Happy Tuesday! This week’s Top Ten Tuesday topic made me laugh: Books that Take Place in Another Country. Since I live in Australia, almost every book I read takes place in another country. 😄 So I’ve decided to tweak the topic a little and share ten different countries I have visited in books. Since the vast majority of books I read are set in the US, I’ve decided to exclude that country from the list, and since I live in Australia, I’m not going to include books set here either. (But if you’re after a good one, check out Kara Isaac’s Then There Was You.)
The last criteria I gave myself was to try and find contemporary novels that actually give you a feel for the setting. And so, here we have it: Around the world in ten books! 🙂
Around the World
The Heart Between Us by Lindsay Harrel is actually a trip around the world in itself. The heroine, Megan, is a heart-transplant recipient who decides to travel around the world in order to fulfill the bucket list her heart donor won’t get to complete. From Machu Picchu to the Great Barrier Reef, you’ll take in quite a few sights!
Next on the list is not only Close to You but close to me! Kara Isaac’s debut novel is set in New Zealand, just across the ditch from Australia, as we like to say. What’s more, you’ll get to take a little Tolkien-tour, since the main character, Allison Shire (yes, like the Hobbits) leads tours of Lord of the Rings filming sites. Read my review.
Still in the southern hemisphere (for the most part) is The Crooked Path by Irma Joubert. There is a part of this book that takes place in Italy, but the majority takes place in South Africa. It also spans several decades, beginning just prior to World War II if my memory serves, so it’s the earliest of my settings in this list. Read my review.
Since we’re on the African continent, we might as well move north to South Sudan. The Ghost of Africa by Don Brobst, New York City surgeon Paul Branson uses his medical training to help the people of South Sudan, particularly a young girl with Leukemia who has captured his heart. But he gets caught up in a terrorism plot headed by Jason Quinn, leader of the Lord’s Resistance Army. Read my review.
Still moving north, we’re now in the Middle East. If I’m remembering correctly, there is no specific country mentioned in The Esther Paradigm by Sarah Monzon. It’s simply set in the 10/40 window (between ten and forty degrees north latitude) where many people have never even heard the Gospel before. But it is a beautiful story of a young American woman, the daughter of missionaries, who has grown up among the Bedouins and marries their sheikh. Read my review.
And now we’re going to move a little to the west, to Afghanistan with Hawk by Ronie Kendig. It’s no secret I’m a huge fan of Ronie’s books, and I think this series is set almost entirely in Afghanistan (it’s a while since I’ve read it, but I know the first two in the series definitely are.) What’s more, Sergeant Brian Bledsoe has to battle the terrain in a brutal snowstorm in order to rescue some women and children. Brrrr! But so good!
Okay, time to move back east a little and continue our journey north—to Italy! The first part of A Portrait of Emily Price by Katherine Reay takes place in the States, but when Emily Price makes the surprising decision to marry Italian chef Ben Vassallo (and let’s face it, who wouldn’t have?!) they head to his family home in Italy. Food, art, and an Italian family… Read my review.
Still moving north, to beautiful Vienna, Austria (Note, that’s AUSTRIA not AUSTRALIA 😉 ) with Rachel McMillan’s Love in Three Quarter Time. Evelyn Watt followed her crush to his home in Vienna, and found ever so much more romance than she expected: the romance of history, music, coffee, and of course, a certain gentleman. You will be in love with Vienna by the time you finish! Read my review.
Kristy Cambron is taking us eastward to the Loire Valley in France with The Lost Castle. This one is time-split, so you get both historical and contemporary in this one. And not only is it the beautiful south of France (on my bucket list!), but there is a ruined castle as well, with stories to tell… Read my review.
Isle of Skye
Last on our itinerary is north and east, off the coast of Scotland. We’re travelling to the Isle of Skye with Mary Stewart in Wildfire at Midnight. Honestly, I could have chosen any of Mary Stewart’s books (and my mind immediately went to my favourite, This Rough Magic, set on the Greek island of Corfu, but I’ve featured that one several times in the past.) Gianetta comes here hoping to find tranquility following her divorce, but a girl’s body is found on the craggy slopes of the mountains, her ex-husband seems to have chosen the same remote corner of the world to unwind, and there’s every danger of getting lost in the fog… Talk about suspense!