A Novel Way To Tell A Story: Epistolary Book Recs

Shutterstock / SimoneN © Desk with letters and files and typewriter

A recent DC Thomson Book Club choice was “The Appeal” by Janice Hallett. It was one of those ones that everyone seemed to enjoy, and part of the reason seemed to be the style in which it was written. So we thought we’d look at some similar epistolary book recs!

The story is told through emails and texts. This makes it an epistolary novel. The actual definition of this is usually a story told in the form of letters, but it can now also include stories told by diary entries, social media messages, texts, emails etc.

There are quite a number of books that tell the story this way. Let’s have a look!

Les Liaisons Dangereuses” by Pierre Choderlos de Laclos (1782)

This racy, multi-layered and gripping story of devious goings-on just before the start of the French Revolution was also made into a celebrated film.

“The Moonstone” by Wilkie Collins (1868)

A series of documents are presented for the reader in this novel and we initially aren’t sure how they have come into the narrator’s possession.

Dracula” by Bram Stoker (1897)

Stoker introduced to Count Dracula via the letters sent back to London by young solicitor Jonathan Harker. He also uses diary entries and newspaper articles to tell this chilling tale!

Flowers For Algernon” by Daniel Keyes (1959)

This gripping story is told through the form of lab reports as experiments are used first on a mouse, Algernon, and then the main character Charley.

“The Secret Diary Of Adrian Mole Aged 13 ¾” by Sue Townsend (1982)

Who didn’t roar with laughter at Adrian’s diary entries?

There are lots more, so have a think and tell us some of your favourites over on Twitter or Facebook.

Tracey Steel

Having worked on a number of magazines over the years, Tracey has found her perfect place on The Friend as she’s obsessed with reading and never goes anywhere without a book! She reads all the PF stories with a mug of tea close by and usually a bit of strong cheese too!