Many of us are looking forward to the first indications of spring after a long winter. It’s a wonderful time of year, with warmer weather, spring flowers poking through the dirt, birds chirping, and indications of fresh life all around. It’s time for a fresh start and new goals! Why not make reading a priority in your life?
Though spring arrives at different times in different places and some people may not notice a seasonal shift at all, we encounter a spring in the literature that is always full of blossoms and promise.
Following up on our autumn and winter reading lists, we’ve compiled a list of the finest novels to read this spring.
So, wherever you are this holiday season, pick up one of these ten novels to read in spirit.
1. The Secret Garden, Frances Hodgson Burnett
The Secret Garden, a childhood favorite of mine, should be on everyone’s spring reading list… regardless of age! This is one of Burnett’s most well-known works, and it is widely regarded as a classic of English children’s literature. It was first serialized in The American Magazine in 1911 and then published as a book in 1911.
Mary Lennox, a 10-year-old girl born in India to rich English parents, is the protagonist of the narrative. She’s ill, abandoned, and unloved, with only native servants to look after her.
Mary is discovered alive and alone in their enormous estate after her parents and entire household perish in a Cholera outbreak before being transported away to a new life in England.
In England, Mary moves to Misselthwaite Manor in Yorkshire to live with Mr. Archibald Craven, a hunchbacked uncle she has never seen. Mary’s tale is told through the eyes of a few decent and honest Yorkshire people as she begins to recover her physical health, temperament, and creativity.
The Secret Garden, more than any other novel, is the ideal spring read since Mary’s renewal coincides with the recovery of a long-lost and overgrown garden.
The garden becomes an exciting area full of beauty, promise, companionship, and hope when the sun warms the earth and green flowers spring out from the ground.
2. A Room With a View, E.M. Forster
If the first signs of spring are sluggish to appear where you live, this novel may be exactly the thing to remind you that a new season is on the way.
A Room With a View, published in 1908, tells the story of Lucy Honeychurch, a young English woman with the loveliest name in literature.
It’s a romantic novel set in England and Italy that also serves as a hilarious satire of Edwardian England’s restricted society. The first of two parts introduces the reader to Florence, a lovely Italian city.
Lucy has returned from Italy to her family’s house in Surrey as we enter section two of the story. Despite a half-hearted engagement to Cecil Vyse, a polished social Londoner, fate reintroduces Mr. Emerson into Lucy’s life.
It’s melodramatic material, but the English countryside setting and Lucy and Mr. Emerson’s delicate love are like a breath of fresh air on a spring day.
The movie version of A Room With a View is usually considered to be superior to the novel, but I’d recommend reading and seeing both before making your own decision. What could be a better way to spend a weekend?
Lucy begins to see the sights from her less-than-desirable accommodations with her older relative, Miss Bartlett. The decrepit Pension Bertolini, on the other hand, introduces Lucy to Mr. Emerson, a well-intentioned gentleman who offers to switch rooms with the girls so that they may enjoy a view of the Arno.
3. Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen
Any of Jane Austen’s novels might have made this list of springtime readings, but Pride and Prejudice is a fantastic place to start if you’re unfamiliar with her work. It was Austen’s second novel, published in 1813, although it was published as written by an anonymous author, as were all of her novels.
The tale of Elizabeth Bennett, a young lady who gradually learns the cost of making quick judgments and the distinction between the superficial and the genuinely excellent, is told in Pride and Prejudice. Although it is a romantic story, it also deals honestly and humorously with the subjects of etiquette, education, money, and marriage.
Austen’s second novel, which starts with probably her most famous statement – “It is a widely recognized truth, that a single man in possession of a fair fortune, must be in want of a wife,” has constantly appeared on lists of “most loved” and “most popular” titles.
The Bennett sisters’ friendships, romances, and quarrels take place against the backdrop of exquisite balls and dances, lush green gardens, and gorgeous estates in rural England during the Regency era.
The topic of budding romance is ideal for the spring season, and no relationship is more famous than that of Elizabeth Bennett and Mr. Darcy. Make a cup of Earl Grey tea and lose yourself in Jane A.
