18 Wonderful Books Set in France

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Looking for the best books set in France? You’re in the right place!

I’ve put together a list of the best books set in France for every reader. If you are specifically looking for books that take place in Paris, check out my list of books set in Paris.

These books are set in other parts of France, from Normandy to the French Riviera.

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18 Best Books Set in France

1. All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr

All the Light We Cannot See is a Pulitzer Prize-winning historical fiction novel set in France. It is a poignant, emotional story set during France in World War II.

This book follows a young blind French girl and a German boy whose paths collide in Nazi-occupied France as they are both trying to survive the devastation of the war.

2. Chocolat by Joanne Harris

Chocolat is a whimsical novel set in a small, traditional village in France. When a bewitching woman arrives in town and opens a chocolate shop, it begins to wreak havoc on everyone’s vows for Lent.

3. Bringing Up Bébé by Pamela Druckerman

Bringing Up Bébé is a delightful nonfiction book about French life and culture viewed through the lens of French parenting. It was written by an American journalist who had a baby while living in Paris.

In navigating parenthood for the first time in a foreign country, she observed the differences between American and French parenting and documented them in this entertaining book that is a great read even if you don’t have kids.

4. The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah

The Nightingale is a bestselling historical fiction novel set in France during WWII.

Following two sisters from a small French village, we watch their separate stories unfold, as each sister must embark on her own dangerous journey toward survival, love, and freedom amongst the devastation of war-torn, Nazi-occupied France.

5. The Little Vineyard in Provence by Ruth Kelly

If you are looking for a great summer read set in the South of France, check out The Little Vineyard in Provence.

This contemporary novel follows an American woman who is stuck working in a dead-end job with an absent husband, when one day she receives some shocking news.

Her grandfather has passed away and left his entire estate in Provence to her. Suddenly, she has the opportunity to take a chance on creating a life she loves.

6. The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas

One of the best classic books set in France is The Count of Monte Cristo. As far as classic go, this one is very readable and accessible.

It’s about a man who was wrongfully imprisoned for a crime he did not commit in a notorious French prison as he plots his clever escape and revenge against those who imprisoned him.

7. Dirt by Bill Buford

Dirt is a captivating memoir about France that all foodies will enjoy. Bill Buford tells to story of moving to Lyon with his family to study to become a chef.

What is supposed to be a six-month stay in a foreign city turns into five years living in Lyon, as Bill falls in love with the gastronomy and culture of France.

8. The Cleaner of Chartres by Sally Vickers

The Cleaner of Chartres is a novel about a quiet, mysterious woman living in the small French town of Chartres.

She can usually be found cleaning the town’s famed medieval cathedral or doing odd jobs for the townspeople, until one day something happens that forces her to confront her secretive past.

9. A Riviera Retreat by Jennifer Bohnet

A Riviera Retreat is a delightful summer read set on France. This uplifting novel is about four women who end up on a retreat together in France’s sparkling Cote d’Azur.

They’re all looking to escape their day-to-day lives for different reasons, and during the retreat, they end up making memories and forming a lifelong friendship.

10. A Year in Provence by Peter Mayle

books set in france

A Year in Provence is a vivid memoir about living in the South of France. It’s written by a British expat who moves to Provence with his wife and two dogs. Their plan is to renovate and live in an old stone farmhouse.

Along the way, they discover the pleasures of Provençal cuisine and culture in small-town France.

11. My Good Life in France by Janine Marsh

Another memoir about moving to France is My Good Life in France. Janine left England to go pick up some cheap wine in Northern France. She returned home a few hours later having put in an offer for an old, rundown barn in Calais.

This memoir follows her and her husband as they move to rural France in search of “the good life” while renovating their new old home, and all the unexpected things that happen along the way.

12. Escape to the French Farmhouse by Jo Thomas

Escape to the French Farmhouse is a heart-warming story about a woman who moves to the South of France for a fresh start and ends up on a journey of self-discovery and reclaiming her life.

13. Bruno, Chief of Police by Martin Walker

Bruno, Chief of Police is the first book in a series of crime novels set in a small town in the French countryside.

In this one, Bruno’s quiet town is rocked by a grave crime when an elderly North African man who served in the French army is murdered. He must team up with a young policewoman from Paris to solve the crime.

14. The French House by Helen Fripp

The French House is a gripping historical fiction novel set in France. It takes place in the early 1800s in Reims, and follows the widowed wife of a vineyard owner who must save the vineyards her husband left behind in order to provide a future for her daughter.

It’s based on the true story of Nicole Cliquot, who founded the most famous champagne house in the world, Veuve Cliquot, at a time when this was extremely uncommon for women.

15. One by One by Ruth Ware

One by One is a mystery/thriller set at a ski chalet in the French Alps. When the founders of a popular tech startup visit for a corporate retreat, they expect a week of skiing and talking business.

But things take a horrifying turn when members of the group start to go missing (or worse…) one by one. And with a snowstorm and avalanche cutting them off from means of rescue or escape, it becomes evident that the killer is among them.

16. The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V. E. Schwab

The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue is a fantasy book set between France in the 1700s and New York in the present day.

Addie LaRue is a young woman living in a small French village who, in a moment of desperation, makes a deal with the devil to live forever. The only catch? No one she meets will ever remember her.

17. Meet Me in Monaco by Hazel Gaynor

Meet Me in Monaco is a historical fiction novel that is set on the glamorous French Riviera and in Monaco in the 1950s.

It’s set around the events of American film star Grace Kelly’s whirlwind romance and marriage to the Prince of Monaco, introducing other characters like a struggling perfumer named Sophie.

18. The Winemaker’s Wife by Kristin Harmel

Finally on this list of the best books set in France is The Winemaker’s Wife. This is a historical fiction novel that takes place in France during World War II.

It’s about a woman who marries the owner of a champagne vineyard, but discovers her husband is risking everything to help the French Resistance against the Nazis.

Best Books Set in France

These are some of the best books set in France to add to your reading list.

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Have you read or do you plan to read any of these books set in France? Do you have any favorite books set in France that you think should be added to this list? Let me know in the comments below!

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