26 Best Books Set in France

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France is one of my favorite countries and always has been. It’s where I went on my first international trip when I was five years old, and even being so young it left a vivid impression on me. I returned to France many times over the years, including living in Paris during college.


Best Books Set in France

The books on this list are perfect for Francophiles and readers who are just dreaming of being transported to France through the pages of a book. I’ve included a mixture of fiction and nonfiction and various genres that will appeal to every reader.

If you’re looking for books specifically that take place in Paris, I have another post about the best books set in Paris.

Here are the best books set in France to add to your reading list.

Grab these top books set in France here:

Novels and Fiction Set in France

all the light we cannot see

All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr

This Pulitzer Prize-winning historical fiction novel is a poignant, emotional story set during France in World War II. It 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.

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the nightingale

The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah

Another award-winning historical fiction novel set in France during World War II is The Nightingale. 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.

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escape to the french farmhouse

Escape to the French Farmhouse by Jo Thomas

This fiction novel set in Provence follows a woman who moves to the South of France for a fresh start with her husband after years of infertility struggles. However, she soon ends up on her own and finds herself on a journey to self-discovery and reclaiming her life.

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murder in the south of france

Murder in the South of France by Susan Kiernan-Lewis

If you’re looking for fast-paced murder mysteries set in France, look no further. This story is set on the French Riviera and follows a woman who must track down her sister’s killer.

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Chocolat by Joanne Harris

When a young single mother arrives in a small French village and opens a chocolate shop, she quickly begins to wreak havoc on the town in this whimsical escapist novel.

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a riviera retreat

A Riviera Retreat by Jennifer Bohnet

This is a heart-warming and uplifting women’s fiction novel about four women who end up on a retreat together in 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 lifelong friendships.

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the little vineyard in provence

The Little Vineyard in Provence by Ruth Kelly

This novel follows an American woman who is stuck in a dead-end job with an absent husband when she receives some shocking news. Her grandfather has left her his entire estate in Provence. Suddenly, she has the opportunity to take a chance on creating a life she loves.

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my grape year

My Grape Year by Laura Bradbury

This fictional novel follows a teenage girl who ends up leaving her home in Canada and going to Burgundy, France, on a last-minute school exchange for a year.

Thrust into a culture she knows hardly anything about and only speaking a few words of French, she quickly has to adapt as she faces new experiences, challenges, and opportunities in France.

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the cleaner of chartres

The Cleaner of Chartres by Salley Vickers

This novel follows a quiet, mysterious woman 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.

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bruno chief of police

Bruno, Chief of Police by Martin Walker

Bruno is the chief of police in a small, quiet town in the South of France. In this mystery novel, he must work with a young policewoman from Paris after a crime rocks this small town.

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France Classics


The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas

If you are looking for a great classic novel set in France, The Count of Monte Cristo is a good one to pick up. As far as classics go, it is one of the more accessible and entertaining ones out there.

It follows 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.

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A Tale of Two Cities

A Tale Of Two Cities by Charles Dickens

A classic book set across Paris and London with a dramatic story, set against the volcanic fury of the French Revolution and pervaded by the ominous rumble of the death carts trundling toward the guillotine, is the heart-stirring tale of a heroic soul in an age gone mad.

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Les Miserables

Les Misérables by Victor Hugo

Few novels ever swept across the world with such an overpowering impact as Les Misérables. Sensational, dramatic, packed with rich excitement, and filled with the sweep and violence of human passions,

Les Misérables is not only a superb adventure but a powerful social document. The story of how the convict Jean-Valjean struggled to escape his past and reaffirm his humanity in a world brutalized by poverty and ignorance became the gospel of the poor and the oppressed.

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Notre Dame de Paris

The Hunchback Of Notre Dame by Victor Hugo

This extraordinary historical French gothic novel is set in 1482 Medieval Paris under the twin towers of its greatest structure and supreme symbol, the Cathedral of Notre Dame.

