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Love your books with a splash of the sea? Here you’ll find the crème de la crème of contemporary set against a backdrop of the ocean.

The soothing nature of the ocean has long been a device used in literature, and as a nation who thrive on sun, sea and surf during the summer months, it’s no surprise that expansive bodies of water play a key character in many of our favourite books. And as many of us will spend the summer break immersing ourselves in the salty goodness of the sea, why not also pick a suitable tome that pays homage to our love for all things ocean-related.  For most of us all good summer holidays conjure up images of the sea, and this list of five books sets the scene perfectly.

  • Tiny White Lies - Fiona Palmer

    A gripping and atmospheric family drama by beloved Australian storyteller Fiona Palmer, Tiny White Lies is set against the backdrop of a rugged coastal retreat and cleverly explores themes of lies, betrayal and female empowerment.

  • State Highway One - Sam Coley

    Fusing a rich cast of flawed characters with a setting that embraces New Zealand’s endless natural beauty, State Highway One is an unforgettable debut from the new kid on the literary fiction block.

  • The Women Who Ran Away - Sheila O'Flanagan

    If you’re looking for the ultimate summer read; search no more. With an evocative Mediterranean backdrop that weaves between the shimmering countryside of Spain and France, the fusing of friendships and sharing of secrets between protagonists Grace and Deidra make for the perfect beach read.

  • Still Life - Louise Penny

    An unputdownable read from the queen of crime fiction, Still Life follows the sinister aftermath after a group of fishermen pull a body from the sea, one cold and dark winter’s morning. The aftermath sees detective Karen Pirie on her quest for justice, and the impeccably paced plot will keep readers guessing until the final page has been turned.

  • Leaving Ocean Road - Esther Campion

    From rural Ireland to the sandy shores of Australia to a small coastal town in Santorini, Esther Campion’s heart-warming tome is an ode to the ocean, a tale rich with a stunning sense of place, and a poignant tale about what home really means that will resonate with readers far and wide.

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