Hey there! This week I’m participating in Six for Sunday, a meme hosted by Steph at A Little But a Lot. The February theme is “Read it and Weep!” and the prompt this week is:
Books Set in the Country You Live
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I live in the USA, more specifically in New England. So, for this post, I’m going to focus on books that take place less than 100 miles from where I live. I didn’t include classics like The Crucible, The Scarlet Letter, Something Upstairs, The Witches of Eastwick, and Ethan Frome, but their settings are all fairly close to my home city too. Let’s check out some others:
1. The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane – Massachusetts
Page Length: 349
Publication Date: May 2009
Synopsis: A spellbinding, beautifully written novel that moves between contemporary times and one of the most fascinating and disturbing periods in American history–the Salem witch trials. Harvard graduate student Connie Goodwin needs to spend her summer doing research for her doctoral dissertation. But when her mother asks her to handle the sale of Connie’s grandmother’s abandoned home near Salem, she can’t refuse.
As she is drawn deeper into the mysteries of the family house, Connie discovers an ancient key within a seventeenth-century Bible. The key contains a yellowing fragment of parchment with a name written upon it: Deliverance Dane. This discovery launches Connie on a quest–to find out who this woman was and to unearth a rare artifact of singular power: a physick book, its pages a secret repository for lost knowledge.
As the pieces of Deliverance’s harrowing story begin to fall into place, Connie is haunted by visions of the long-ago witch trials, and she begins to fear that she is more tied to Salem’s dark past then she could have ever imagined. Written with astonishing conviction and grace, The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane travels seamlessly between the witch trials of the 1690s and a modern woman’s story of mystery, intrigue, and revelation.
2. The Dark Awakening by D.L. Blade – Rhode Island
Series: The Chosen Coven (#1)
Page Length: 252
Publisher: Fifth Element Publishing
Synopsis: Get ready for a new kind of witch—she’s about to save humanity.
Haunting secrets, witches, vampires, werewolves, love, betrayal, & twists you won’t see coming.
Mercy’s life has devolved into a string of bad events. A brutal beating that nearly stole her life, a dangerous stalker lurking in the shadows, and a car accident, where the man who rescued her disappears right before her eyes.
But this man who she thought was a hallucination, tracks her down at a nearby cove, and claims they were once in love from another time. Another century. But Mercy has no memory of this world he shares, and instinctively doesn’t trust him. He also reveals to her a life-changing secret—she’s an ancient witch, vampires are real, and she’s destined to destroy them.
There’s also the troubling discovery that her blood is lusted after by the undead, and a sadistic vampire leader sets his eyes on her, and will stop at nothing until he takes Mercy as his own.
Mercy needs to fight. Fight for her life, fight to discover the truth, fight to remember who—or what—she really is before it’s too late.
3. Summer by the Sea by Susan Wiggs – Rhode Island
Page Length: 416
Publication Date: June 24, 2004
Synopsis: It’s the beginning of another season in the seaside resort town of Winslow, Rhode Island, and Rosa Capoletti is given the chance to rediscover the pleasures of love and laughter, food and wine, friendship and romance …
With a little determination and a lot of charm, Rosa Capoletti took a run-down pizza joint and turned it into an award-winning restaurant that has been voted “best place to propose” three years in a row. For Rosa, though, there has been no real romance since her love affair with Alexander Montgomery ended suddenly and without explanation a decade ago.
But Rosa’s life takes an unexpected turn when Alexander arrives back in town and asks for her help sorting through his late mother’s affairs. Reunited at the beach house where they first met and fell in love, Rosa and Alexander discover that the secrets of the past are not what they seem. Now, with all that she wants right in front of her, Rosa searches for happiness with the man who once broke her heart — and learns that in love, as in life, there are second chances.
