What are the best books set in Australia?

asked by Anonymous
326 contributors
30 solutions
  1. 44

    #1The Thorn Birds

    The Thorn Birds

    This book narrates the adventures of three generations from the same sheep country Australia family. It mainly focuses in two characters, Meggie Cleary, who is trying her best to possess the man she loves, and Ralph de Bricassart, a man who will make it to the Vatican but has strong feelings for Meggie. 

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    Wayne Jones
    Written on April 17, 2018
    "The Australian setting is a strong selling point for this one. The writing is incredibly vivid to the point where you feel like you're there or you've been to Australia before. Also, the character development is extraordinary."
  2. 42

    #2The Light Between Oceans

    The Light Between Oceans
    The Light Between Oceans is a historical fiction novel by M.L. Stedman. Set in Australia, it tells the story of Tom Sherbourne, a lighthouse keeper, and how a decision he made with his wife changed their life forever.
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    Johnny Fernandez
    Written on April 9, 2018
    "This is a heart wrenching story about the choices we face in life and the decisions that we make. The book will keep your interest to the end and is a well crafted and beautifully written story. The idea that the couples decision making carries more weight because of their isolation works well. Overall, a deeply sad tale that is worthy of a read."
  3. 37

    #3The Secret River

    The Secret River
    The Secret River is an award-winning historical fiction novel by Kate Greenville. Set in the early 19th century, it follows the story of William Thornhill, who makes life better for himself and his wife after getting deported to Australia.
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    Arturo Mata
    Written on April 14, 2018
    "I've been on a early days Australia novels kick, and The Secret River was recommended to me by a friend. It's very though-provoking about the early setting of what would become Australia. The way that the characters interact with the native aboriginals is definitely a conversation-starter."
  1. 36

    #4Oscar and Lucinda

    Oscar and Lucinda

    Oscar and Lucinda is a Booker Prize-winning novel by Australian author Peter Carey. It tells the story of Oscar and Lucinda, who are both proven gamblers, as they take on a bet that changed the course of their lives.

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    Judy Cole
    Written on April 16, 2018
    "Oscar and Lucinda is an enjoyable book set in Australia"
  2. 33

    #5A Town Like Alice

    A Town Like Alice

    A Town Like Alice is a novel by Nevil Shute. Set during World War II, it follows the story of Jean Paget, who travels to the outbacks of Australia to look for the Australian soldier who saved her life. 

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    Walter James
    Written on April 20, 2018
    " I have always liked war novels especially the setting of World War II. This story takes a surprising twist and that the setting takes place in Australia a location not really thought about during this tents collision. Explore this unique novel that combines fiction with nonfiction"
  3. 31

    #6Fortunate Life

    Fortunate Life

    Fortunate Life is an autobiography by A.B. Facey. Born in 1894, it chronicles his life as a pioneer in the Australian outbacks. Facey's life was rife with unspeakable struggles, and yet he still considered it to be a fortunate life. 

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    Samuel Hill
    Written on April 13, 2018
    "I really found this book to be quite moving. It depicts the harshness of early life down in Australia on the outback. I could really relate to the setbacks that Facey was dealt on a regular basis. If you enjoy history or all things Aussie then this book will grab your interest."
  4. 29

    #7The Forgotten Garden

    The Forgotten Garden

    The Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton was an inspiration to the author's own family history. The book is about the main character's discovery about her family history and her identity. It also highlights the overcoming of loved one's loss.

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    Saanvi Das
    Written on April 6, 2018
    "This is intriguing and unexpected! I assumed that this would be a Secret Garden knock-off! Instead it's full of fantasy, vivid imagery, and has all the feels. Loss is a powerful thing, I'm glad the book takes notice of that. This book says it is set in Australia, and I'm sure it is, but that hasn't been the main focus of it at all. "
  5. 27

    #8Saving Francesca

    Saving Francesca

    Saving Francesca is a young adult novel by award-winning author Melina Marchetta. It tells the story of Francesca, who struggles with her mother's depression, her failing social life, and her sense of self.

