & Prejudice variations (hence Pemberley) and North & South variations (hence Milton). And if you’ve never read North & South by Elizabeth Gaskell, do yourself a favour, go read it and then watch the BBC series featuring Richard Armitage 🙂
Fun fact: the distance from Pemberley to Milton is around 12 miles, so if the stories were placed in the same time (which they are not), Mr. Darcy and Mr. Thornton would actually live quite close to one another. Which means that a mash up where that places one of them in another time would be incredible, wouldn’t it? I keep asking authors to do that, so maybe one of them will think this is a good idea and write the story down 🙂
Anyway, I tend to digress, so without further delay, my favourite North & South variations (without any particular order) are the following:
Northern Rain – Nicole Clarkston
Perfect for those who always wished there were more of regency-like social interactions in North & South 🙂
Northern Rain is a variation where Margaret sees a more vulnerable side of Mr. Thornton and decides to act on it. This is a very small change in the story but it will be enough to give readers a completely new story with characters so true to themselves that Gaskell could have written it herself.
In this story Nicole Clarkston kept all the North & South industrial specificites while keeping the story light, pleasing and romantic. It was perfectly executed and clearly one of the best I’ve read so far. Highly recommend getting a copy.
Collide – Melanie Stanford
Perfect for those who want a page turner romance set in modern times but faithful to every single North & South detail.
Collide is the perfect modernization of North & South! In it Maggie Hale leaves her small town to pursue her dream of becoming a contemporary dancer in Las Vegas, and it is there she will meet Jay Thornton, someone she will misunderstand but who will intrigue her more than she would like to admit. This book is a page turner that will keep you glued to it wishing you were the one in Vegas with Jay Thornton. I cannot recommend this book enough and I highly recommend reading the review to have a better view on how amazing this book is 🙂 I won’t forget it so soon and I’ve read it 3 years ago.
Nowhere But North – Nicole Clarkston
Perfect for the those who love character driven, cozy and intimate romances.
Nowhere but North is a clean variation that starts with a forced marriage scenario and uses flashbacks to give readers a wider knowledge of the characters that will accompany us throughout the story.
It is well-written, emotional and incredibly romantic! I could imagine myself by the fire with these characters having heart wrenching conversations. Again, I highly recommend reading the review because it is impossible to tell you in only a few sentences how incredible this book is. I believe it is my favourite from Nicole Clarkston and highly recommend it.
In Consequence – Trudy Brasure
Perfect for those who crave for more Margaret and John Thornton’s moments 🙂
In Consequence is a North & South variation that starts with Mr. Thornton’s dinner party and follows the premise that it is not Margaret who is hit by the rock during the strike, but Mr. Thornton (genious, right?).
The book is full of swoon worthy moments and is incredibly romantic! The intensity of the romance will keep readers glued to it, but we should not disregard the profound knowledge that Ms. Brasure has of Gaskell’s work. This book is a true homage to Gaskell, and I obviously recommend it to everyone!
No Such Thing as Luck – Nicole Clarkston
Perfect for those who always felt the North & South ending was too rushed.
No Such Thing as Luck steps away from canon and places Margaret and Mr. Thornton on board of a ship towards Cadiz. Despite the adventures this couple will face, the book is slow-paced and full of romance. The scenes between Margaret and Thornton are electrifying and unforgettable. This is a riveting and intense romance that will be in every readers hearts. I highly recommend it!
Falling For Mr. Thornton – Anthology
Perfect for those who cannot get enough of North & South.
Falling for Mr. Thornton is the only North & South anthology that exists and it brought together the best North & South authors that are out there. Every single story will be unique and their diversity is so appealing as the respect these authors showed towards Ms. Gaskell’s work. I loved every single story in this anthology and I cannot recommend this book enough. You’ll find many different settings, many different Thorntons, many different Margarets and many different outcomes. What’s not to love in this book?
To celebrate the blog’s anniversary, and our love for North & South, Nicole Clarkston has kindly offered to giveaway some of her books to my readers. As all giveaways this week, it is open internationally to readers commenting this post until next Saturday. Let us know if you’ve read any North & South variations or if you find Mr. Thornton as appealing as Mr. Darcy 🙂 Also let us know if you prefer ebooks or audiobooks for the giveaway please, and most of all, share with us your thoughts on Mrs. Gaskell masterpiece. All comments will be considered for the drawing and the 7 winners will be announced next Sunday. The prizes are as follows:
1 Ebook of No Such Thing as Luck
1 Audiobook of No Such Thing as Luck
1 Ebook of Northern Rain
1 Audiobook of Northern Rain
1 Ebook of Nowehere But North
1 Audiobook of Nowehere But North
1 Ebook of Falling For Mr. Thornton
Thank you so much for the generosity Nicole Clarkston, and Good Luck Everyone!