There are books that create such clear memories in your mind. Books that highlight a certain time in your life, creating a thread binding memories together. I love these books. I have a few of them in my life, books that left such a distinct mark on my life I could never forget them. The Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas is one such book for me.
It all started in 2015 when I moved to England for work. I was a language teaching assistant, and where I lived was an hour long commute to where I worked. I read a lot during that commute, to the point where I actually missed my stop once, in a dark winter evening because I was so focused on my reading. Not one of the best experiences I’ve had if I’m being honest, but that became a funny one.
Strangely enough however, the journey I started with The Three Musketeers did not start with a book. It started with a TV show on the BBC, also named The Three Musketeers, an adaptation of the novel. I absolutely LOVED that series, and I cried quite a bit when I watched the last season. I missed these characters and universe so much, I decided to pick up the novel. I was just not ready to say goodbye to this story. I had not read a french novel in a long time, despite the fact that I am indeed french (but that’s a whole different story) and I have to admit it was strange at first. I had so much fun reading it however; I can still picture myself sitting on the train or the tram on my way to work, lost in the words on the page. I loved seeing different sides to the characters, seeing a different version of the story that was, at its core, still very similar. I found the things I loved about the show in the book, and for once, I do not regret seeing a TV adaptation before reading the book. I think I would not have picked up the novel if not for it.
Like I said, I was in England at the time, and reading in French reminded me of home. Reading this book was a comfort in a sense, and part of the reason why it made such an impact on me. For a couple of months, I thought about this story so much. I thought about the friendships, how attached I was to these characters, because characters and relationships are so central to this story. It has held a special place in my heart since then.
So when, five years later, I saw the announcement for One For All by Lillie Lainoff, I could not have been more excited. Genuinely, when I read what this novel was about, all those feelings I had reading and watching the story of The Three Musketeers came back. Why? Because One For All is a retelling of The Three Musketeers, but that’s not all: it’s a genderbent retelling, which in itself is incredibly exciting but it also has an #OwnVoices main character with Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia syndrome. I am sure this representation will matter to so many people, and it is so important that it will exist. Lillie Lainoff says it best in a tweet:
And do you know that feeling when you hear about a book, and you simply go “YES”, and you just know you have to read that novel? It was me with One For All. But why do I think I will love this novel? Aside from the fact that I love The Three Musketeers’ original story, I believe a huge part of The Three Musketeers story is the friendship between the four main characters, and I think friendships are so very important in novels, always, and it seems like they will be central in One For All as well. The author described the novel as having a “fierce sisterhood” and I cannot wait to read about it. The idea of having a lot of action with the fencing, while keeping a huge emotional element makes it sound like a brilliant novel to me.
I cannot wait to see Lillie Lainoff’s take on a story that has a special place in my heart. I cannot wait to meet these new characters. I am terribly excited for this novel, and I wanted to tell you all about it.
Is there a retelling you particularly love? Or a retelling of a story you would love to read in the future? Any books coming out in 2021/2022 you’re waiting for impatiently? I’d love to chat with you!
Until next time,