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    Patricia Price
    Written on April 6, 2018
    "This solution not only isn't very specific about the school (St. Sebastian's also exists in Massachusetts), but upon further research, there are better books that are set in Australia and are more popular. I do not think this is a good solution, unless this specific book is trying to be marketed "
  6. 13

    #9The Husband's Secret

    The Husband's Secret
    The Husband's Secret is a contemporary adult mystery novel written by Liane Moriarty. This adult fiction book is about Cecilia's late husband's letter that is full of shocking revelations. It is first published in 2013 by Berkley. 
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    Bryan Barnes
    Written on April 28, 2018
    "The solution really hits the nail on the head. With an impressive 4.5 star average review from nearly 19,000 reviewers, The Husband's Secret definitely is a great book according to its readers. It also is set in Australia which meets the other criterion set. "
  7. 4

    #10True History of the Kelly Gang

    True History of the Kelly Gang
    The True Story of the Kelly Gang is a historical fiction novel by Peter Carey, originally published in 2000. Written as an autobiography, it tells the story of the famous Australian outlaw, Ned Kelly. 
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    Rachel Carr
    Written on April 23, 2018
    "Ned Kelly is a fascinating character in the work of Peter Carey. This is an extremely well written and well researched book. The author takes a creative approach by telling the story from Kelly's perspective. But it makes little tough to read."
  8. 0

    #11Sixty Lights

    Sixty Lights

    Sixty Lights is a historical fiction novel written by Gail Jones. This historical fiction novel was published on May 5, 2005 by Vintage. Sixty Lights follows the life of a girl named Lucy Strange.

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    George Young
    Written on May 5, 2018
    "Sixty Lights is one of my favorite books set in Australia. It tells the story of Lucy Strange and her growing up in a Victorian era Australia. It is quite a good story."
  9. 0

    #12Triptych

    Triptych

    Triptych is a standalone adult erotica fiction novella written by Krissy Kneen which centers on Leda and Susanna who pursue a sexual adventure online. 

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    Daniel Fox
    Written on April 26, 2018
    "The Australian setting is one of the few things that were good about this book. With Krissy's other books, she really challenged the reader's way of thinking. This book doesn't feel like our writing at all. The character development and overall writing feels elementary compared to her other works."
  10. 0

    #13The Night Guest

    The Night Guest

    The Night Guest is a standalone mystery fiction novel written by Fiona McFarlane which follows widowed Ruth living in an isolated beach house after she received a visit from Frida claiming to be her carer.

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    James Richardson
    Written on April 22, 2018
    "Cool little story taking place on the continent of Australia. The main character is a widow living on an isolated beach, and from there Ill let you find out the rest. Really enjoyed it myself."
  11. 0

    #14Gould's Book of Fish

    Gould's Book of Fish
    Gould's Book of Fish is a historical fiction novel by Australian writer Richard Miller Flanagan. Set during the 19th century, it tells the story of British colonialism in Australia. It won the Man Booker Prize in 2014. 
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    Ann Hanson
    Written on April 28, 2018
    "This one is a little rough to read. I had to keep putting it down and going back to it later after I digested some of what was written."
  12. 0

    #15Morgan's Run

    Morgan's Run

    Morgan's Run is a historical fiction novel by Colleen McCullough, first published in 2000. Set in the 18th century, it tells the story of a British man, Richard Morgan, and his exile in Australia.

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    Beverly Howard
    Written on April 19, 2018
    "I loved the Thorn Birds, and as this is from the same author, I thought I'd give Morgan's Run a try...and I'm glad I did! Terrific story, with the backdrop of the beginning of bringing convicts over from England to Australia. I have lots of Australian friends and they consider it a badge of honor to have a convict in their lineage, lol. Highly recommend!"
  13. 0

    #16The Secret Lives of Emma: Beginnings

    The Secret Lives of Emma: Beginnings
    The Secret Lives of Emma is an adult erotica fiction novel written by Natasha Walker which centers on married woman Emma Benson and her neighbor's 18-year-old son who she will teach sexual things. 
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    Louis Ferguson
    Written on April 25, 2018
    "The Secret Lives of Emma: Beginnings is an erotica title that was written in Australia. It offers stories of sexual experiences and visual imagery. It's quite detailed in its stories, perfect for those interested in adult stories."
  14. 0

    #17The Fatal Shore: The Epic of Australia's Founding

    The Fatal Shore: The Epic of Australia's Founding

    The Fatal Shore: The Epic of Australia's Founding is a book about the historical birth of Australia written by Robert Hughes. This was originally published in 1986.

