Thursday, September 8, 2016

Great Books with a New England Setting

I've lived in New England, (2) different states, my entire life. I love when I read a book and the author makes reference to a town, a park, a university, etc. that Ive visited or am familiar with.  So now that fall is right around the corner I wanted to share some of my favorite books that take place right here in New England.


  1. Defending Jacob; William Landay
  2. Shutter Island; Dennis Lehane
  3. Cascade; Maryanne O'Hara
  4. The Heretic's Daughter; Kathleen Kent
  5. Ethan Frome; Edith Wharton
  6. The House of Seven Gables; Nathaniel Hawthorne
  7. The Handmaid's Tale; Margaret Atwood
  8. Dreamcatcher; Stephen King
  9. Lisa Gardner Thrillers (all)
  10. Tess Gerritsen Thrillers (all)

Rhode Island

  1. The Marriage Plot; Jeffrey Eugenides
  2. A Guide to Newport's Cliffwalk: Tales of Seaside Mansions & the Gilded Age Elite; Ed Morris
  3. London is the Best City in America; Laura Dave
  4. Sudden Sea: Great Hurricane of 1938; R A Scotti
  5. The Witches of Eastwick; John Updike

  1. The Secret History; Donna Tarrt
  2. Light on Snow; Anita Shreve
  3. Water Witches; Chris Bohjalian
  4. Second Glance; Jodi Picoult
  5. Crossing to Safety; Wallace Stegnar
New Hampshire

  1. A Separate Peace; John Knowles
  2. Sea Glass; Anita Shreve
  3. The Hotel New Hampshire; John Irving
  4. Nineteen Minutes; Jodi Picoult
  5. Labor Day; Joyce Maynard 

  1. Olive Kitteridge; Elizabeth Strout
  2. Maine; J. Courtney Sullivan
  3. Shadows on the Coast of Maine; Lea Wait
  4. Salem's Lot; Stephen King
  5. Empire Falls; Richard Russo
Do you have some favorite New England based books?


  1. I am drawn to books set in New England, but I've only ever visited Boston...once, in the 1980s, and it was fall. So it left an indelible mark on me.

    Movies set in New England are some of my favorites, too.

    Thanks for the great list!

    1. You are welcome Laurel. New England movies, and there are so so many are a win with me as well.

  2. It seems that I've read a LOT of books lately set in Maine, but I've read only five on this list: one each from Maine, NH, Vermont, Massachusetts, and Connecticut.

    I'll be keeping this post for reference. Thanks so much!

    1. You are welcome Debbie, Maine in winter mysteries are great fun.

  3. I think I must love a New England setting because I've read many of these.

  4. Thanks for the links. I see a few I want to add to my tbr list.

  5. I always smile at lists like this because there are so many novels set in NE! Try listing novels set in Colorado, much harder! Anyway, I love your list and have quite a few favorites on it. This is an excellent time of year to read NE-based books. I always think of A Separate Peace in the fall, and reread it a few years ago in the fall. Perfect!

    1. Colorado - The Shining LOL - that should have been New England though:)

  6. So many good books here, and I've read quite a few of them. I lived in CT for several years and loved all five books you listed for that state! It's always a treat to visit New England :)

  7. Great list! I didn't realize The Handmaid's Tale was set in MA. For some reason, no actual geographic place occurred to me at all as I was reading. I think I was distracted by the fictional world she'd created!

    1. Yes, Atwood has a way of drawing you into her world and forgetting all else.

  8. Another reason to love New England! I've read several of these. Terrific list, Diane!

  9. I love the NE setting and have read several of these books. However, I've never been to any of those states. We need to vacation in your part of the world at some point. It's a long way though. Do you have golf? LOL LOL

  10. Great post! I love John Irving so he would be my favorite.

  11. What a great list of books! Crossing to Safety is one of my all time favorites!

  12. Thank you for the map as well. I wouldn't have known where New England was otherwise.

  13. Van Reid lives in Maine and has written a funny and entertaining series set in Maine, about the Moosepath League, set in Victorian times.

  14. I grew up in New Jersey and New England was our heaven. I have read several of the books you listed. Defending Jacob, The Handmaid's Tale,
    The Marriage Plot, The Secret History, Light on Snow, Crossing to Safety, Sea Glass, Olive Kittredge, and Empire Falls. Another great historical novel of New England is The Winthrop Woman by Anya Seton. My review is here:

  15. Thanks for the list Diane. I have read some from your list, but by no means all. I will work at correcting that. I am going to try to so a list from my region of the country. If I get it done, I will post it. Thanks for the inspiration.

  16. I've read some of those from every state except Rhode Island. My aunt and uncle have lived there for decades - I should probably rectify that, shouldn't I?!


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