Five fiction books to satiate your traveling instincts this summer

From stormy beaches to beautiful villas, let these books transport your mind


By: Anna Kazi, SFU Student

It’s a no-brainer that many people are disappointed with how this summer has turned out. There are none of the usual perks of summer-living with traveling or enjoying worry-free beach hangs being out of the question. Physical-distance restrictions might have brought up many questions for you. How do you enjoy the sun without catching COVID-19? What do you do when you can’t hit the road whenever you want? The answers have been silently surrounding us all along. Books have come to the rescue! You can still experience the breathtaking summers of the Tuscan Villa of Italy and feel the winds of the imaginary Marshland through these five compelling reads.

 The House By The Sea by Santa Montefiore

Courtesy of Random House Children’s Books.

Picture this: you are in a beautiful garden in Italy. You turn around to see a gorgeous villa surrounded by trees and roses, and are awe-struck by its beauty. Then, you suddenly find yourself on the English coastline. Sand and warm water graze your feet, and beside you, a dramatic cave. Precisely. This book will make you feel confused, in love, and captivated.  Narrated in dual timelines (the past and the present), the book tells the story of a character named Floriana, an orphan who falls in love with the owner of the Tuscany villa, and Marianna, who runs a hotel with her husband but suddenly finds herself in love with an impressive but dangerous man. A light romantic read, it’ll keep you enthralled with descriptions of the English coastline and Italian villas.

 Camino Winds by John Grisham

Courtesy of Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group.

Imagine the Floridian sun shining on your face on the way to the beach, when it occurs to you that you have forgotten your sunscreen. Back at your hotel, your eyes fall on a strange man who is surrounded by some dead bodies. Scared, you want to run but your legs can’t move. Camino Winds is a sequel to Grisham’s Camino Island, and furthers the story of Bruce, a strange book dealer, and his friend Nelson. One stormy evening, Bruce finds Nelson murdered. A compelling read, join Bruce as he uncovers haunting secrets set to the backdrop of the Floridian beaches.

The Hidden Beach by Karen Swan

Courtesy of Pan Macmillan.

Sightseeing in Stockholm on a boat shuttle, your eyes are fixed on the historical museums and the seawater. You reckon life cannot get any more beautiful than this. Suddenly, you receive a life-changing message. The Hidden Beach is situated in Sweden and tells a heartbreaking story of a babysitter named Bell, who babysits for a couple, Hanna and Max, for two years. One day, Bell gets a call from Hanna’s doctor saying that Hanna’s first husband has awoken from a coma, after seven years. This call changes the life of both Bell and the family, forever.

 Where The Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens

Courtesy of Diversified Publishing.

Written in lyrical prose, the tale of Kya is full of sorrow and mystery. Abandoned by her family and society, Kya is brought-up by nature. Her character is brought to spotlight when she is accused by the Marshland locals for murdering a handsome officer. Alternating themes of love and hatred, and the description of the Marshland’s sunny weather, rain, and lakes is guaranteed to keep you entranced. ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​

We Were Liars by E. Lockhart

Courtesy of Random House Children’s Books.

Want to set out for a private island with a wooden beach house, white sand, and turquoise water? Per tradition, 18 year-old Cadence arrives at a private island to spend the summer with her family and a man named Gat. As the trip unfolds, many family feuds take place. As Cadence reflects on the trauma of a previous summer, the plan that toppled their lives is revealed. How far can an apple fall from its tree? How much can you forgive your blood relations?