Whether you’re heading off to warmer climes this festive period and want to load up your E-reader, or you’re staying put and fancy a tale set on distant shores, we’ve put together the ideal book list for all travel aficionados. There’s still time to get them on your Christmas wish list, too. Happy reading!
The Tea Planter’s Wife, by Dinah Jefferies
This absorbing saga will transport you back to the 1920’s, when a young British woman called Gwen leaves her life behind to join her new husband at a tea plantation in Sri Lanka, then known as Ceylon. Not only does Gwen face up to marriage with a man she barely knows, but she must also come to terms with living in a stifling world of colonisation. It’s gripping stuff – and if reading about the lush landscape of Sri Lanka fuels your wanderlust, you can book a trip there yourself.
One Wish in Manhattan, by Mandy Baggot
Books don’t get much more Christmassy than ones with a Manhattan backdrop. When Hayley and nine-year-old Angel (of course she’s called Angel, it’s a Christmas story!) head to the Big Apple, they want more than snowflakes and shopping. Hayley is searching for a new beginning, while her daughter hopes to find her real father. And as our heroine Hayley repeatedly stumbles across a moody millionaire, you’ll be drawn into a feel-good fairy tale that’ll leave you craving a trip to NYC.
My Big Fat Christmas Wedding, by Samantha Tonge
In a nutshell, this romantically funny tale is about a big wedding, a beautiful Greek island and Christmas-time. What’s not to love? In this sequel to Game of Scones, former Londoner Pippa is happily ensconced in her new life on the idyllic but sleepy island of Taxos with fiancé Niko. But an end-of-year trip back to buzzy London sets off warning bells rather than wedding bells, and Pippa finds the path to wedded bliss is a rocky one. If you’re thinking of tying the knot in a beautiful location abroad, find a little inspiration here.
The Well, by Catherine Chanter
In this spooky story, Ruth and her family leave London for a new life in The Well, a seemingly idyllic farm. But while they are happy to escape the social issues and food shortages hitting other parts of the country, their vision of rural bliss soon comes under threat. As Ruth gets involved with a cult, her husband Mark is suspected of awful crimes and then daughter Angie goes off the rails. Part sci-fi and part mystery, this is an engrossing read.
Grandpa’s Great Escape, by David Walliams
Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas without a new offering from comedian and writer David Walliams. Having effortlessly seized Roald Dahl’s mantle as children’s writer extraordinaire, this adorable story focuses on young Jack and his grandpa, who wears his slippers to the supermarket and frequently forgets the names of those he loves. Regardless of this, he’s perfectly capable of escaping his not-very-caring care home, and he’s also a dab hand at flying a Spitfire. This heart-warming tale is full of comic moments, while Tony Ross provides the fantastic illustrations.