Share 15 Stories of Betrayal to Read for the Ides of March

15 Stories of Betrayal to Read for the Ides of March

Taylor Noel started working for Scribner’s publicity department in 2015. She interned at Algonquin Books and Folio Literary Management while completing her studies at The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Taylor tends to read mostly literary fiction and memoirs, but will also dabble in upmarket commercial fiction with historical, transcultural, or apocalyptic settings, as well as popular young adult. You can find her on Instagram @books_with_taylor.

My introduction to Shakespeare’s JULIUS CAESAR was when my sixth-grade teacher made our class read the play aloud for “dramatic effect.” I read the part of Calpurnia. There is something searing about watching a painfully awkward sixth-grade boy theatrically cry out, “Et tu, Brute?” Needless to say, I never forget the Ides of March. This year I’m celebrating with 15 other works of fiction with dramatic and memorable betrayals.


1984
by George Orwell
This classic follows a man struggling under an oppressive government—and there is absolutely no shortage of betrayal involved.

The Woman Upstairs
by Claire Messud
Nora Eldridge is a quiet, reliable schoolteacher suddenly drawn into a complex and exciting new world with the arrival of the Shahid family—particularly the glamorous artist Sirena. Little does she know that Sirena’s ambition will lead to a shattering betrayal.
The Woman Upstairs
Claire Messud

The Woman Upstairs is a masterly portrait of Nora Eldridge, a thirty-seven-year-old elementary school teacher on the verge of disappearing. Having abandoned her desire to be an artist, she has become the “woman upstairs,” a reliable friend and tidy neighbor always on the fringe of others’ achievements. Written with intimacy and piercing emotion, The Woman Upstairs is an urgently dispatched story of obsession and artistic fulfillment that explores the thrill—and the devastating cost—of being a woman in America today.

MENTIONED IN:

15 Stories of Betrayal to Read for the Ides of March

By Taylor Noel | March 15, 2017

13 Compulsively Readable Novels of Obsession

By Erica Nelson | May 5, 2016

11 Essential Reads for Women’s History Month

By Caitlin Kleinschmidt | March 10, 2015

5 Likable Books with Unlikable Protagonists

By Off the Shelf Staff | May 8, 2014

Why Likeable Characters Are Beside the Point

By Greg Mortimer | May 5, 2014

Close

The Count of Monte Cristo
by Alexandre Dumas

Young merchant sailor Edmond Dantès returns home to Marseille to marry his fiancée, but is betrayed by his best friends and unjustly imprisoned. After he manages to escape prison and discovers a secret fortune, Dantès sets out for revenge on those responsible.

The Count of Monte Cristo
Alexandre Dumas

Young merchant sailor Edmond Dantès returns home to Marseille to marry his fiancée, but is betrayed by his best friends and unjustly imprisoned. After he manages to escape prison and discovers a secret fortune, Dantès sets out for revenge on those responsible.

MENTIONED IN:

15 Stories of Betrayal to Read for the Ides of March

By Taylor Noel | March 15, 2017

Close

The Kite Runner
by Khaled Hosseini
THE KITE RUNNER is the unforgettable, tremendously moving story of the unlikely friendship between Amir, the son of a wealthy businessman, and Hassan, the son of the businessman’s servant. When Amir and his father flee Afghanistan, he is haunted by his cowardly betrayal of Hassan.
The Kite Runner
Khaled Hosseini

Set against the backdrop of tumultuous, war-torn Afghanistan, THE KITE RUNNER is an unforgettable and heartbreaking story of friendship, family, and redemption.

 

Listen to clip of the audiobook:

MENTIONED IN:

15 Stories of Betrayal to Read for the Ides of March

By Taylor Noel | March 15, 2017

13 Banned Books That Will Always Have a Place on Our Shelves

By Off the Shelf Staff | September 29, 2016

12 Powerful War Novels that Transcend War

By Matt Gallagher | February 3, 2016

10 Cross-Cultural Novels that Illuminate the World We Live In

By Tolani Osan | September 24, 2015

Six Novels, No Packing: A Literary Guide to the Middle East

By Off the Shelf Staff | February 5, 2015

Close

The Paris Wife
by Paula McLain
THE PARIS WIFE, which imagines the infamous love affair between Ernest Hemingway and his wife, Hadley, is a sweeping and evocative story of ruthless ambition and heartbreaking betrayal.
The Paris Wife
Paula McLain

This deeply intimate novel captures the love affair between two unforgettable figures: Ernest Hemingway and his first wife, Hadley Richardson. Despite their extraordinary bond, the Hemingways are ill-prepared for the hard-drinking and fast-living life of Jazz Age Paris, and they find themselves facing a deception that will lead to the unraveling of everything they’ve fought so hard for.