4. The Vineyard by Barbara Delinski – Rhode Island
Page Length: 488
Publication Date: Aug. 1, 2001
Publisher: Pocket Books
Synopsis: To her family, Natalie Seebring is a woman who prizes appearances. She is exquisitely mannered, socially adept, a supportive wife, and head of a successful wine-producing enterprise. So when she announces plans to marry a vineyard employee mere months after the death of her husband of fifty-eight years, her son and daughter are stunned. Faced with their disapproval, Natalie decides to write a memoir. There is much that her children don’t know about her life — about her love of the vineyard, her role in fighting to build it up, and the sacrifices she made for her family.
Olivia Jones is a dreamer, living vicariously through the old photographs she restores. She and her daughter, Tess, have no one but themselves, so they cling to the fantasy that a big, happy family is out there somewhere, just waiting to welcome them home. When Olivia is hired by Natalie to help with her memoir, a summer at Natalie’s beautiful vineyard by the sea seems the perfect opportunity to live out that fantasy — an elegant home by the shore, a salary that allows her to hire a tutor for her dyslexic daughter, a job that is creative, hours spent with a woman who has led a charmed life.
But all is not as it seems, Olivia and Tess discover when they arrive at Asquonset, the vineyard in Rhode Island. While welcoming, Natalie is not quite the mothering type, as is quickly evident in the hostility her daughter and son have toward her — it’s a hostility that Olivia must buffer. Another dose of stark reality comes in the form of Simon Burke, who runs the vineyard’s day-to-day operation and sees in Olivia and Tess an unwelcome reminder of the wife and daughter he tragically lost. And then there is the cruel reality of Olivia’s own life — the mother who never wanted her, and a career that has floundered.
Natalie’s story, intended for her own children, enlightens Olivia as well. The lives of these two women of different generations, parallel in so many ways, become, in The Vineyard, a powerful and moving story as the fantasy of an idealized life, complete with perfect romance, crashes headlong into reality.
5. A Favor for a Favor by Nat Chelloni – Rhode Island
Page Length: 279
Publication Date: Aug. 28, 2020
Synopsis: “Forget favors given; remember those received.” – John Wooden
A time for love can’t be more deadly…
Julia Leonardi thought she put her past behind her. The widow of a mobster, all she wants is to steer clear of the criminal elements. Then she meets Domenico Bonacci…
Dom is handsome, charming, and intense. The world knows him as a prominent businessman, but Julia sees him as everything she fought to escape.
Once the scion of a powerful Mafia family Dom left the world of organized crime after his father’s death. And he swore he would never go back.
No matter how hard she tries, Julia can’t seem to ignore the powerful spark of attraction between them and her growing feelings for him. But when Dom’s shady past catches up with him, the two forbidden lovers find themselves trapped in a deadly game.
Will Dom renege on his vow and lose the woman he loves, or he will manage to break free of his past for once and for all?
6. A Vision in White by Nora Roberts – Connecticut
Series: Bride Quartet
Page Length: 325
Publication Date: April 28, 2009
Publisher: Berkley Books
Synopsis: After years of throwing make-believe weddings in the backyard, flowers, photography, desserts, and details are what these women do best: a guaranteed perfect, beautiful day full of memories to last the rest of your life.
With bridal magazine covers to her credit, Mackensie “Mac” Elliot is most at home behind the camera—ready to capture the happy moments she never experienced while growing up. Her father replaced his first family with a second, and now her mother, moving on to yet another man, begs Mac for attention and money. Mac’s foundation is jostled again moments before an important wedding planning meeting when she bumps into the bride-to-be’s brother…an encounter that has them both seeing stars.
Carter Maguire is definitely not her type: he’s stable, and he’s safe. He’s even an English teacher at their high school alma mater. There’s something about him that makes Mac think a casual fling is just what she needs to take her mind off dealing with bridezillas and screening her mother’s phone calls. But a casual fling can turn into something more when you least expect it. And with the help of her three best friends—and business partners—Mac must learn how to make her own happy memories.
Have you read any of these books? Do you know of any other that take place in New England? Comment below!