We’re heading toward the end of Pink XII, and Jane and Jack are still making tracks through Portugal. They’ve actually covered pretty significant ground since the book began – starting in Lisbon and working their way through the countryside, the Monastery of Alcobaça, Caldas da Rainha, and Peniche. Miss Eliza actually created a Google Map with the book’s locations marked so you can see Jane and Jack’s route.
If you want to visit the page for the Google map, click here. You can drag the map around, zoom in, and get Google street views of what these locations look like these days.
I think Lauren’s ability to create a setting is one of the best things about Pink XII. For most of us, historical fiction set in England hardly feels foreign anymore. We’ve read so many books set in that world that it feels just as familiar own. Each book in the Pink series is unique in its own way, but I think some of my favorites are the books set in other countries – particularly The Betrayal of the Blood Lily in India and this book set in Portugal.
What is it about a new and different location that gives a book extra sparkle? I read M.M. Kaye’s The Far Pavilions and went through a two-year craze where I couldn’t get enough books about India. I’m still not completely over it – there is something MAGIC about India in that book. My first experience with Tracy Grant’s writing was Vienna Waltz, which (clearly) is set in Vienna. Tracy does an incredible job with setting in that book. And even though it’s not really “exotic,” my favorite book for about ten years was Maeve Binchy’s Circle of Friends, set in Dublin and a fictional small Irish town called Knockglen. Reading these books really feels like traveling.
What are your favorite books with a setting that isn’t US or GB? What is it that you like most about these books?