4. I’ll Be Your Blue Sky, Marisa de los Santos
Take some inspiration from Marisa de Los Santos’ 2018 novel, I’ll Be Your Blue Sky if your house needs some spring cleaning. The characters she established in her earlier works, Love Walked In and Belong To Me, are revisited in this narrative.
However, de Los Santos, like many brilliant authors, has crafted a captivating narrative that might easily stand alone.
The themes of friendship, family, bravery, secrets, and sacrifice are elegantly woven together in I’ll Be Your Blue Sky. It begins with an interaction between Claire Hobbes, a young woman ready to marry, and Edith Herron, an old lady.
After a single discussion between our two characters, Claire gains the strength she needs to call off her engagement and move on from her excessively possessive fiancé.
Claire is surprised to learn three weeks later that Edith has died and that she has been given a gift: Blue Sky House, a tiny coastal hamlet in Delaware.
Claire proceeds to peel back the layers of Edith’s narrative with the assistance of her mother, surrogate mother, and best friend, and the plot shifts between present-day (Claire) and the 1950s (Edith).
She delves into a difficult mystery and an extraordinary love story while learning more about herself and the things that are most to her.
Whether you’re looking for a good standalone novel or are interested in starting at the very beginning of the trilogy, I’ll Be Your Blue Sky is the perfect novel to settle in with this spring.
5. A Place of Secrets, Rachel Hore
The Wickham family has run into financial difficulties and is forced to sell the collection, some of their property, and the neighboring astronomy tower where their forefather, Anthony Wickham, made his most renowned findings.
Jude meets Euan while visiting at Scarborough Hall with her sister, who lives nearby, and the two set out to save the astronomy tower from a bleak future.
Jude must learn more about the past, the accidents that occurred, and the injustices endured by the astronomer’s daughter Esther as her niece begins to be tormented by the same nightmare Jude experienced as a kid.
An Area of Secrets is an intriguing novel that is just up your street if you’ve ever felt that your new year’s goal should be to pack your belongings and make a fresh start in a new place.
Rachel Hore is a historical fiction author who nearly always writes in the style of a dual narrative that alternates between the past and the present. It’s the same with A Place of Secrets.
It follows the narrative of Jude, an auction house appraiser who moves to Scarborough Hall to pursue her dream career.
Jude meets Chantal Wickham, the lady of the hoard when she is inspecting and pricing the estate’s collection of eighteenth-century astronomy texts and apparatus.
A Place of Secrets is one of my favorite novels, and though it isn’t ‘set’ in the spring, its themes of rediscovery, rebirth, and love in all of its forms make it a great seasonal read – whether you’re by the water for Spring Break or having a relaxing weekend at home.
6. Absent in The Spring, Agatha Christie
This book would be on any list of spring reads if titles alone could predict our reading preferences. Absent in the Spring was first published in 1944 by Agatha Christie under the alias Mary Westmacott.
The title is based on a line from William Shakespeare’s 98th Sonnet, which reads, “From you, I have been away in the spring…”
Christie’s writing style is known for its incredible accessibility, and this work is no exception.
It depicts the narrative of Joan Scudamore, a lady who finds herself unexpectedly alone and stuck in an isolated rest house as she attempts to return to her home after visiting her daughter in Iraq.
Joan’s seclusion compels her to take a long, hard look at her life and face up to her facts while the trains are delayed and canceled due to water on the railway tracks.
As the seasons change, many of us examine and reassess our lives, routines, and the things that make us happy.
Join Joan this spring as she reflects on her relationships, views, and actions toward people over the years, even if they’re a little unpleasant at times.
7. Spring, Ali Smith
The Seasonal Quartet, created by Scottish novelist Ali Smith, will be familiar to anyone who has read my selections of novels for various reasons. Summer is the newest title on this list, having been released in March 2019 (in actuality, Summer won’t be released until 2020).
Smith uses literature to evaluate the current condition of things in the United Kingdom through the eyes of its citizens.
Spring is no different.
But don’t get the impression that this book is just about politics. It goes much beyond that, and early reviews hailed it as a masterwork that masterfully combines a seemingly rambling storyline into a very fulfilling plot.
