Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Northern Rain: A North & South Variation” as Want to Read:
Northern Rain: A North & South Variation
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Read Book

Northern Rain: A North & South Variation

4.28  ·  Rating details ·  213 ratings  ·  30 reviews
There is nothing like a long walk in the rain to guarantee a little privacy… unless the last person you wish to encounter happens also to be in search of solitude.

John Thornton is a man of heavy responsibilities who has many things on his mind, but the most troublesome of them all is Margaret Hale. She wants nothing to do with him, and he wishes he could feel the same. Wh
Kindle Edition, 434 pages
Published June 20th 2016
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Northern Rain, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Northern Rain

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 4.28  · 
Rating details
 ·  213 ratings  ·  30 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of Northern Rain: A North & South Variation
Sep 16, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was a book that I was more than eager to read after following the blog tour and reading the prequel vignettes, excerpts, and guest posts and yes, winning a copy. Woohoo!

I'm fairly new to variation stories on Elizabeth Gaskell's North & South, but it is a favorite all-time story so I was eager to encounter a new 'what if' for John Thornton and Margaret Hale's tempestuous yet tender romance.

The author begins her 'what if' moment at around the midway point of the original story which means t
Mar 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This is a lovely, beautifully written North and South variation.

It begins where Ms. Clarkson deviates from canon at roughly the middle of the source book. This is after the Union strike, after the initial marriage proposal (and refusal), and after John Thornton has hired Nicholas Higgins. Significantly, it's also after he observed Margaret's interaction with her brother Frederick (without knowing it's her brother) at the train station and her lies about being there at that time. As the magistra
Jun 17, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2016-books
Dear reader,

If you are looking for a delightful,angst filled,adorably romantic and utterly compelling N&S variation,then this book is for you!

Our story opens in a cold and rainy graveyard,where we see Mr Thornton at his father's graveside,on the anniversary of his death.
Utterly heartbroken and bereft,but not for the reasons you might think,he is relieved that any passerby would think the undulating rain the reason for his water soaked face.

In such circumstances do we learn of the real reason
Joana Starnes
Mar 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
If you don’t know it already, this wonderfully written story will show you that Nicole Clarkston’s Mr Thornton is every bit as swoon-worthy as her Mr Darcy (if not even more so!). Resilient, loyal to a fault, dedicated to his work and the people he loves, he commands our esteem and affection with everything he does, says and is. This delightful variation shows him establishing a fragile truce with the woman who broke his heart and severely disappointed him, and whom he still loves despite himsel ...more
Sheila Majczan
Jul 09, 2016 rated it really liked it
4.5 stars

I am a huge reader of P&P variations but have read several sequels for North and South; it being another favorite story for me. When someone recommended Northern Rain to me and compared it to P&P and it then was available on kindle Unlimited I decided to vary my reading pattern for this book. I am very glad I took that step.

The title is immediately brought into play as John Thornton makes his annual visit of homage to his father's grave site. And despite his intuition that it was going
Don Jacobson
Nov 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This is a home run. Period. No more to say. Oh well, maybe one bit more: GRAND SLAM!

Ms Clarkston has mined (or perhaps 'milled' is a better word) the Gaskell North and South realm to create a wonderful love/suspense story. This is a continuation of her speculation which began with "No Such Thing as Luck."

The plotlines continue the earlier book, squeezing the angst-ridden encounter between Margaret Hale and John Thornton for every ounce of pathos and misunderstanding. Her deft handling of the ch
Jun 17, 2016 rated it really liked it
I did like this book. This lady certainly can write. I thought she captured the essence of the original North and South perfectly. It is a blockbuster of a novel like the original. I thought the chapters where Mr Hamilton was giving John his ultimatum were a tad melodramatic and at that point I was getting a little sceptical about where it was going. But all worked out well.

It was great to see John Thornton as a flesh and blood human being. I love the dvd but always thought John was a bit stiff
Sheryl Gordon
Jun 18, 2016 rated it really liked it
Umbrellas and Understanding

A good variation. Ms. Clarkston fills her story with full, beautiful descriptions of the canon characters, as well as her original additions. This John Thornton is far more sensitive than the forbidding master met in the original, and that insight allows the reader to more fully understand Margaret's adoration. There are some credibly charming scenes. A good plot is filled with trials and tribulations but around two-thirds through I was hoping for resolution. After ano
Jun 20, 2016 rated it really liked it
Oh man this book was just as good as No Such Thing As Luck. It's a definite page turner.

Rating: 4 1/2 stars out of 5
Oct 01, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: teresita
What a wonderful "what if"!

Sweet and intriguing, amidst gossip and people advancing their own agendas they got to know each other and...

Read the story, it's worth it!!
May 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2018-read
Another brilliant book from Nicole Clarkston. In this variation, a chance meeting between Margaret and John allows her to see his sadness, sensitivity and vulnerability and her feelings start to change... while he begins to hope.

This is a long story but there is always a lot going on. Whilst I didn't enjoy this quite as much as 'There's no such thing as Luck', the story was more realistic and consequently there is a real depth to the characters and their relationships. I love this John Thornton
Favourite quotes -
"Just over a quarter of a year since his heart had found the courage to beat once more, and then had been promptly crushed for its audacity."

"Man, after all, was not made only to labour, to produce, and then to expire. He was shaped for life, to search beyond himself and to seek his peace in relationship."

Carole (in Canada)
Sep 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Historical romance/Victorian/North & South variation

"Guide your steps by what is right and noble, and do not allow yourself to become distracted by other grievances." (quote from the book)

I think this quote sums up John Thornton perfectly.

