So, 2020 has been a crazy year! I was pleased to wake up this morning and realize May has arrived. The weather is getting warmer, the flowers are blooming and the birds are singing. Through much of March, and all of April, I did not physically travel any further than my neighborhood. My dog and I enjoy our daily walks, but in our current situation, we have not ventured as far as we did in the Fall. Thank goodness I am a reader. Through my books, I have (vicariously) been all over the world. I have read about places I have been, and places I have not been. I have read about times I remember, and times before I was born, and times not yet reached yet. I am grateful that I am a reader and have no need to feel limited or isolated during my lockdown experience.
Some books are character driven, some are plot driven, but occasionally, I will find a book where the setting becomes so alive, it transports me there. Whether it’s a fast-paced thriller, or a study of character, a book with a strong sense of place transforms the way I feel about my experience. One of the best examples I have read recently is <u>The Dry</u> by Jane Harper. Maybe traveling to the Australian desert in the middle of a drought would not top my vacation wish list, but this gripping mystery took me there and added atmosphere to the small-town mystery.
I have read a handful of other books that allowed me to experience upper Michigan, Siberia, the Old West and present day Cleveland, Ohio. Not every book with an interesting setting inspires the sense of place, but I enjoy the ones which do. I will be keeping my eyes open for more atmospheric titles as I move through my spring and summer reading. At the moment, I think I am about ready for a Caribbean trip, maybe that will help me choose a fresh book for my weekend reading.
Have you read any good books recently which evoke a strong sense of place?