Close

Atonement
by Ian McEwan
When a 13-year-old witnesses a flirtation between her sister and the son of a servant, she misunderstands the adult moment and accidentally betrays her sister in an act that will change all of their lives.
Atonement
Ian McEwan

Ian McEwan’s symphonic novel of love and war, childhood and class, guilt and forgiveness provides all the satisfaction of a brilliant narrative and the provocation we have come to expect from this master of English prose. Benedict is the icky Paul Marshall. His scene with the candy bar is worth every penny.

MENTIONED IN:

15 Stories of Betrayal to Read for the Ides of March

By Taylor Noel | March 15, 2017

12 Contemporary British Novels We Can’t Live Without

By Caitlin Kleinschmidt | April 26, 2016

9 Favorites from the Shelf of a Treasured Author

By Off the Shelf Staff | November 23, 2015

Remembrance of Things Past: 12 Moving Novels of the Second World War

By Caitlin Kleinschmidt | May 7, 2015

Revisiting Ian McEwan’s Masterpiece

By Courtney Brach | February 13, 2015

Sexy, Smart and Charming: Book Characters That Benedict Cumberbatch Made Better

By Off the Shelf Staff | May 22, 2014

Close

The Piano Teacher
by Janice Y. K. Lee

THE PIANO TEACHER is a tale of love and betrayal featuring Claire Pendleton, a young piano teacher who travels to Hong Kong with her husband to work for a wealthy Chinese couple. This couple also employs a chauffeur named Will Truesdale, who takes up a fateful affair with Claire.

The Piano Teacher
Janice Y. K. Lee

THE PIANO TEACHER is a tale of love and betrayal featuring Claire Pendleton, a young piano teacher who travels to Hong Kong with her husband to work for a wealthy Chinese couple. This couple also employs a chauffeur named Will Truesdale, who takes up a fateful affair with Claire.

MENTIONED IN:

15 Stories of Betrayal to Read for the Ides of March

By Taylor Noel | March 15, 2017

Close

The Hours Count
by Jillian Cantor

THE HOURS COUNT is the reimagined story of this very real betrayal—about the young woman who befriended her neighbors, the notorious Ethel and Julius Rosenberg, who were later executed for espionage in the 1950s.

The Hours Count
Jillian Cantor

THE HOURS COUNT is the reimagined story of this very real betrayal—about the young woman who befriended her neighbors, the notorious Ethel and Julius Rosenberg, who were later executed for espionage in the 1950s.

MENTIONED IN:

15 Stories of Betrayal to Read for the Ides of March

By Taylor Noel | March 15, 2017

Close

Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage
by Haruki Murakami

A young man is haunted by a great loss and journeys into his past in order to finally understand why his closest friends suddenly cast him out years ago. Hint: he was unknowingly betrayed.

Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage
Haruki Murakami

A young man is haunted by a great loss and journeys into his past in order to finally understand why his closest friends suddenly cast him out years ago. Hint: he was unknowingly betrayed.

MENTIONED IN:

15 Stories of Betrayal to Read for the Ides of March

By Taylor Noel | March 15, 2017

Close

The Blazing World
by Siri Hustvedt
Harriet Burden, who was involved in an explosive scandal in New York’s art world, recruits three young men to present her work as their own. When Harriet decides to reclaim her work after an enormously successful reception, she is betrayed by one of the men and finds herself involved in a dangerous game that results in his death.
The Blazing World
Siri Hustvedt

Intellectually ambitious, electric in its prose, and emotionally satisfying, The Blazing World confronts the joy and fury of Harriet Burden, an artist whose work has long been dismissed and ignored by the male-dominated art world. Longlisted for 2014’s prestigious Man Booker Prize and described by NPR as “complex, astonishing, harrowing, and utterly, completely engrossing,” it is a polyphonic tour de force from one of America’s most fearless writers.

