Epistolary books come in many forms; a novel written in letters, a historical diary or a book made up of newspaper articles, emails and text messages! There are countless ways to write an epistolary books and each variation adds it’s own individual flavor to a piece of writing. Think you’ve never read an epistolary book before? Think again! Some of the most popular books throughout history fit in this category – The Dairy of Anne Frank and Dracula, for example. And plenty of well known children’s books are written in diary form, from the Diary of Wimpy Kid series to Diary of a Wombat! We’ve collected a few of our favourite epistolary books below making sure there’s something for all ages and tastes!
Angus Thongs and Full-Frontal Snogging by Louise Rennison
Follow Georgia’s hilarious antics as she tries to overcome the dilemma’s that are weighing up against her, and muddle her way through teenage life and all that it entails: how to replace accidentally shaved-off eyebrows; how to cope with Angus, her small labrador-sized Scottish wildcat; her first kiss with Peter – afterwards known as Whelk Boy; annoying teachers; unsympathetic friends and family, and how to entice Robbie the Sex God! Phew – she’s really got her work cut out!
The Day the Crayons Quit by Drew Daywalt
Poor Duncan just wants to colour in. But when he opens his box of crayons, he only finds letters, all saying the same thing: We quit!
Beige is tired of playing second fiddle to Brown, Blue needs a break from colouring in all that water, while Pink just wants to be used. Green has no complaints, but Orange and Yellow are no longer speaking to each other.
The battle lines have been drawn. What is Duncan to do?
the diary of Yoko, a 13-year-old Japanese girl who lived near Hiroshima during the war.
1945 was a hard time to be a child in Japan. Many had seen their cities destroyed by US bombers. Food, fuel and materials were in short supply. Yet spirits remained high. In April 1945, Yoko Moriwaki started high school in Hiroshima, excited to be a prestigious ‘Kenjo’ girl, and full of duty towards her parents, school and country. But the country was falling apart and in four months time her city would become the target for the first atomic bomb ever used as a weapon.
In her diary, Yoko provides an account of that time – when conditions were so poor that children as young as twelve were required to work in industry; when fierce battles raged in the Pacific and children like Yoko believed victory was near.
The Chilbury Ladies Choir by Jennifer Ryan
Kent, 1940. In the idyllic village of Chilbury change is afoot. Hearts are breaking as sons and husbands leave to fight, and when the Vicar decides to close the choir until the men return, all seems lost.
But coming together in song is just what the women of Chilbury need in these dark hours, and they are ready to sing. With a little fighting spirit and the arrival of a new musical resident, the charismatic Miss Primrose Trent, the choir is reborn.
Some see the choir as a chance to forget their troubles, others the chance to shine. Though for one villager, the choir is the perfect cover to destroy Chilbury’s new-found harmony…
An uplifting and heart-warming novel perfect for fans of Helen Simonson’s The Summer before the War and The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society.
The Fifth Letter by Nicola Moriarty
Joni, Deb, Eden and Trina try to catch up once a year for a girls’ getaway. Careers, husbands and babies have pulled these old high-school friends in different directions, and the closeness they once enjoyed is increasingly elusive. This year, in a bid to revive their intimacy they each share a secret in an anonymous letter. But the revelations are unnerving. Then a fifth letter is discovered, venting long-held grudges and murderous thoughts. But who was the author? And which of the friends should be worried?
The Fifth Letter is a searing examination of the bonds of women’s friendship groups, the loyalty and honesty they demand, and the pain of ending relationships that once seemed essential but might be outgrown.
Where Rainbows End by Cecelia Ahern
True love, friendship and luck – a warm-hearted novel about where fate can lead you from the No.1 bestselling author. Now a film called Love, Rosie.
Best friends since forever, Rosie and Alex have shared their hopes, dreams, awkward moments – and firsts. But their bond is threatened when Alex’s family move to America. They stay in touch, but misunderstandings, circumstances and sheer bad luck seem to be conspiring to keep them apart.
Can they gamble everything – even their friendship – on true love?
Dracula by Bram Stoker
Earnest and naive solicitor Jonathan Harker travels to Transylvania to organise the estate of the infamous Count Dracula at his crumbling castle in the ominous Carpathian Mountains. Through notes and diary entries, Harker keeps track of the horrors and terrors that beset him at the castle, telling his fiancé Mina of the Count’s supernatural powers and his own imprisonment. Although Harker eventually manages to escape and reunite with Mina, his experiences have led to a mental breakdown of sorts.
Meanwhile in England, Mina’s friend Lucy has been bitten and begins to turn into a vampire. With the help of Professor Van Helsing, a previous suitor of Lucy’s, Seward, and Lucy’s fiancé Holmwood attempt to thwart Count Dracula and his attempts on Lucy and consequently Mina’s life.
Arguably the most enduring Gothic novel of the 19th Century, Bram Stoker’s Dracula is as chilling today in its depiction of the vampire world and its exploration of Victorian values as it was at its time of publication.
The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins
One of the earliest works of ‘detective’ fiction with a narrative woven together from multiple characters, Wilkie Collins partly based his infamous novel on a real-life eighteenth century case of abduction and wrongful imprisonment. In 1859, the story caused a sensation with its readers, hooking their attention with the ghostly first scene where the mysterious ‘Woman in White’ Anne Catherick comes across Walter Hartright. Chilling, suspenseful and tense in mood, the novel remains as emotive for its readers today as when it was first published.
The Screwtape Letters by CS Lewis
This profound and striking narrative takes the form of a series of letters from Screwtape, a devil high in the Infernal Civil Service, to his nephew Wormwood, a junior colleague engaged in his first mission on earth trying to secure the damnation of a young man who has just become a Christian. Although the young man initially looks to be a willing victim, he changes his ways and is ‘lost’ to the young devil.
Dedicated to Lewis’s friend and colleague J.R.R. Tolkien, ‘The Screwtape Letters’ is a timeless classic on spiritual conflict and the invisible realities which are part of our religious experience.
What types of epistolary books have you read? Let us know in the comments below!
Posted on February 22, 2018 by Andrea
This entry was posted in Classics, Memoir & Biography, Recommendations and tagged Angus Thongs and Full-Frontal Snogging, Bram Stoker, cecelia ahern, CS Lewis, diary entry, Dracula, epistolary novel, Jennifer Ryan, letters, Louise Rennison, Love Rosie, Nicola Moriarty, The chilbury ladies' choir, The Day the Crayons Quit by Drew Daywalt, The Fifth Letter, The Screwtape Letters, The Woman in White, Where Rainbows End, Wilkie Collins, Yoko's Diary. Bookmark the permalink.