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12 books with New England ties perfect to read on the beach

New page-turning delights, set in your own backyard.

Looking for local entertainment? Here are 13 beachy reads set in your own backyard.Christiana Botic for The Boston Globe

This summer, may we suggest switching your phone to airplane mode and getting lost in a book? To dig into that New-England-coastal-vibe while you do it, curl up in your favorite rattan chair with a book with ties to the area. From tales of glamorous hotels in Nantucket to elite summer camps on lakes in Vermont to tumultuous last-minute weddings on the Cape, here are 12 brand-new beach reads brimming with sunshine, sand, romance, and intrigue.

Out of the Clear Blue Sky by Kristan Higgins (Berkley)

“Out of the Clear Blue Sky” by Kristan Higgins

Connecticut-based Kristan Higgins spins a heartwarming and humorous tale of a Wellfleetempty nester named Lillie going through some major life changes. The nurse-midwife has always put others first, but when her son’s departure for college coincides with her husband leaving her — life presents the perfect time to try to get her groove back.


“The Hotel Nantucket” by Elin Hilderbrand

In this novel from Nantucket-based author Elin Hilderbrand, Lizbet Keaton is named the manager of a gilded age hotel on the island after a split with her longtime boyfriend. Now, she’ll put everything into making the place, recently purchased by a London billionaire, into a destination once more — ghosts (yes, a real ghost) and scandals be damned.

The Summer Place by Jennifer Weiner (Atria)

“The Summer Place” by Jennifer Weiner

In Jennifer Weiner’s latest, Veronica’s house on the Outer Cape — once a family haven during the summertime — has become disused over time. She plans to put it on the market, until her 22-year-old granddaughter announces she wants to get married there — in three months. With family cohabitation imminent, expect all of the hijinks, heartbreak, and happiness of a messy reunion.

“The Sea Is Salt and So Am I” by Cassandra Hartt

Cassandra Hartt’s debut young adult novel takes place on the coast of Maine, in a fictional town quite literally eroding into the ocean. Through three points-of-view, this emotional and heartfelt story unpacks the trials of teenagers dealing with trust, love, dangerous tides, and growing up in a hometown that might not exist for much longer.


“By the Book” by Jasmine Guillory

Wellesley alumna Jasmine Guillory spins a charming, contemporary reimagining of the classic Beauty and the Beast tale — set in a mansion in sunny Santa Barbara. Isabelle is feeling lost and disheartened in her East Coast career in book publishing, when she is sent to convince a curmudgeonly celebrity to finally turn in his novel manuscript. Top-tier snacks, surfing, and romance ensue.

Deep in Providence by Riss M. Neilson (Henry Holt BYR)

“Deep in Providence” by Riss M. Neilson

The Rhode-Island-based author’s debut young adult novel centers on three best friends living in Providence, who turn to practicing spells and séances aftertheir friend’s death. Expect magic rooted in reality and a tender story of teens learning to overcome grief.

“Blackwater” by Jeannette Arroyo and Ren Graham (available July 19)

Co-illustrated by Jeannette Arroyo and Ren Graham, this young adult graphic novel follows a coming-of-age romance between two boys in the mystery-filled town of Blackwater, Maine. Expect some chills, even if you’re reading on a sunny day — these two must unravel a mystery involving a werewolf curse and a ghostly fisherman.

“For the Love of the Bard” by Jessica Martin (available June 28)

Boston-based Jessica Martin spins a rom-com tale of a former high school couple who are thrown together again in their hometown of Bard’s Rest, N.H. Writer Miranda is just trying to finish her next novel, but is coerced into directing “Twelfth Night” for the town’s annual Shakespeare festival — where, to her frustration, her old flame is designing the set.


The Counselors by Jessica Goodman (Razorbill)

“The Counselors” by Jessica Goodman

What could be better than a juicy tale of friends at a prestigious Vermont summer camp — with a secret? (Maybe it’s that the secret is murder.) This fast-paced young adult thriller, set at the fictional Camp Alpine Lake, will have you turning pages in suspense and feeling a craving for campfires at the same time.

“Dog Friendly” by Victoria Schade (available June 28)

Pet lovers, eat your heart out. The latest novel from dog trainer and author Victoria Schade features an overworked veterinarian, Morgan Pearce, who escapes to Nantucket to recharge while taking care of her client’s special needs dog. Unexpected romance is in store, however, when she meets a charismatic surfer.

“The Sweet Goodbye” by Ron Corbett

If you crave an action-and-adventure-packed summer survival tale, this one’s for you. This crime thriller set in the remote North Maine Woods features an FBI agent’s quest to survive the wilderness and discover the secret behind the two hundred million unaccountable dollars on a lumber company’s books.

“The Forest of Vanishing Stars” by Kristin Harmel

Now available in paperback, the Newton born author tells a page-turning historical tale about a woman who, after being kidnapped, finds herself isolated and living in the wilderness of eastern Europe during World War II. In an unexpected turn of events, she is suddenly thrust into teaching a group of Jewish people who escaped Nazi Germany how to survive in the forest.


Gina Tomaine can be reached at Gina.Tomaine@gmail.com. Follow her on Twitter @gtomaine.