“Everywhere she looked, it seemed, were grey stone castles and long bright vistas, lambs gambolling in the fields and deer scattering away in distant woods as the coach rolled past.”
-Jenny Colgan, The Little Shop of Happy Ever After.
Hey guys! As most of you already know, I recently went to Scotland for the first time ever! I’d been wanting to go for ageeees and finally got my wish and spent 3 perfect days in Edinburgh. Now I need to see the rest of Scotland. Obviously.
THE READING NOOK:
I actually managed to get quite a bit of reading done both on the journeys there and back (by train, lots of reading time!) but what made this trip ESPECIALLY perfect was that I managed to find the most perfect of perfect reading nooks to read it in. Here.
And what made this reading nook so SPECTACULARLY special? Besides its obvious Scottish location and supreme cosiness? Are you ready for this? *breathes deeply* It was looking over the EXACT SAME view J.K.Rowling had when she wrote several of the Harry Potter books. *Tries not to hyperventilate* That’s right. We rented an apartment above The Elephant House, facing the same direction as Rowling’s habitual table. *passes out from sheer awesomeness*
Which means, my FIRST favourite book set in Scotland, has to be Harry Potter, where, let’s face it, we all know Hogwarts was located. And definitely written there, too. I could obviously talk for hours about this, so I’ll leave it at this… If you haven’t already, read the book. Or we just can’t be friends. And if you tell me the movie is better, I WILL slap you with the book.
Did I mention these weren’t in order? These aren’t in order! Well, they’re in the order I read them in, but that is it! So while I was actually in Edinburgh, I happened to have the perfect, Scottish set book for me to read. It was gifted to me for my birthday from my bestie Christine (@weereader), and I had it all saved for my trip as it looked like ideal reading for my mini Scottish adventure! And that is, The Winter Sea by Susanna Kearsley.
Part historical fiction covering the turbulent 18th century in Scotland, part contemporary fiction following author Carrie, writing her historical novel in the evocative setting of Slains castle; The Winter Sea shifts between past and present in the same setting. The Scottish setting is beautifully evocative and the story is dramatic, romantic and presents a whole host of memorable characters. Definitely one to either take with you on your next Scottish adventure or, if you can’t get to Scotland anytime soon, you can armchair travel through its pages.
Well obviously I’ve got to mention Outlander here. Read the first book. Then watch the first TV season. Repeat with #2 and hopefully season 3 will be out before you know it… These are BIG books. But well worth the time and effort spent in reading them. Perfect for fans of historical fiction and classics, Outlander follows second world war nurse, Claire, as she accidentally slips through time into 18th century Scotland and all that that entails. Written meticulously with one of the best romances you’ll EVER read, you simply have to make the effort to read these. Just plough through!
This is the last one. Yes, it’s a short list. Yes, I need to read more books set in Scotland. Anyone got any good recs?
The Little Shop of Happy Ever After is unbelievably cute. Like freaking adorable. It is a book about books for book lovers. And, if it couldn’t get anymore ideal than that, it’s funny, heart warming and set in the beautifully wild highlands. (Or so I imagine, I haven’t actually been there. Yet. It’s in the works.)
Nina, a shy librarian, who has been made redundant, does something hugely uncharacteristic. She buys a massive van. Which she plans to turn into a mobile bookshop. Only problem? She lives in Birmingham and the van is being sold in the highlands. Cue a series of big, life changing decisions for Nina, who becomes a mobile book seller in the highlands. None of this is a spoiler by the way, it’s all in the Amazon blurb!
It’s packed with literary references-I especially loved the Enid Blyton ones-cheese-again, a fan-and romance in the highlands. It’s all about second chances, believing that the right book can fix anything and a good, healthy dose of that gorgeous Scottish setting.
“Nina had never been to Scotland before…Of course she had been to Narnia and The Little House on the Prairie, and Wonderland…”
Jenny Colgan, The Little Shop of Happy Ever After.
Thanks for reading guys! What are your favourite books set in Scotland?