MENTIONED IN:

15 Stories of Betrayal to Read for the Ides of March

By Taylor Noel | March 15, 2017

A Provocative and Intelligent Narrative Puzzle

By Elizabeth Breeden | August 22, 2016

11 Essential Reads for Women’s History Month

By Caitlin Kleinschmidt | March 10, 2015

Eight Beautiful Books Set in the Art World

By Meg Miller | February 24, 2015

Close

The Remains of the Day
by Kazuo Ishiguro
Mr. Stevens is the epitome of the perfect butler, but when he embarks on a road trip to visit an old colleague, he is forced to confront how the beliefs that have shaped his life have also betrayed him.
The Remains of the Day
Kazuo Ishiguro

MENTIONED IN:

15 Stories of Betrayal to Read for the Ides of March

By Taylor Noel | March 15, 2017

10 Tantalizing Tales to Ease Your Downton Abbey Withdrawal

By Off the Shelf Staff | March 3, 2016

11 Literary Servants Tell Their Own Stories

By Emma Volk | August 18, 2015

A Profound and Compelling Study of a Fading, Aristocratic Britain

By Chris Belden | June 17, 2015

Close

The Girls in the Garden
by Lisa Jewell

When Pip; her 13-year-old sister, Grace; and their mother move into an idyllic communal garden square, they could have never predicted the gruesome betrayal that would leave Grace lying unconscious and bloody in a hidden corner of the rose garden.

The Girls in the Garden
Lisa Jewell

When Pip; her 13-year-old sister, Grace; and their mother move into an idyllic communal garden square, they could have never predicted the gruesome betrayal that would leave Grace lying unconscious and bloody in a hidden corner of the rose garden.

MENTIONED IN:

9 Books for Fans of “Twin Peaks”

By Kerry Fiallo | May 18, 2017

15 Stories of Betrayal to Read for the Ides of March

By Taylor Noel | March 15, 2017

Close

In the Time of the Butterflies
by Julia Alvarez

The Mirabal sisters, prominent opponents of Trujillo’s dictatorship in the Dominican Republic, are betrayed by their inner circle. After plotting to overthrow the government, three of the four sisters are found near their wrecked Jeep at the bottom of a 150-foot cliff.

In the Time of the Butterflies
Julia Alvarez

The Mirabal sisters, prominent opponents of Trujillo’s dictatorship in the Dominican Republic, are betrayed by their inner circle. After plotting to overthrow the government, three of the four sisters are found near their wrecked Jeep at the bottom of a 150-foot cliff.

MENTIONED IN:

15 Stories of Betrayal to Read for the Ides of March

By Taylor Noel | March 15, 2017

Close

China Dolls
by Lisa See

Three young women from different backgrounds meet at San Francisco’s exclusive Forbidden City Nightclub and become fast friends. When their dark secrets are exposed, a shocking act of betrayal changes everything.

China Dolls
Lisa See

Three young women from different backgrounds meet at San Francisco’s exclusive Forbidden City Nightclub and become fast friends. When their dark secrets are exposed, a shocking act of betrayal changes everything.

MENTIONED IN:

15 Stories of Betrayal to Read for the Ides of March

By Taylor Noel | March 15, 2017

Close

The Sympathizer
by Viet Thanh Nguyen
Told by a communist double agent and a “man of two minds,” THE SYMPATHIZER is a gripping and suspenseful espionage novel that keeps you on the edge of your seat.
The Sympathizer
Viet Thanh Nguyen

Winner of the 2016 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, this profound, startling, and beautifully crafted spy novel is the story of a man whose political beliefs clash with his individual loyalties. An astute exploration of extreme politics, as well as a moving love story, THE SYMPATHIZER examines the legacy of the Vietnam War in literature, film, and the wars we fight today.

MENTIONED IN:

12 Debut Novels You Won’t Want to Miss

By Taylor Noel | March 21, 2017

15 Stories of Betrayal to Read for the Ides of March

By Taylor Noel | March 15, 2017

17 of Our Favorite First Lines to Start 2017

By Kerry Fiallo | January 3, 2017

11 Powerful Books That Explore the Legacy of the Vietnam War

By Erica Nelson | May 26, 2016

Close

Thank you for joining our email list!

If you create and Off the Shelf account, you'll be able to save books to your personal bookshelf, and be eligible for free books and other good stuff.

Click here to create your free account.

You must be logged in to add books to your shelf.

Please log in or sign up now.