Telling the story of the haunting drama of disfigured Quasimodo, the bell-ringer of Notre Dame, as he struggles to stand up to his ableist guardian, Claude Frollo. He falls for Esmeralda and craves human contact, but his love is unrequited.

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Romance Novels set in France

the loveliest chocolate shop in paris

The Loveliest Chocolate Shop In Paris by Jenny Colgan

Life is sweet in this heartwarming tale of the loveliest chocolate shop in Paris. Featuring Anna Trent, a young woman who leaves England to work in a top-tier chocolate shop in Paris.

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the little french bistro

The Little French Bistro by Nina George

The Little French Bistro is the tale of Marianne, who leaves a loveless, unhappy marriage to start a new life on the Brittany coast. Here, she meets colorful and unforgettable locals who surprise her with their warm welcome, the natural ease they all seem to have, and taking pleasure in life’s small moments.

As the parts of herself she had long forgotten return to her in this new world, Marianne learns it’s never too late to begin the search for what life should have been all along.

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Non-Fiction Books About France

A Year in Provence

A Year in Provence by Peter Mayle

This memoir follows a British ex-pat as he moves to Provence with his wife and two dogs. Their plan is to renovate and live in a 200-year-old stone farmhouse.

Along the way, he discovers the pleasures of regional cuisine and Provencial culture in small-town France.

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My Life in France

My Life in France by Julia Child

This is another must-read memoir about living in France. American Julia Child initially moved to France in 1948 because of her husband’s job, but she quickly fell in love with the country and its cuisine in particular.

Her memoir recounts her journey to becoming one of the world’s most beloved cooking teachers and cookbook authors and is a love letter to France.

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bringing up bebe

Bringing Up Bébé by Pamela Druckerman

When an American journalist living in France has a baby there, she quickly finds herself immersed in the world of French parenting.

This is a humorous and interesting book that examines French culture through the differences between French and American parenting.

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my good life in france

My Good Life in France by Janine Marsh

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.

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Dirt by Bill Buford

In this captivating food memoir, 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 as Bill falls in love with the gastronomy and culture of France.

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me talk pretty one day

Me Talk Pretty One Day by David Sedaris

Fans of humorous memoirs will enjoy this laugh-out-loud funny book. While the first half follows the author’s childhood in the United States, the second half covers his life after moving to Northern France with witty observations about French life, culture, and language learning.

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my french platter

My French Platter by Annemarie Rawson

This is another memoir about living in France written by Annemarie, a woman from New Zealand who moves to France with her husband in search of a new life adventure.

Their plan is to renovate a 15th-century farmhouse, but they get more than they bargained for. Can they salvage their dreams of living abroad, or will they need to rethink their future?

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a moveable feast

A Moveable Feast by Ernest Hemingway

A Moveable Feast is Hemingway’s memories of his life as an unknown writer living in Paris during the 1920s. Deeply personal, warmly affectionate, and full of wit.

Looking back not only at his own much younger self but also at the other writers who shared Paris with him, he recalls the time when, poor, happy, and writing in cafes, he discovered his vocation.

Written during the last years of Hemingway’s life, his memoir is a lively and powerful reflection of his genius that scintillates with the romance of the city.

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Young Adult Books Set in France

anna and the french kiss

Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins

When Anna is sent to boarding school in France, she isn’t happy about it. But then she meets Etienne, and suddenly everything seems better!

This book has quickly become a classic young adult romance that’s popular with teens and adults alike.

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grave mercy

Grave Mercy by Robin LaFevers

Set in medieval France, this young adult novel blends historical fiction and fantasy in a story full of political intrigue, romance, and a convent full of assassin nuns.

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What Are Some Of Your Favorite Books about France?

Have you read any of these books set in France? Do you have any favorite books set in France that I should add to this list? Let me know in the comments below!

More Great Books

Start with our list of the very best travel adventure books. It includes great reads that will fuel your wanderlust and have you staying up late to finish them. Or check out these books set in other parts of Europe:

France | Italy | Spain | Greece

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