But whether you have a ticket to ride, or will spend summer in your own backyard, chances are a good book will be part of your vacation.
And if books are part of our travel experience—whether we be arm chair travelers or globe-trotters—then wouldn’t it seem reasonable that the places our favorite authors set their stories would figure into the books and authors we seek out?
We all know friends who read historical Regency novels in good part because someone, like New York Times Bestselling Author Sabrina Jeffries, knows how to paint a picture of that time, right down to the importance of wearing white or summering at Brighton Beach—yes, such readers may also appreciate courtship conducted with a certain number of rules and decorum, but I would argue the time travel they experience in the hands of a good historic romance author and the places they go are equally important when it comes to such books’ charm.
For me, the wild and desolate moors of Emily Bronte’s Wuthering Heights were a character in their own right, and to this day, if truth be told, I am more likely to expect great love to be found in such maritime locations . . . and I seek such brooding places out when I travel and when I read.
Whether it is how sisters Nancy Bush or Lisa Jackson depict the Oregon coast or Julie James describes Chicago . . . or Eloisa James extols Paris in love, I am willing to bet that your favorite authors not only create great heroes and charming heroines but they place them in places you are sure to remember fondly.
It’s a delicate balance: too much detail and the reader may nod off or skip over it; too little, and that Regency you’re reading might as well be set in modern-day Baltimore.
So who do you think does it best? Have you ever picked up a novel just because it was set in Paris or Bangkok or Tuscany or London? Have you ever read a book that transported you to a place as real as if you had stepped on its soil?
We have weeks of summer left, and we’re ready to travel.
— Jeanne Devlin