I just realized yesterday as I started the latest Anita Shreve book that I have a particular fondness for authors who set all (or at least most) of their books in the same town or region. Anne Tyler is one of my all time favorite authors and all of her books are set in Baltimore. The landscape of Baltimore isn’t critical to the plot but somehow the books belong there and wouldn’t work in another city – like Philadelphia. Richard Russo sets his books in small town upstate New York. Again, the place is so critical to the fabric of his books.
Some of my guilty pleasure authors, Anita Shreve, Elin Hildebrand, Joshilyn Jackson and Louise Penney all center their books on a core setting and sometimes even a core set of characters. I believe my fascination with Anita Shreve started with the knowledge that three of her books were all set in the same house in Maine. I have never been to Nantucket but I feel like I have been there after reading several of Elin’s books. Joshilyn’s books are truly southern at their roots event though the people sometimes leave the South for portion’s of the novels.
So, why do I so much look forward to the new books by these authors? I think the allure may be the sense of comfort and feeling at home when you start one of their books. So even though the plots and characters may or may not take unexpected twists and turns there is still that calming sense of knowing where you are.
It is June and I am in the heart of summer reading which for me is focused on the lighter titles on my To Read list. Lucky for me I have a new Anita Shreve, a new Elin Hildebrand and a new Joshilyn Jacksone queued up and read to ready. I may even squeeze in Book 6 in the Louise Penney series!