Cosy Autumn Favourites Inspired by Gilmore Girls
By Megan Cradock, Lauren Jones and Sam Chambers
Gilmore Girls is the perfect series to accompany a mug of tea and a cosy blanket as the weather starts to cool and the days get shorter. It's a fan favourite for a reason, and a TV show that many return to again and again. In this issue, we’ve decided to highlight one of our favourite themes from Gilmore Girls – strong female relationships – by spotlighting some novels that we feel really embody the spirit of women supporting women. Read on to discover our top picks…
Missing Stars Hollow’s small-town charm? Then look no further than Emily Henry’s Book Lovers.
Nora Stephens is a focused literary agent who is tired of repeatedly being at the mercy of a romantic cliché. She’s not the new, small-town love interest, she’s the woman left behind in the big city. And that’s fine. She loves her work. She loves her life.
But when her sister, Libby, the person Nora loves most in the world, asks her to take a trip, she can’t say no – not even when it’s to a small town called Sunshine Falls, far from the city and her work. Because Libby has a problem she won’t share, and Nora wants to help.
Complete with chaotic town meetings and dialogue as witty and fast-paced as that of Gilmore Girls, Sunshine Falls might be a little more run-down than Stars Hollow, but the town and its residents have the same charm. It's the perfect, cosy setting for this romance novel and it's easy to imagine the Gilmore girls fitting right in!
Family is at the heart of Book Lovers, both in the sisters’ love for each other, and their relationship with their mother. Emily Henry excels at portraying these relationships, mixing humour and heartbreak, and creating a book that book lovers and fans of Gilmore Girls will enjoy.
Wanting a read to give you the same supportive lift as Sookie and Lorelai’s friendship? Try The Shelly Bay Ladies Swimming Circle by Sophie Green
Housewife and stay-at-home mum Theresa wants a few minutes to herself, and to be a better fit in her tight group of friends as they support each other through the ups and downs of everyday life. At sunrise each day, Theresa, Marie, Elaine and Leanne plunge into the salty waves of Shelly Bay; each one searching for some kind of comfort in the water. Swimming provides an excuse for these ladies to meet up every morning and ultimately the shared activity enriches each of their lives more than they’d ever imagined.
The story starts gently, with Green gradually introducing us to each of the four protagonists. While this feels a bit slow at times, it provides us with the opportunity to get to know each of the main characters and root for them individually. It definitely has feel-good vibes and, just like Gilmore Girls, is really heartwarming. Central to this novel is the theme of friendship, and the message of how important it is to surround yourself with people who will support you even in the hardest of times. The ending is an emotional read but reinforces the significance of surrounding yourself with people who are truly in your corner, mirroring Sookie and Lorelai’s friendship in Gilmore Girls.
Like quarrelsome but loving sisters: The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah
The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah is an emotionally gripping historical novel set in Nazi-occupied France. It follows the lives of two sisters, Isabelle and Vianne Rossignol, as they resist the German occupation. Hannah vividly depicts the dark moral atmosphere of the time and celebrates the resilience of women who joined the resistance movement. This poignant and thought-provoking novel pays tribute to the unsung heroines of the war, leaving readers inspired by their indomitable spirit.
Vianne, timid and wary by nature, is temperamentally opposed to her more rebellious younger sister Isabelle. But both are stirred to take acts of remarkable courage. Isabelle joins the resistance and risks her life to smuggle downed Allied pilots across the Pyrenees. Meanwhile, Vianne is gradually emboldened to extend her protective instinct beyond the limits of her own family as she offers her home, codenamed “The Nightingale”, as a refuge for others. The sisters' bond strengthens as they each demonstrate courage and make sacrifices in their fight against oppression.