Summer Reads Set in NH

Book and hatI love comparing my impression of New Hampshire to descriptions that I read in books. Maybe it’s a book nerd thing. Maybe it’s curiosity. Either way, it makes for an interesting exercise. And, if you live in New Hampshire, you have to read at least one book that’s set in the state, right?

In honor of summer reading season, I’ve rounded up a variety of set-in-New Hampshire books! These titles are the perfect companion for a trip to the NH coast, a leisurely float on a local pond, or even an evening in your favorite lawn chair. Happy reading!

The Darby Chronicles – Ernest Hebert

DSCN5278This seven book series is set in the fictional town of “Darby” New Hampshire, which author Ernest Hebert describes as a “composite of Westmorland and Sullivan.” From love affairs to farms being turned into shopping malls, the series tells a variety of stories related to life in a rural area.

Read for:

New England accents, commentary on the American class system, and clashes between cultures

Nineteen Minutes – Jodi Picoult

Picoult is not for the faint of heart—she tackles heavy topics.  Many of her books are set in New Hampshire, including Change of Heart, Handle with Care, Lone Wolf, and Nineteen Minutes. The latter focuses on a school shooting in a fictional New Hampshire town.

Read for:

Tough questions, no-win situations, and hot-button issues

Lost Nation – Jeffrey Lent

DSCN5277Set in “the wild country high in New Hampshire” (aka Coos County) back in the early nineteenth century, Jeffrey Lent’s novel tells the story of a guy who decides to open a tavern in the North Country. According to Lent’s description, New Hampshire’s northernmost county could rival the Wild West!

Read for:

Trappers, Indians, outlaws, sheriffs, and redemption?

Peyton Place – Grace Metalious

Peyton Place made quite a splash when it was released back in 1956… It stuck to the bestseller list for over a year—leading to large and small screen adaptations. If you haven’t read this classic expose of life in small town New Hampshire, this summer might be the perfect time!

Read for:

Drama! Deception! Scandal! Secrets!

If you’re looking for more books set in New Hampshire, check out’s list. And, don’t forget to check your summer reads out from your local library!

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