Books set in Suffolk

The Great Godden
by Meg Rosoff
A beautifully atmospheric, nostalgic yet contemporary account of a family spending one summer together by the sea.
Anyone for Edmund?
by Simon Edge
A comic tale setting the already extraordinary story of the medieval saint Edmund against the shenanigans of modern British government.
The Babysitter
by Phoebe Morgan
One summer, in Suffolk a body is found draped over a baby's cot, but the baby is missing. In France a family holiday is interrupted by the police making an arrest for murder. How are the families connected, what secrets are they hiding, and where is the baby? Published 28 May 2020.
Wakenhyrst
by Michelle Paver
A gothic novel with a disturbing and haunting Suffolk setting. A brilliantly atmospheric and sinister read.
The Butterfly Room
by Lucinda Riley
Buried Crown
by Ally Sherrick
Set in wartime Suffolk, steeped in the myths of the Sutton Hoo finds, this is a story of friendship, courage, superstition and faith.
Meet Me at the Museum
by Anne Youngson
A charming innocence of a correspondence between strangers. Confidences are struck through revelations of loss and disappointment, and solace and friendship results. Delightful, and moving.
One Wild Song
by Paul Heiney
Sailing alone in the Atlantic, Heiney takes time to remember his son's life. A beautiful book which is moving and insightful.
A Suspension of Mercy
by Patricia Highsmith
The Dandelion Years
by Erica James
A father and daughter, working with secondhand books, discover a diary hidden in an old Bible revealing lives at Bletchley Park during the war. A story of love and loss, grief and bereavement, old and new relationships.
The Hidden Girl
by Louise Millar
A couple move to Suffolk in the hope of adopting a child, but the house they are renovating holds unsettling secrets.
Trick of the Mind
by Penny Hancock
Driving to Southwold, a young woman thinks she may have hit something, but keeps going. Later, hearing of a hit-and-run accident, she becomes involved in a terrifying chain of events.
Mr Mac and Me
by Esther Freud
A teenage boy recounts his experiences of artist and architect Charles Rennie Macintosh, who lives in Walberswick for a year at the outbreak of the First World War.
The Twins
by Saskia Sarginson
Two women look back on their childhood in the Suffolk forest, and struggle to contend with the tragic events that are continuing to impinge on their adult lives.
The Discourtesy of Death
by William Brodrick
A young mother dies suddenly. Was this natural causes, assisted death or murder? Father Anselm investigates. Suffolk provides the setting from Sudbury through Polstead and Hollesley Bay, to Aldeburgh and Southwold.
River of Destiny
by Barbara Erskine
A mystery, ghost story and romance set on and beside the River Deben featuring Woodbridge and Sutton Hoo and spanning Anglo-Saxon, Victorian and present day.
Heartbreak Hotel
by Deborah Moggach
When Buffy inherits a run-down B&B in Wales he launches residential divorce courses to help fill beds. An ex-wife thinks the village more desirable than living in Suffolk!
The Bookshop
by Penelope Fitzgerald
People living in Hardborough, an East Anglian seaside town resembling Southwold and Aldeburgh, don't want a bookshop. Owner, Florence Green battles against the opposition before facing the inevitable.
Seldom Seen
by Sarah Ridgard
The village of Worlingworth in the 1980s - a bleak, dark, disturbing account of the secrets of village life.
The Swimmer
by Roma Tearne
Sri Lanka is paired with Orford, Dunwich and Ipswich in this account of a relationship between a middle-aged woman and a young male immigrant. Rather inauthentic description of Suffolk.
Daughters-in-Law
by Joanna Trollope
Three young wives try to please their domineering mother-in-law, while seeking to assert their individuality. The backdrop is Shingle Street, Aldeburgh and Snape but, for me, there is no real sense of place. A good holiday read.
I Capture the Castle
by Dodie Smith
This wonderful coming-of-age classic is set in a castle inspired by the ruins at Wingfield, near Eye, Suffolk
Under an English Heaven
by Robert Radcliffe
A story of how the second world war is impacting the villages and bomber bases of Suffolk in the summer of 1943.
The Road Home
by Rose Tremain
A powerful, moving and completely consuming account which has been meticulously and sensitively researched. Huge admiration expressed for the author.
The Dig
by John Preston
An account of the unearthing of Anglo-Saxon treasure, at the home of Mrs Pretty at Sutton Hoo near Woodbridge in 1939.
Something Might Happen
by Julie Myerson
A bleak but compelling story of a murder in a seaside town, based on Southwold.
Death in Holy Orders
by P D James
A student priest is found dead at the foot of a crumbling cliff. Commander Adam Dalgliesh is sent to the small theological college on the East Anglian coast to investigate.
What I Was
by Meg Rosoff
Escaping his boarding school, the narrator befriends the mysterious Finn who lives alone in a fishing hut. Set in fictionalised Shingle Street and Southwold.
The Sea House
by Esther Freud
Set in Walberswick (although renamed Steerborough), and a tribute to Virginia Woolf's 'To the Lighthouse', this is a book about secrets.
Gravenhunger
by Harriet Goodwin
A ghost story for children set in a house inspired by Sutton Hoo, near Woodbridge, Suffolk.
22 Britannia Road
by Amanda Hodgkinson
Set in Ipswich, this is the story of a Polish couple and their young son who are trying to make a life together after the War.
La's Orchestra Saves the World
by Alexander McCall Smith
Rural Suffolk at the outbreak of the Second World War. La is a divorcee who moves from London to the country for a fresh start and decides to form an amateur orchestra.