The novel follows two protagonists and their separate storylines: Richard, an elderly director who falls into a deep depression after his best friend Patricia dies; and Brit, a young French woman who works in a migrant detention center before meeting Florence and traveling north with her in search of a better life.
The vignettes of the individuals’ lives are skilfully stitched together to form a wider picture that is both important and immensely touching, just as they are in the other two novels in the Quartet.
Along with a discussion of the current political environment, the worth and depth of human connections are questioned, and themes of hatred, difference, and apathy are examined in a very uplifting and cheerful way.
Spring is an incredibly accessible book that will put you in a thoughtful mood as the seasons change, despite Ali Smith’s use of some tough topics and highbrow references.
8. Emily of New Moon, L.M. Montgomery
If you enjoyed Anne of Green Gables, you may enjoy the next novel. Like Montgomery’s Anne and Burnett’s Secret Garden, this is a children’s tale that isn’t only for kids.
This is the first of three volumes chronicling Emily’s youth and early adulthood, and it was originally published in 1923.
Emily Starr is introduced in Emily of New Moon as a young orphan who is raised by her family when her father dies of tuberculosis.
She is transferred to New Moon Farm to live with her aunts Elizabeth and Laura, as well as her uncle Jimmy. Ilse, Teddy, and Perry, all neighborhood youngsters with special skills, talents, and issues, become her friends.
This is a great seasonal read because of the setting on Prince Edward Island, Emily’s love of poetry, and the approach of spring. It’s one of L.M. Montgomery’s most well-known (but underrated) works, and it’s never been out of print.
This is an excellent pick for a read-aloud story to share with your family this Christmas season.
9. Middlemarch, George Eliot
Look no farther than this classic fiction behemoth if you’re seeking a long time to dig your teeth into this Spring. Middlemarch was authored by Mary Ann Evans under the pen name George Eliot and published in eight volumes between 1871 and 1872.
This is a big commitment at over 600 pages, but you’ll find that classics are classics for a reason.
Middlemarch: A Study of Provincial Life is set in a fictional town in the English Midlands, and it tells the experiences of a variety of young couples who fall (or at least think they fall) in love.
Eliot’s writing covers a wide range of topics, including women’s standing, the nature of marriage, the significance of education, religion, and more. She also incorporates genuine historical events into the tale, such as the 1832 Reform Act, the expansion of railroads, and King William IV’s ascension.
What makes Middlemarch such a great spring read? The characters enjoy leisurely strolls, vigorous hikes, and carriage rides in the spring weather, demonstrating Eliot’s love of the countryside.
Who will end up with whom? What pleasures and sorrows will the diverse array of individuals encounter along the way? This is a story about love, hope, human nature, happiness, and the value of family.
10. Flush, Virginia Woolf
The final book on our list is a weird, but extremely lovely tale. Though Virginia Woolf is best known for novels such as Mrs. Dalloway and To the Lighthouse, Flush takes a different, but equally fascinating, approach.
This is a true story of Elizabeth Barrett Browning, a Victorian poet, told through the eyes of her faithful canine friend, Flush, a cocker spaniel.
Browning’s tale is as romantic and dramatic as any literary masterpiece.
Chronic sickness and her domineering father kept her confined to her house for much of her adult life, so she spent much of her time alone, indoors, and seldom encountered new people.
When poet Robert Browning contacted her to express his admiration for her writing, the two met, fell in love, and married against her father’s wishes.
Elizabeth Barrett Browning’s health and perspective began to improve once her new husband whisked her away to Italy.
From Elizabeth and Robert’s blossoming love to their hasty departure to Italy, Flush narrates this lovely narrative from Flush’s perspective.
Flush’s life changes as well, as he transforms from a sleepy English lapdog to a stylish Italian poodle. It’s an unorthodox love story about rebirth, friendship, and rebirth, all of which are ideal subjects to explore in the springtime.
Is your favorite springtime read missing from this list? Share your recommendation with us below and stay in the spirit with more quotes about spring during this fantastic season.