But let me tell you, was this ever a beautifully written, slow burn of yearning variation to Elizabeth Gaskell's "North & South". Ms. Clarkston's ability to capture the very essence of John Thornton and Margaret Hale, along with the atmospheric feel of Milton and that agonizing sense of anticipation that builds
Chris, the Dalek King
Overall, pretty good. Though it does do (view spoiler) which I will never not find annoying. ...more
ana darcy
Jul 27, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Northern Rain by Nicole Clarkston is the first variation of North and South that I have read and I cannot be happier to have started with this book. I was very lucky to win an e-book on a giveaway organised on an amazing blog that I follow: From Pemberley to Milton. I highly recommend you to check it out.

It is a tender story where you can see John’s powerful feelings and even teasing moments. At the same time, Margaret is even more selfless and generous than in the original book.

Everything start
Marivi Sanz
Jan 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I love Elizabeth Gaskell's "North and south", and this is the first adaptation I've read of this novel. I can only say that I felt I was reading "North and south" all over again. The writing was wonderful, and the story-line was perfect. Once I started the book and couldn't put it down.
Laura Hartness
Excellent work. Full review to come on The Calico Critic on 9/10/2016.
Margie's Must Reads
Stunning. This was my first North & South variation and I was absolutely bewitched. ...more
Abi Demina
Dec 16, 2019 rated it it was ok
Started off really well, but then dragged and became a bit melodramatic.

The characters all sounded like those from the original book, which was well done, although once John and Margaret were mutually in love and all past misunderstandings about Frederick were cleared up, the whole 'Oh no, I can't marry you! We must not be together! It's for your own good!' started to get on my nerves.
I confess I had to force myself to finish at that point, and skim read the last half of the novel.
Silvana Feijóo
I can't get over them. Since the first time I've read North & South I'm absolutely in love with John and Margaret, and it's always a pleasure to meet them again.
A northern rain and a shared umbrella are the ocassion for a different meeting, an opportunity to open their lovely hearts and to really know each other... and to know their true feelings.
John and Margaret, forevermore.
May 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing

I am typically not fond of variation stories but this was as lovely and sweet as they come. I thoroughly enjoyed a greater look into the lives on John and Margaret.
Jul 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017-challenge
I was immediately drawn into the story. I enjoyed watching as Margaret and John grew in their relationship. They are both of noble character. This is a beautiful love story.
Aug 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Amazing read!

Absolutely loved it! Not afraid to say I cried at some parts. I loved the plot, characters, and especially Margaret and John
Patty Kennedy
Oct 14, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Lovely, sweet story

I really enjoyed the blossoming romance between Margaret and John. This book maintained the feel of the original and the BBC series as well. This is my second or third read...just for the enjoyment of it.
Oct 02, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Delightful Gaskell Variation.

For those who are fans of Gaskell's original are the 2004 mini-series, this is a delightful variation with both original and returning characters. Mrs. Thornton may be one of the best! While much of the resolution comes about rather quickly, it is a recommended read for fans of "North and South."
Just as with her first novel, No Such Thing as Luck, Nicole Clarkston captures the style and characters of Elizabeth's Gaskell's beloved novel North and South in her newest variation, Northern Rain.

After her refusal of John Thornton's hand in marriage, Margaret comes across John at his father's grave during a steady rain. They talk a bit, quite awkwardly in fact, and Margaret offers John the protection of her father's umbrella. Thus a friendship of sorts is kindled between them. Mr. Hale, howev
Tracy Lynn
This is a good retelling of Elizabeth Gaskell's book "North and South". The language is good and it was very understandable to read considering the time period language used. I just admire Elizabeth,s book so much that changing the original story left me not as thrilled with another version of it, but I would recommend it to anyone who doesnt know the original story or doesnt mind another version of the original story.
Jul 03, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A very tidy North and South variation with a bit of a mystery, involving a charity and the terms of an insurance contract. Clarkston is very good at characterization, both of the canon characters and of the original characters she has created to expand the universe.
Aug 22, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Wonderful 'North and South' variation..

I loved loved loved Mr Thornton in this one!
I loved the book, thank you so much Nicole for penning a North and South Variation. I don't understand at all why there are not more! What a love story, no matter how it's told.
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • In Consequence: A Retelling of North and South
  • A Heart for Milton: A Tale from North and South
  • Common Ground: A North and South Continuation (Margaret of Milton, #1)
  • Unmapped Country: The story of North and South continues
  • A Remedy Against Sin: A Pride and Prejudice Variation
  • The Events at Branxbourne
  • The Darcy Legacy: A Pride and Prejudice Variation
  • To Conquer Pride: A Pride and Prejudice Variation
  • The Whistle Echoes: A Sequel to North and South
  • Mr Bennet's Dutiful Daughter
  • Being Mrs Darcy
  • Mistaken
  • Speechless
  • The Child
  • A Short Period of Exquisite Felicity
  • The Houseguest: A Pride and Prejudice Vagary
  • Yours Forevermore, Darcy
  • Ardently: A Pride and Prejudice Variation
See similar books…
Nicole Clarkston is a book lover and a happily married mom of three. Originally from Idaho, she now lives in Oregon with her own romantic hero, several horses, and one very fat dog. She has loved crafting alternate stories and sequels since she was a child watching Disney’s Robin Hood, and she is never found sitting quietly without a book of some sort.

Nicole discovered Jane Austen rather by guilt

Related Articles

Melissa Bashardoust is no stranger to writing queer feminist retellings of popular fairy tales. Her first novel, 2017’s  Girls Made of Snow and G...
24 likes · 4 comments