Today's list is this week's topic from 'The Broke and the Bookish' I always hope my books will want to make readers visit the Adelaide Hills the way these other books have made me curious to visit their settings. Although imaginary settings are permitted, I've decided to stick to places on earth. So no Narnia, Hogwarts or Middle Earth will appear, however much I might want to see these places. The last place on my list may be fanciful, but somewhere that could exist on earth.
1) Nantucket Island from 'Summer House by Nancy Thayer. I borrowed this novel from my local library. Being an Aussie, I wasn't familiar with the setting, but was impressed enough to visit it via Google Maps. It even looks like a big smile in the sea. The characters seemed to live in a beautiful holiday setting with beaches out of every window. However, when I saw the average climate chart on Wikipedia, I decided it would be a bit too cold for me, ranging from 3 degrees C in January to highs of just 23 degrees in July and August.
2) Prince Edward Island from 'Anne of Green Gables' and every other book by L.M. Montgomery.
LMM surely put the place of her birth on the world map of places to visit. I visited here via Google Maps too, and it still looks as beautiful as she described it, including the famous red roads.
3) Cornwall, Britain from 'Jamaica Inn' by Daphne du Maurier and 'The Tutor's Daughter' by Julie Klassen. This is a place I was lucky enough to actually visit, back in the 90s. I even have ancestors who lived here. I can say through experience that it felt like the warmest place in Great Britain, although still cool by my standards. The treacherous coastline makes it clear why authors such as these use it for settings in their historical novels about wreckers and other crooks. It was at a town named 'Mousehole' in Cornwall, where my dad was attacked by an enormous seagull (bigger than Aussie ones) who stole his whole Cornish pasty.
4) Israel from novels by biblical authors such as Lynn Austin and Mesu Andrews, (not to mention the Bible itself). After reading 'Pilgrimage', a memoir about Lynn Austin's own recent travels here, I had a real hankering to go and explore Jerusalem, Bethlehem and surrounding landmarks.
5) The Italian countryside from 'Chasing Francis' by Ian Cron. I visited in a tour bus as a teenager, but that was a long ago. This novel is set among wonderful rustic towns where folk are simple about everything except their food. If you ever watched Jamie Oliver's TV series in which he visited country Italy, you would have seen the heckling he got from angry locals who had never heard of him. 'This upstart chef from London thinks he can come and tell us how to cook!'
6) Papua New Guinea from 'Cathy' by Elva Shroeder. This post is about places books have made me want to visit. That was definitely the case here, as I never had any desire to visit before reading this novel. Cathy's experiences as a missionary in PNG were so vivid and interesting, I would have been willing to go.
7) Country Africa from 'African Hearts' by Laura O'Connell. The same as above. The flora and fauna described in this novel, and the community spirit shown by the characters, is very appealing. It is easy to see why cosmopolitan main character, Gina, wanted to stay, although she never thought she would.
8) Ireland from 'Song of Erin' by B.J. Hoff, and many other books she's written. Many forebears of mine hailed from here too, so I guess I might have the Emerald Isle in my blood.
9) Resolution Island from the Resolution trilogy by Rose Dee. Although Resolution Island itself is fictional, I was able to visit far north Queensland with my kids just last year, staying with my sister and her family in Cairns. If you've heard that this part of Australia is a tropical paradise, it's all true. When I returned home to South Australia, I missed the bird calls of the curlews at night, which sounded like screams.
10) Austenland from 'Austenland' by Shannon Hale. This is a fictional tourist centre/ theme park in which ladies pay to live in Jane Austen's Regency England for a period of time. You get to dress like the characters and rub shoulders with charming, costumed gentlemen all day, who are willing to put on shows, making you the heroine of your own story. Who wouldn't want to stay here?