Books set in New England

Image: Pixabay

With fall around the corner, I think of New England and how it’s such a great place for a story. Dramatic coastlines, boats coming and going, beautiful tree lines and snowy winters are just some of the appealing features of our northeastern states.


Image: Pixabay


I’ve reviewed a few New England-based books, though I know there are many more. Take a look and see if you can add to the list!


Death in a Dacron Sail by N.A. Granger – 4 bookmarks:  2nd in the Rhe Brewster Mysteries. When Peter Barnes finds a small finger caught in his lobster trap, ace sleuth Rhe Brewster is on the scene in Pequod, Maine, just a short step behind her brother-in-law, Sam, the town’s Chief of Police.

Death in a Red Canvas Chair by N.A. Granger – 3 bookmarks:   1st in the Rhe Brewster Mysteries. When a female body is posed at the far end of a youth soccer field, no one seems to notice. No one, that is, except Rhe Brewster, an emergency room nurse with an eye for detail and a knack for putting her nose where it doesn’t belong.

Defending Jacob by William Landay – 3 bookmarks:  What would you do if your teenage son was arrested for the murder? Set in Newton and Cambridge, Massachusetts, Jacob’s parents navigate through feelings of doubt as they hope it isn’t true.

Empire Falls by Richard Russo – 4 bookmarks:  Pulitzer Prize winner about Empire Falls, Maine, a town that is struggling to survive and is controlled by Francine Whiting of the once-strong Whiting Industries.

Make Way for Ducklings by Robert McCloskey – 5 bookmarks:  Caldecott Medal winner and classic children’s picture book about Mr. and Mrs. Mallard, who settle in Boston to raise a family. Mrs. Mallard causes quite a stir when she leads her eight ducklings through the streets of Boston, across town to meet Mr. Mallard on the pond in the Public Garden!

Mayflower by Nathaniel Philbrick – 4 bookmarks:  comprehensive and scholarly account that begins with Mayflower’s voyage in 1620 and ends with the conclusion of King Philip’s War in 1676. Excellent read.

Olive Kitteridge by Elizabeth Strout – 5 bookmarks: Pulitzer Prize-winning collection of thirteen integrated short stories about the people of Crosby, Maine, a seemingly simple town on the New England coast, with the prickly and misunderstood Olive Kitteridge as the collection’s anchor character.

The Art of Asking by Amanda Palmer – 3 bookmarks:  Amanda Palmer’s memoir about supporting herself in various occupations, most famously as a musician and an 8-foot bride statue in Harvard Square.

The Boston Girl by Anita Diamant – 3 bookmarks:  coming-of-age story about Addie Baum, a young girl growing up in Boston during the early 1900s.

The Postmistress by Sarah Blake – 3 bookmarks:  historical fiction about a female postmaster in a Cape Cod town during the onset of World War II. The real story is about Frankie Bard, a female broadcaster based in London whose radio broadcasts of the nightly German bombings in London are heard throughout America.

The Seneca Scourge by Carrie Rubin – 4 bookmarks:  Suspenseful medical thriller about a deadly flu epidemic that rips through a Boston hospital and the race to stop it.

The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin – 5 bookmarks:  Charming story about love, loss and moving on. Anyone who like books, bookstores and book clubs will love this one!

Tommy’s Mommy’s Fish by Nancy Dingman Watson – 5 bookmarks:  Great children’s story set in a coastal town in Maine about a little boy who wants to give his mother the best birthday present ever.

We Are Water by Wally Lamb – 3 bookmarks:  ambitious book about abuse and its widening range of effects. We Are Water is a novel set in Norwich, Connecticut, with many characters and many themes in a rotating narrative.

We Were Liars by E. Lockhart – 4 bookmarks:  Cadence Eastman struggles to remember mysterious events of her fifteenth summer on the family’s private island off Martha’s Vineyard.

Pretty soon these places will look something like this!

Image: Pixabay

Thanks for visiting – come back soon!


17 thoughts on “Books set in New England

  1. I love New England and I visit New Hampshire often for family reasons. I’ve read many books with this geographic setting. Many of Steven King’s of course, but one I particularly loved was a novel by Anita Shreve called Fortune’s Rock. One of my favorite books by her.

    Thanks so much for including my novel! I scrolled down your list as I read and poof, there was mine. Very kind of you. 😊

    1. I also love New England – I have visited many times and our parents took us up a lot when we were growing up. My best friend in high school had a house on a lake in New Hampshire and I have great memories of my visits there. Haven’t been too far north lately, so I’d like to take a trip. I can’t decide which states are my favorites, but I particularly love Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont. Thanks for stopping by!

  2. Always interesting to see stuff from New England. There is a suspicion that in England our Christmas Cards owe more to New England than they ever do to our own weather and scenery 🙂

  3. Thank you, dear. So nice to be included in this auspicious list. I am heading up to Maine in October to seel Death by Pumpkin at the Damariscotta Pumpkin Festival!

  4. One of my faves set in that region is “A Separate Peace” by John Knowles, a coming-of-age tale set at a boys’ prep school during WWII. It’s been decades since I read it, but it’s one of those stories that has stayed with me.

  5. Cannot forget the March sisters (“Little Women”) and “Blueberries for Sal” another wonderful children’s book by Robert McCloskey. I would also include “Love Story” not for the writing but how it made me long to go to Radcliffe!!!

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