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Don’t you just love the diverse and character-driven stories that radiate from books set in small towns or isolated communities? They make you feel like you’re an insider, part of an exclusive group. Plus, there’s usually a 99% chance of drama. And we get to be smack bang in the middle of it. Perfect.

If you’re keen to read more small town stories, here are some to get you started:

Beartown by Frederik Backman

The tight-knit community of Beartown are held together by their passion for hockey. But with principles about to conflict over one heavy accusation, the town is at risk of being torn apart forever.

When I Was Ten by Fiona Cummins

An idyllic Kent village is rocked by a heinous double murder. Dr and Mrs Carter are found with multiple scissored stab wounds. The murderer? Their ten-year-old daughter. 20 years later, the case is dragged back to the surface, along with long-kept secrets that some are intent on keeping.

Boy Swallows Universe by Trent Dalton

This coming-of-age novel set in a violent Brisbane suburb follows Eli, a young boy navigating a slightly unconventional life, with a brother who doesn’t talk, parents running an underground heroin business, and a babysitter who is a convicted killer.

Instant Karma by Marissa Meyer

A contemporary young adult novel with a slow-burn romance, a multi-layered plot, a dash of karmic magic and lots of adorable sea animals.

Where The Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens

A beautiful, rich novel about a lone marsh girl who becomes the prime suspect when a popular young man is killed. Debatably the best book ever written.

The Vines We Planted by Joanell Serra

A captivating family saga set in Sonama Valley that explores a range of diverse themes, including immigration, adoption, and tragedy.


  • Big Lies in a Small Town by Diane Chamberlain
  • The Pull of the Stars by Emma Donoghue
  • The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett
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