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As readers, many of us know the backstories of our favourite authors or their most famous books. But do we know the stories behind the stories? How did those books or authors come to be? And what about those supporting characters? What are their stories?

These are the stories behind the stories. The imagined histories or perspectives of the authors and their families or of the supporting characters who spend much of the time in the background of these famous books. What would happen if these supporting characters got the lead roles in their own books?

Here are 5 books that explore the characters we’re used to seeing in the background.

 

Marilla of Green Gables by Sarah McCoyMarilla of Green Gables by Sarah McCoy

We all know and love Marilla and Matthew Cuthburt. But why did Marilla never marry? What was her childhood like? This novel gives us some ideas. It tells the story of how Marilla’s life was turned upside down at thirteen when her mother dies in childbirth. Marilla is now the woman of the house and must help her brother and father keep the farm running. As Marilla grows up, she expands her horizons, gets involved in the abolition movement, and more.

Want to read it? Buy a copy today.

Chapters-Indigo | Book Depository

 

 

finding dorothy book cover with illustration of a farmhouse and barnFinding Dorothy by Elizabeth Letts

This is story of Maud Gage Baum, the widow of Frank Baum (author of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz). The book switches between Maud and Frank’s love story and life in the Midwest and inspiration for Dorothy, and Maud’s time on the set of the Wizard of Oz movie and her relationship with young Judy Garland.

Want to read it? Buy a copy today.

Chapters-Indigo | Book Depository

 

 

Caroline: Little House Revisited book with illustration of a woman in an old fashioned dress in a wheat fieldCaroline: Little House Revisited by Sarah Miller

So many of us grew up reading the Little House on the Prairie books. We know what the story told by Laura is. But what about Ma? What was life like from her perspective? Her name was Caroline and this is her story. This novel was authorized by the estate of Laura Ingalls Wilder/Little House.

Want to read it? Buy a copy today.

Chapters-Indigo | Book Depository

 

 

Becoming Mrs. Lewis book with illustration of a woman in a red suit walking through a fancy gate. Becoming Mrs. Lewis by Patti Callahan

Have you ever wondered who C.S. Lewis loved? Joy Davidman started writing him letters to ask about spiritual things. They seemed like an odd match – he an Oxford scholar and she a feisty New Yorker, but their love story is said to be amazing. This historical novel tells the story.

Want to read it? Buy a copy today.

Chapters-Indigo | Book Depository

 

 

 

The cover to Longbourn by Jo BakerLongbourn by Jo Baker

I adore Pride & Prejudice by Jane Austen. But we never get to hear much about the life of the people who keep the Bennet house running. This is the story of Sarah, an orphaned housemaid looking for a fulfilling life (and love?) while spending her days scrubbing the Bennet’s laundry.

Want to read it? Buy a copy today.

Chapters-Indigo | Book Depository

 

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What story behind the story do you love?

 

What about the supporting characters? Books about characters we know from famous novels.

 

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