100 Must-Read Books Set in New England

This content contains affiliate links. When you buy through these links, we may earn an affiliate commission.

Kate Scott

Staff Writer

Kate Scott is a bookstagrammer and strategic web designer serving women business owners and creative entrepreneurs. Follow her on Instagram @parchmentgirl and visit her website at

Be whisked away to the land of lobster fishing, brilliant autumn colors, and rich colonial history with these 100 must-read books set in New England!

I was born and raised in New England, and I cannot get enough of books set in that little Northeastern neck of the country. Here are 100 books that are set in–or at least have major storylines that are set in–New England.


Little Women by Louisa May Alcott

Mystic River by Dennis Lehane

The Scarlett Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne

The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood

The Lowland by Jhumpa Lahiri

The Boston Girl by Anita Diamant

The Cider House Rules by John Irving

Olive Kitteridge by Elizabeth Strout

We Love You, Charlie Freeman by Kaitlyn Greenidge

Ethan Frome by Edith Wharton

Revolutionary Road by Richard Yates

Empire Falls by Richard Russo

Maine by J. Courtney Sullivan

Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson

The Pilot’s Wife by Anita Shreve

Labor Day by Joyce Maynard

On Beauty by Zadie Smith

Faith by Jennifer Haigh

Hush, Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick

Interpreter of Maladies by Jhumpa Lahiri

The Rules of Attraction by Bret Easton Ellis

Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace

Boy, Snow, Bird by Helen Oyeyemi

Strong Motion by Jonathan Franzen

The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath

Summer by Edith Wharton

House Rules by Jodi Picoult

This Is How You Lose Her by Junot Díaz

The Secret History by Donna Tartt

Edinburgh by Alexander Chee

It by Stephen King

Seating Arrangements by Maggie Shipstead

The House of Seven Gables by Nathaniel Hawthorne

The Europeans by Henry James

Mercy by Jodi Picoult

Island Girls by Nancy Thayer

Blowback by Bev Prescott

The Namesake by Jhumpa Lahiri

God’s Kingdom by Howard Frank Mosher

A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara

The Witch of Blackbird Pond by Elizabeth George Speare

The Wedding by Dorothy West

The Stepford Wives by Ira Levin

I Know This Much Is True by Wally Lamb

Delirium by Lauren Oliver

The Witches of Eastwick by John Updike

The Narrows by Ann Petry

Small Great Things by Jodi Picoult

The Bostonians by Henry James

Unaccustomed Earth by Jhumpa Lahiri

Still Alice by Lisa Genova

The Mortifications by Derek Palacio

The Ghost Writer by Philip Roth

X: A Novel by Ilyasah Shabazz

The Wapshot Chronicle by John Cheever

The Emperor of Ocean Park by Stephen L. Carter

The Giant’s House by Elizabeth McCracken

Shelter by Jung Yun

The Hopeful by Tracy O’Neill

See Now Then by Jamaica Kincaid

The Rise of Silas Lapham by William Dean Howells

The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane by Katherine Howe

Crossing to Safety by Wallace Stegner

Midwives by Chris Bohjalian

Nantucket Nights by Elin Hilderbrand

Dirty Love by Andre Dubus III

The Pearl of Orr’s Island by Harriet Beecher Stowe

The State We’re In by Ann Beattie

A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving

The Weight of Water by Anita Shreve

The Last Policeman by Ben H. Winters

The Virgins by Pamela Erens

Boston Noir, Edited by Dennis Lahane

The Island by Elin Hilderbrand

The Good House by Ann Leary

The Edge of Winter by Luanne Rice

Fortune’s Rocks by Anita Shreve

Karma and Other Stories by Rishi Reddi

The Good Lord Bird by James McBride

Tell Me Again How a Crush Should Feel by Sara Farizan

Fasting, Feasting by Anita Desai

The Painted Drum by Louise Erdrich

The Taste of Salt by Martha Southgate

The Hotel New Hampshire by John Irving

Northern Borders by Howard Frank Mosher

The World Below by Sue Miller

Shutter Island by Dennis Lehane

Blind Stitches by J.B. Chicoine


All Souls by Michael Patrick MacDonald

Black Mass by Dick Lehr and Gerard O’Neill

Townie by Andre Dubus III

John Adams by David McCullough

The Witches by Stacy Schiff

Bunker Hill by Nathaniel Philbrick

Black Ice by Lorene Cary

Mayflower by Nathaniel Philbrick

The Perfect Storm by Sebastian Junger

The Maine Woods by Henry David Thoreau

The Gardner Heist by Ulrich Boser