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Beyond Les Mis: Eight novels set in France you need to read


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Books are a great way to travel to distant places that you may never get the chance to visit in real life. Whilst it's pretty simple and accesible to get to France from the UK, on the (usually) cold winter nights of February, you might want to escape to sunnier vistas through your reading. If that's the case, then TNS has you covered, with this books set against the beautiful backdrop of France.

1. Enchantee, by Gita Trelease

Released only a few weeks ago, Enchantee (Trelease's debut) follows Camille Durbonne, a girl in 1789 Paris who has the ability to do small magic as she attempts to infiltrate the Court of Versailles and win big so she and her sister can finally live in comfort, but the Court is more dangerous than it seems and danger lurks around every turn, plus Revolution is coming.

2. Dragonfly In Amber, by Diana Gabaldon

If you're an Outlander fan and love 18th Century Paris, then Dragonfly in Amber would be perfect for you (after you've read the first book of course) as it follows Jamie and Claire in 1745 Paris as they attempt to thwart the forthcoming Jacobite Rising.

3. Anna and The French Kiss, by Stephanie Perkins

If you're wanting a cute romance set in Pairs, then look no further than Anna and The French Kiss, which follows American teenager Anna as she navigates falling in love as she is sent off to boarding school in Paris for her senior year.

4. The Nightingale, by Kristin Hannah

If you're looking for something a little bit more heartbreaking, then this WWII story of two sisters in Nazi Occupied France as they make their seperate journies toward freedom during WWII.

5. Code Name Verity, by Elizabeth Wein

The setting of Code Name Verity switches between 1941 England and 1943 in Ormaie, France as an SOE agent is being questioned by the Gestapo. We follow Maddie and "Verity" and see how the two girls became friends and what led to "Verity" being in the situation she finds herself in at the beginning of the book. It's a heartbreaking story of friendship and the lengths two women will go to help their country in war.

6. The Gilded Wolves, by Roshani Chokshi

YA is delivering a lot of amazing Parisian set fantasies this year and this is just one of many. Set in 1889 Paris, it follows a group of friends as they attempt to pull of a daring heist to discover an important ancient artifact. 

7. Grim Lovelies, by Megan Shephard

Grim Lovelies is set in a fantastical Paris and follows heroine Anouk as she attempts to evade capture for the murder of her mistress.....a crime she did not commit.

8. Paris For One & Other Stories, by Jojo Moyes

If short stories are more your thing, then this collection of romantic Parisian stories from Jojo Moyes might be just the helping of the City of Love that you're looking for. 

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