Author Patricia Nicol unveils a selection of the best books on the subject: Vacation Fiction

Author Patricia Nicol unveils a selection of the best books on the subject: Vacation Fiction

During the summer holidays my family was grounded in Gatwick after our early morning easyJet flight to Italy was canceled at short notice. I experienced many emotions in a short period of time: anger, frustration, astonishment at how badly something could then be bluntly communicated and administered.

I’m still in Kafkaesque negotiations about incurred expenses. It was not an experience that reflected the romance of travel.

At present, with more promised flight cancellations, strike action and Covid still making the rounds, holidays seem more risky than gambled. And yet there is something about this sultry weather that makes the pulse quicken. Love is in the air along with the smell of sunscreen, spilled beer and barbecue.

A vacation romance, or indeed a romantic vacation, is a staple of feel-good fiction. Book Lovers by Emily Henry is one of my sunniest reads of late. Nora, a quick-witted New York literary agent with a disastrous track record in romance, is persuaded by her sister Libby to spend a month in cute, rural Sunshine Falls.

Book Lovers by Emily Henry

A Lady's Guide to Fortune-Hunting by Sophie Irwin

British author Patricia Nicol has compiled a selection of the best books on holiday romance, including Emily Henry’s Book Lovers (left) and Sophie Irwin’s A Lady’s Guide to Fortune-Hunting (right).

Her sister has a vacation checklist that Nora uses to go out with a local. But the person Nora keeps meeting is Charlie, a work foe from New York who, it turns out, is from Sunshine Falls.

Another fun novel is A Lady’s Guide To Fortune-Hunting, set to music by Sophie Irwin. Its heroine is the sparkling, recently orphaned Kitty Talbot, who faces financial and reputational ruin for herself and her younger, dependent sisters unless she can snag a wealthy match in London one season. However, war hero Lord Radcliffe seems determined to thwart their plan.

The Hummingbird by Sandro Veronesi is an Italian novel that I read when I finally got to my vacation spot. It tells of a life full of longing. His protagonist, Marco Carrera, falls in love for the first time with the love of his life, Luisa, during the hot summers of his childhood on the Tuscan coast, where both families have holiday homes.

Even if you don’t have travel plans, all these books transport.

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Ryan Gaydos

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