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    Charles Berry
    Written on May 9, 2018
    "I am a fan of Australian culture, and I've always been curios as to their origins. I brought my questions up to my professor, and he recommended The Fatal Shore. I got about half way through the book, before boredom took over and I realized I didn't actually care about Australian history. So I returned the book to my teacher"
  15. 0

    #18Picnic at Hanging Rock

    Picnic at Hanging Rock

    Picnic at Hanging Rock is a historical fiction novel by Joan Lindsay, originally published in 1967. It tells the story of three girls who disappeared and never returned. A film adaptation of the book was released in 1975. 

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    Patrick Brewer
    Written on April 27, 2018
    "Picnic at Hanging Rock is an Australian classic that I've recently read and loved. I recommend reading this then watching the film adaptation afterwards."
  16. 0

    #19On the Beach

    On the Beach
    After the war that took most human life from Earth is over, a radioactive cloud has made the southern countries the only inhabitable place on Eart. One of these survivors is an American submarine captain, that after picking up a Morse code signal, will go back to the United States looking for more survivors. 




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    Kathy Lewis
    Written on April 21, 2018
    "I have always been fascinated with the land of Australia. This has lead me to pick out books that are set in this place as I find these to be the most interesting. On the Beach was a book that I picked up not expecting much but this book turned out to be one of the best that I've read in a long time."
  17. 0

    #20The Mystery of a Hansom Cab

    The Mystery of a Hansom Cab

    The Mystery of a Hansom Cab is a crime mystery novel written by Fergus Hume which centers on a detective trying to find the truth behind the murder of a man in a hansom cab in Melbourne. 

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    Jack Lawrence
    Written on April 25, 2018
    "Books that are set in Australia are always exciting. I think one of the best of these is The Mystery of a Hansom Cab. It is very thrilling. "
  18. 0

    #21Bitter Wash Road

    Bitter Wash Road

    Bitter Wash Road is a standalone crime mystery novel written by Garry Disher which centers on Constable Paul Hirschhausen who is sent to Australia’s southernmost booming metropolis Tiverton after his demotion. 

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    Jenny Zhou
    Written on April 27, 2018
    "I was immediately drawn in by the premise of Bitter Wash Road: a demoted law enforcement officer who is banished to a remote posting gets in over his head. The plot and successful storytelling by the author definitely lived up to my expectation. I picked this up after a recent visit to Australia and reading it honestly made me want to visit again!"
  19. 0

    #22A Few Right Thinking Men (Rowland Sinclair)

    A Few Right Thinking Men (Rowland Sinclair)

    A Few Right Thinking Men is the first book in the historical mystery fiction series Rowland Sinclair written by Sulari Gentill which centers on artist Rowland Sinclair.

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    Patrick Hall
    Written on April 25, 2018
    " A Few Right Thinking Men (Rowland Sinclair) is the primary leadoff book in a mystery series about artist Rowland Sinclair in Australia. A good read for those into fiction on that continent."
  20. 0

    #23The Brush-Off (Murray Whelan)

    The Brush-Off (Murray Whelan)

    The Brush Off is the second book in the crime mystery fiction series Murray Whelan written by Shane Maloney which follows the life of Murray Whelan.

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    Amanda Larson
    Written on April 30, 2018
    "Not a very good solution given the topic. There is better solutions out there for this specific topic"
  21. 0

    #24Chocolate Box Girls Sweet Honey

    Chocolate Box Girls Sweet Honey

    Chocolate Box Girls Sweet Honey is a children's fiction novel written by Cathy Cassidy and it was first published in June 2014 by Puffin Books. This book tells the story of Honey traveling to Australia to live with father.

