To celebrate the New Year, we’ve selected for your January 2021 read a classic love story for the ages!

*Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links, meaning we may earn a commission if you choose to buy through our links. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. Please read our disclosure for more information.

Book Club Updates

Before we reveal the January 2021 Read, we wanted to share a few quick updates about the book club!

The Silver Petticoat Book Club debuted in the summer of 2020 and has continued to grow! For this new year, we hope to make it bigger and better! So, stay tuned.

In the past, we rotated between choosing more recent books and “classic” books every other month, meaning one month we picked a more contemporary book (published 2000 plus) and then the next month we picked a classic book (any book printed before the year 2000). Well, we plan to keep that tradition going with a small change.

RELATED: Why the BBC Period Drama ‘North & South’ Matters

Some classic books are quite lengthy, and after reading some feedback from members of the club, we decided that some longer books may warrant two months. This may only happen once in a while, and it may mean we’ll have two new books in a row. We’ll play it by ear to see how it goes this year.

So, in short, we will still rotate between classics and new books, but it may not be every other month. And some books may require more time for readers to read.

What Do We Cover?

There has been some confusion over what our book club covers. So, a brief explanation. The Silver Petticoat Book Club focuses on books with love stories (central or secondary to the story) from all book genres. However, this is more of a Jane Austen-like book club, and we do not select books with constant profanity or an abundance of explicit content.

That said, our focus is also not exclusively clean romance. Perhaps some books are considered clean and wholesome. However, others will not be. There may be explicit content or profanity in a book we pick, but we won’t pick books with that content throughout. And we will include content warnings when applicable.


North and South Book Cover; January 2021 Read for The Silver Petticoat Book Club

The New Year is here, and with it, we have a brand-new book club pick! We’re starting the year off with a classic book, and it’s one of our personal favorites. It is North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell, published in 1854!

The novel is a Victorian romance, Charles Dickens edited it, and it is brilliant and unabashedly passionate and romantic. Imagine if Jane Austen, Charles Dickens, and Charlotte Brontë wrote a novel together. It would probably look just like this book.

January 2021 Read is North and South. Escape to another Time. Promotional image on book of North and South adaptation.
North & South (2004). Photo: BBC

Many of you may be familiar with the book’s superb period drama adaptation, North & South, starring Richard Armitage and Daniela Denby-Ashe. It is one of the best period dramas ever made and helped catapult Armitage into a star due to his unforgettable performance as the passionate John Thornton.

If you’ve read the book already or are not even familiar with the novel or even period drama, you’ll be in for a real treat. North and South is a book that can be read and appreciated time and time again.

(Also, if you have not seen the period drama adaptation, good news, they just added it to the BritBox streaming service.)


north and south penguin classics book cover; january 2021 read for The Silver Petticoat Book Club

As relevant now as when it was first published, Elizabeth Gaskell’s North and South skilfully weaves a compelling love story into a clash between the pursuit of profit and humanitarian ideals. This Penguin Classics edition is edited with an introduction by Patricia Ingham.

When her father leaves the Church in a crisis of conscience, Margaret Hale is uprooted from her comfortable home in Hampshire to move with her family to the North of England. Initially repulsed by the ugliness of her new surroundings in the industrial town of Milton, Margaret becomes aware of the poverty and suffering of local mill workers and develops a passionate sense of social justice.

This is intensified by her tempestuous relationship with the mill-owner and self-made man John Thornton, as their fierce opposition over his treatment of his employees masks a deeper attraction.

In North and South Gaskell skilfully fused individual feeling with social concern, and in Margaret Hale created one of the most original heroines of Victorian literature.

In her introduction Patricia Ingham examines Elizabeth Gaskell’s treatment of geographical, economic and class differences, and the male and female roles portrayed in the novel. This edition also includes further reading, notes and a useful glossary.

Elizabeth Gaskell (1810-65) was born in London, but grew up in the north of England in the village of Knutsford. In 1832 she married the Reverend William Gaskell and had four daughters, and one son who died in infancy. Her first novel, Mary Barton, was published in 1848, winning the attention of Charles Dickens, and most of her later work was published in his journals, including Cranford (1853), serialised in Dickens’s Household Words.

She was also a lifelong friend of Charlotte Brontë, whose biography she wrote.


north and south penguin classics book cover; january 2021 read


(A Book Club Designed to Discuss Books with Love Stories from All Genres.)

We’ll discuss North and South the final week of January on the three social media channels listed below. However, you can also find some information on The Silver Petticoat Review (subscribe to our newsletter for updates). You can also follow the #TheSilverPetticoatBookClub hashtag on our social media channels.

Read more about The Silver Petticoat Book Club HERE.

What do you think of our Silver Petticoat Book Club reveal for January 2021? Do you plan to read our latest pick? Have you read North and South before or seen the BBC adaptation? Let us know in the comments.

(NOTE: If you’re a publisher, publicist, or author with a new book that fits The Silver Petticoat Book Club, and would like us to consider it for future picks, please send us an email!)

*Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links, meaning we may earn a commission if you choose to buy through our links. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. Please read our disclosure for more information. 

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