Books set in Suffolk

by Robert Ashton
Part memoir, part social history, inspired by George Ewart Evan's book from 1956, this is a mesmerising account of Suffolk village life.
by Emily Howes
A moving and enlightening story of the family of the Suffolk artist, Thomas Gainsborough.
by Esther Rutter
An open and honest account of a mental breakdown, and recovery with the Wordsworths in the Lake District.
by Erica James
After 30 years of marriage, Kip leaves his wife for a younger woman. A story of the resilience of the family members as they each come to terms with this new reality.
by CL Miller
Cosy crime set in Suffolk with antiques. What could be better!?
by Victoria Hislop
A beautiful story of a family and a community, and the links with the ancient past. In addition to a compelling and moving storyline, there's the opportunity to ponder who really owns relics and artefacts.
by Anna Funder
A wonderful, rich, multi-faceted peek into the life of Eileen O'Shaughnessy, wife of George Orwell who contributed much more than has previously been acknowledged.
by Saskia Sarginson
Kit and Summer have enjoyed a holiday romance but with misunderstandings and near misses when they return home, they look destined never to meet again.
by SA Harris
A brilliantly eery story of a house with a history on the Suffolk coast, and a family with their own troubles.
by Felix Francis
A conversation overheard by an auctioneer at a Thoroughbred sales ring in Newmarket suggests price fixing. When the new purchase is found dead the next day, he realises he must investigate, but who can he trust?
by Polly Crosby
A bewitching gothic tale set on the Suffolk ghost.
by Kate Sawyer
A beautifully crafted novel about family - 40 years of memories told through the events of one day.
by Noreen Masud
A mesmerising memoir about discovering the self within the flat landscapes in Britain.
by Margaret Meyer
A stunning, haunting novel set in East Anglia during England's deadliest witch hunt, in the 17th century.
by Kate Worsley
An unsettling but compelling gothic tale of life in a rural community on the Suffolk-Essex border.
by Sarah Hardy
Set in Suffolk after the second world war, this is a beautiful, delicate story of how a community rebuilds itself after trauma and destruction.
by Paula White
Inspired by the author's home in Lowestoft, this book recalls her grandfather's story as a baker in the beachside village. It's very lovely!
by Charlotte Northedge
The dream house turns into a nightmare for a young family who've moved from the city to rural Suffolk.
by Jimmy Doherty
Looking back over the 20 years since Jimmy Doherty and his wife bought land outside Ipswich and turned it first into a farm, and then into a wildlife park. Entertaining and uplifting.
by Kevin Burch
By 'the bloke off BBC Look East', this is an entertaining and informative memoir of life as a local reporter.
by Kevin Birch
An entertaining look at the career in local journalism of Suffolk reporter, Kevin Birch.
by Julia Jones
The sixth in a series of fabulous adventures set on the rivers and sea in East Anglia.
by Sarah Langford
A beautifully written personal response to the changing attitudes to farming through three generations, and an impassioned plea for the future.
by John Henry Phillips
The true story of the friendship between a World War II veteran and a young archaeologist searching for the lost landing craft off the French coast.
by Elizabeth Burke
A modern anthology of words and images celebrating the spirit of the county of Suffolk, to mark the Queen's Platinum Jubilee.
by Xa Tollemache
With beautiful photography, this is the compelling and inspiring story of how Xa Tollemache learned to garden at Helmingham in Suffolk.
by Nicola Upson
Another fabulous Josephine Tey mystery, this time set in Suffolk in 1939 as children are evacuated from London at the start of the war.
by Anna Greenland
A beautiful and accessible introduction to growing your own food.
by Barbara Segall
There are 22 gardens spanning Suffolk, Norfolk, Cambridgeshire and Essex, each with glorious photography and a detailed account of the notable features as well as a short history of the owners and designers. Glorious!
by Marc Morris
This is a comprehensive, fascinating and very readable guide to the foundations of the nation of England.
by Adrian Bleese
A warm, engaging and entertaining personal story of working in police helicopters over Suffolk. Fascinating!
by AM Howell
A beautifully atmospheric and nostalgic tale where, whatever happens, the clocks must not stop!
by Katie Fisher
A collection of recipes for favourite duck dishes, as well as some surprises, and the story of the farming family behind this special breed.
by Melissa Harrison
Beautiful to look at and to hold, this is a fascinating and engaging diary of nature in both city and countryside from this award-winning writer.
by Meg Rosoff
A beautifully atmospheric, nostalgic yet contemporary account of a family spending one summer together by the sea.
by Simon Edge
A comic tale setting the already extraordinary story of the medieval saint Edmund against the shenanigans of modern British government.
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.
by Michelle Paver
A gothic novel with a disturbing and haunting Suffolk setting. A brilliantly atmospheric and sinister read.
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.
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.
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.
by Patricia Highsmith
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.
by Louise Millar
A couple move to Suffolk in the hope of adopting a child, but the house they are renovating holds unsettling secrets.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
by Sarah Ridgard
The village of Worlingworth in the 1980s - a bleak, dark, disturbing account of the secrets of village life.
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.
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.
by Dodie Smith
This wonderful coming-of-age classic is set in a castle inspired by the ruins at Wingfield, near Eye, Suffolk.
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.
by Rose Tremain
A powerful, moving and completely consuming account which has been meticulously and sensitively researched. Huge admiration expressed for the author.
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.
by Julie Myerson
A bleak but compelling story of a murder in a seaside town, based on Southwold.
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.
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.
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.
by Harriet Goodwin
A ghost story for children set in a house inspired by Sutton Hoo, near Woodbridge, Suffolk.
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.
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.