Ten Novels Set in Europe
Recommended by Chris Pavone
When I moved to Luxembourg, I adopted a relentless diet of fiction set in Europe as a way of acclimating to my new home while also continuing to read stories. Here are some relatively contemporary favorites plus a few older essentials in which the geographical setting itself plays a crucial, defining, and enjoyable role.
1. The Northern Clemency by Philip Hensher: a family moves to the north of England.
2. The Imperfectionists by Tom Rachman: life at an English-language newspaper in Rome.
What We're Reading This WeekGet recommendations for the greatest books around straight to your inbox every week.
3. Capital by John Lanchester: immigrants to London mix with natives.
4. The Tiger’s Wife by Téa Obreht: war and dying and surviving in Southern Europe.
5. Prague by Arthur Phillips: young expats in Eastern Europe, after the Wall.
6. On Her Majesty’s Secret Service by Ian Fleming: James Bond in France and in Switzerland and in love.
7. Smilla’s Sense of Snow by Peter Høeg: the precursor to the current Scandinavian-thriller craze, published back in ’92, set in Denmark.
8. Restless by William Boyd: World War II spying.
9. Catch-22 by Joseph Heller: World War II fighting.
10. The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway: the ultimate expat novel, of Americans in Paris in the twenties.
RIFers: a special offer for you! Email CrownReadingGroups@RandomHouse.com for the chance to have Chris Pavone visit your book group via phone chat. With your email, please share how many people are in your book group and when you typically meet (if applicable). We will try to accommodate as many requests as possible, working with the author’s schedule and availability.