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    Jason Payne
    Written on May 13, 2018
    "This "Chocolate Box Girls" book (a teen series) is excellent. It is by award winning author Cassidy and it lives up to expectations. The fun is had by a carefully daring girl and her friends.. The story is tightly developed and is exciting to read."
  22. 0

    #25Moonlight Downs (Emily Tempest)

    Moonlight Downs (Emily Tempest)

    Moonlight Downs is the first book in the crime mystery fiction series Emily Tempest written by Adrian Hyland which centers on Aboriginal woman Emily Tempest.

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    Eugene Jensen
    Written on April 23, 2018
    "Moonlight Downs is a good read for just about anyone. I love the setting in Australia. The location and characters are very realistic and really come to life. There is a good reason this book is an award winner. It is an interesting and original mystery story."
  23. 0

    #26Thorny Devils (Peter Clancy)

    Thorny Devils (Peter Clancy)
    Thornydevils is the second book in the mystery thriller fiction series Peter Clancy written by T.W. Lawless which continues to follow Peter Clancy caught in a plot involving drug importation, police corruption, and some kinky sex.
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    Michael Kennedy
    Written on April 29, 2018
    "I am not really one to judge a book with less than 5 ratings but if you closely pay attention to the details the reviews of the people who already read the book, you will get a good idea whether to purchase this one for yourself whether or not this book is one of the best or not. For those little ratings this books got, I would still consider this one a decent book."
  24. 0

    #27The Dragon Man (Inspector Challis)

    The Dragon Man (Inspector Challis)

    The Dragon Man is the first book in the crime mystery fiction series Inspector Challis written by Garry Disher which centers on Detective Inspector Hal Challis and his team trying to find a serial killer on the loose. 

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    Kathy Herrera
    Written on May 1, 2018
    "This book is good when I got into it. I had a slow start with it but like it now. I look forward to more of these."
  25. 0

    #28Cocaine Blues (Phryne Fisher Mysteries)

    Cocaine Blues (Phryne Fisher Mysteries)
    Cocaine Blues is the first book in the historical fiction series Phryne Fisher written by Kerry Greenwood which centers on Phryne Fisher who gets caught up in a mystery upon arriving in Melbourne's Hotel Windsor.
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    Hansika Rodrigues
    Written on April 30, 2018
    "This is a book which actually turned into a tv series, if you enjoy mysteries you shall enjoy. When Fisher decides to go to Australia she gets caught up in the mystery that is upon the hotel Windsor. "
  26. 0

    #29The Bone is Pointed (Inspector Napoleon Bonaparte)

    The Bone is Pointed (Inspector Napoleon Bonaparte)

    The Bone is Pointed is the sixth book in the crime mystery fiction series Inspector Napoleon Bonaparte written by Arthur W. Upfield which centers on Bonaparte trying to find out the truth behind the disappearance of Jack Anderson.

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    Theresa Phillips
    Written on May 2, 2018
    "This book has quite a few great reviews and many of them talk about this being a classic Australian novel from the 50's full of Aussie speak and everything. If you want to read something set in Australia this book seems like it would top most lists."
  27. 0

    #30Laurinda

    Laurinda

    Laurinda is a young adult contemporary fiction novel written by Alice Pung. This realistic fiction was originally published in 2014. Laurinda is about a girl's struggle to battle for her integrity and identity.

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    Christina Fisher
    Written on May 7, 2018
    "I've always wanted to visit Australia so I thought I would enjoy this book. It gave a unique insight into the younger years of Australian girls, but I prefer adult fiction more than this."

Summary

Best What are the best books set in Australia
RankSolutionsTypeVotesPrice
1The Thorn BirdsBooks 44 Paid
2The Light Between OceansBooks 42 Paid
3The Secret RiverBooks 37 Paid
4Oscar and LucindaBooks 36 Paid
5A Town Like AliceBooks 33 Paid
6Fortunate LifeBooks 31 Paid
7The Forgotten GardenBooks 29 Paid
8Saving FrancescaBooks 27 Paid
9The Husband's SecretBooks 13 Paid
10True History of the Kelly GangBooks 4 Paid
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