Top Ten Tuesday: Books from abroad
Welcome back to another Top Ten Tuesday! This week, I’m talking about my ten favourite books that take place in other countries. I’ve tried to avoid featuring any books set in America, even though I live in the UK, because I thought that would have been too easy. I didn’t completely love all of these books, but their locations definitely stick in my mind.
10) Trash by Andy Mulligan
Trash is set in an unnamed Third World country, but even though it doesn’t specify where the events take place the location still has a powerful impact. Following three dumpsite boys, the majority of the novel takes place in the huge trash piles on the outskirts of the city, and it’s impossible to read without feeling rage at the lives that these boys are forced to lead.
9) Kids Like Us by Hilary Reyl
Kids Like Us is set in France, where Martin is living for the summer while his mum works on her latest blockbuster film. The location is beautifully described, and there’s lots of references to various French food items which certainly adds to the realism! On top of that, the autism representation is impeccable.
8) Snowdrops by A.D. Miller
It’s been six years since I read Snowdrops, so I can’t remember much about it… But I can remember that it was set in Russia, and the descriptions of the desolate, snowy landscapes had me shivering and chilled to the bone. Although the plot was pretty forgettable, the setting sticks in your mind.
7) Before I Let Go by Marieke Nijkamp
I read Before I Let Go at the start of the year, and I didn’t really enjoy it. However, the descriptions of the Alaskan location caused the tension to rocket throughout the novel, and I found myself wanting to be able to rate the book higher because of how effectively Marieke Nijkamp utilised the wilderness of Alaska.
6) First Class Murder by Robin Stevens
First Class Murder is set on the Orient Express, so it actually takes place in a few countries along the route. I couldn’t resist featuring it, though, because Robin Stevens describes both the passing scenery outside the train and the stations and locations that the characters briefly explore, and each stop filled me with a sense of unbearable wanderlust.
5) The One Memory of Flora Banks by Emily Barr
I didn’t know much about The One Memory of Flora Banks when I started reading it, so I was surprised to discover that half of the story takes place in Svalbard. In summer, Svalbard is the land of the midnight sun, where darkness never occurs: the disorientation of night and day blurring into one greatly confuses both Flora and the reader.
4) Tomorrow, When the War Began by John Marsden
I mentioned Tomorrow, When The War Began when I showcased Australian authors on Australia Day. Whenever I have to choose books set in other countries, Tomorrow, When The War Began is always the first one that pops into my head, because it tells the story of a group of teenagers who go camping in the outback, and when they return to town they discover that Australia has been invaded and a war has broken out.
3) Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins
Anna and the French Kiss is – unsurprisingly – set in France, following Anna as she starts attending boarding school and falls in love with one of her fellow students. It’s a romantic setting for a painfully adorable contemporary, and although it’s cliched to set a love story in France, Stephanie Perkins brings the town to life and references things that I haven’t heard mentioned in other novels.
2) The Smell of Other People’s Houses by Bonnie-Sue Hitchcock
Another novel set in Alaska, and one of the best books I’ve ever read. The location is impeccably described, exploring the impact that small town gossip can have across families and through generations.
1) Stolen by Lucy Christopher
I also mentioned Stolen on my Australian authors showcase, and there was no question in my mind that it had to take the top spot on this list. A young girl is abducted from an airport and stolen away to a location in the middle of the Australian desert, miles from civilisation, with only her abductee for company. It’s thrilling, and one of my favourite stories of all time. It wouldn’t be as effective if it didn’t have such an interesting setting.
If you’re interested in purchasing any of these books, please consider using my Amazon Affiliate link (found in the book’s title). If you’d like to read more about each book, please click their cover: you’ll be redirected to their Goodreads page.
Which country is your favourite setting for stories? Leave your comments – and your Top Ten Tuesday links – down below: I can’t wait to see some of your posts!