Via Goodreads
Via Goodreads

Sometimes, you just want to read a story set in a familiar setting.

Every state has its hallmark writers. Mississippi has William Faulkner and his incomparable (fictional) Yoknapatawpha County and Missouri can lay claim to Mark Twain. The state of Maine is gifted with Pulitzer winner Richard Russo and horror icon Stephen King. Rural Pennsylvania is the playground of the much-heralded (and occasionally maligned) John Updike, and when many bibliophiles think of New Jersey, they also think of Richard Ford’s series of novels featuring recurring Everyman character Frank Bascombe. Illinois can lay claim to William Maxwell, Sandra Cisneros, and Adam Langer, among numerous others. And what reader can think of Washington State without contending with the sparkle-vampire yarns of Stephanie Meyer?

What makes authors like these inextricably associated with a particular state is not simply the matter of their having been born there or choosing to live there. The connection, from a writerly standpoint, is deeper than that—their work, nearly all of it, is set in “their” state.

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Of course, there are certainly exceptions. Whether a writer sets a tale in the town where they went to college or spent part of their childhood—like Donna Tartt’s “The Secret History” and its New England arts school setting and the almost-factual small town of Jo Ann Beard’s “In Zanesville,” respectively—or crafts a story that follows a social or political theme to a location they know little about but lay narrative claim to anyway, the world is rife with books known, loved, and respected that also capture the essence of place—books where setting itself is one of the strongest characters.

Stacker compiled a list of books set in Virginia from Goodreads. Whether you’re looking for a good read set in the state you call home, or you’re looking to expand your curiosity with a writer you’re already familiar with, we’ve got you covered.

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Misty Of Chincoteague

Goodreads

– Rating: 4.05 (44,172 ratings)
– Author: Marguerite Henry
– Published: January 1, 1947
– Genres: Childrens, Fiction, Classics, Horses
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She’s My Dad

Goodreads

– Rating: 4.06 (95 ratings)
– Author: Iolanthe Woulff
– Published: November 13, 2009
– Genres: LGBT, Fiction, Transgender, Young Adult
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The Shaman of Turtle Valley

Goodreads

– Rating: 4.43 (47 ratings)
– Author: Clifford Garstang
– Published: May 14, 2019
– Genres: Fiction
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Bridge to Terabithia

Goodreads

– Rating: 4.03 (506,348 ratings)
– Author: Katherine Paterson
– Published: October 21, 1977
– Genres: Fiction, Young Adult, Classics, Childrens
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Meet Felicity: An American Girl (American Girls: Felicity, #1)

Goodreads

– Rating: 3.91 (11,875 ratings)
– Author: Valerie Tripp
– Published: September 1, 1991
– Genres: Historical Fiction, Childrens, Fiction, Historical
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Wish You Were Here (Mrs. Murphy, #1)

Goodreads

– Rating: 3.84 (10,685 ratings)
– Author: Rita Mae Brown
– Published: November 1, 1990
– Genres: Mystery, Fiction, Cozy Mystery, Animals
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The Fallen Snow

Goodreads

– Rating: 3.92 (334 ratings)
– Author: John J. Kelley
– Published: December 18, 2012
– Genres: Historical Fiction, Historical, Fiction, War
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Big Stone Gap (Big Stone Gap, #1)

Goodreads

– Rating: 3.85 (44,596 ratings)
– Author: Adriana Trigiani
– Published: January 1, 2000
– Genres: Fiction, Romance, Chick Lit, Adult Fiction
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The Diva Runs Out of Thyme (A Domestic Diva Mystery, #1)

Goodreads

– Rating: 3.95 (6,157 ratings)
– Author: Krista Davis
– Published: September 7, 2008
– Genres: Mystery, Cozy Mystery, Fiction, Audiobook
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The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks

Goodreads

– Rating: 4.09 (673,080 ratings)
– Author: Rebecca Skloot
– Published: February 2, 2010
– Genres: Nonfiction, Science, History, Biography
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True Places

Goodreads

– Rating: 3.93 (21,870 ratings)
– Author: Sonja Yoerg
– Published: January 1, 2019
– Genres: Fiction, Contemporary, Mystery, Literary Fiction
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Boat Girl: A Memoir of Youth, Love & Fiberglass

Goodreads

– Rating: 4.03 (129 ratings)
– Author: Melanie Neale
– Published: September 29, 2012
– Genres: Memoir, Travel, Nonfiction, Biography
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Be Still My Soul (The Cadence of Grace, #1)

Goodreads

– Rating: 4.12 (1,152 ratings)
– Author: Joanne Bischof
– Published: October 1, 2012
– Genres: Christian Fiction, Historical Fiction, Romance, Christian
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Murder With Peacocks (Meg Langslow, #1)

Goodreads

– Rating: 3.89 (10,656 ratings)
– Author: Donna Andrews
– Published: January 1, 1999
– Genres: Mystery, Cozy Mystery, Fiction, Humor
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The Known World

Goodreads

– Rating: 3.82 (40,441 ratings)
– Author: Edward P. Jones
– Published: September 1, 2003
– Genres: Historical Fiction, Fiction, African American, Historical
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Rest in Pieces (Mrs. Murphy #2)

Goodreads

– Rating: 3.98 (4,648 ratings)
– Author: Rita Mae Brown
– Published: August 1, 1992
– Genres: Mystery, Fiction, Cozy Mystery, Animals
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The Winter Calf (Maple Gap #1)

Goodreads

– Rating: 4.14 (64 ratings)
– Author: Michael S. Nuckols
– Published: February 28, 2014
– Genres: Horror, Novels
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Gray Mountain

Goodreads

– Rating: 3.63 (91,946 ratings)
– Author: John Grisham
– Published: October 21, 2014
– Genres: Fiction, Mystery, Thriller, Legal Thriller
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The Kitchen House

Goodreads

– Rating: 4.20 (255,548 ratings)
– Author: Kathleen Grissom
– Published: February 2, 2010
– Genres: Historical Fiction, Fiction, Historical, Book Club
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Absolute Power

Goodreads

– Rating: 4.18 (100,924 ratings)
– Author: David Baldacci
– Published: October 4, 1995
– Genres: Fiction, Thriller, Mystery, Suspense
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To Have and to Hold

Goodreads

– Rating: 3.98 (727 ratings)
– Author: Mary Johnston
– Published: January 1, 1899
– Genres: Historical Fiction, Classics, Fiction, Historical
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The Unlikely Disciple: A Sinner’s Semester at America’s Holiest University

Goodreads

– Rating: 3.97 (11,865 ratings)
– Author: Kevin Roose
– Published: March 12, 2009
– Genres: Nonfiction, Religion, Memoir, Biography
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Sea Star: Orphan of Chincoteague (Misty, #2)

Goodreads

– Rating: 3.97 (6,187 ratings)
– Author: Marguerite Henry
– Published: January 1, 1949
– Genres: Horses, Childrens, Fiction, Animals
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Something Must Be Done About Prince Edward County: A Family, a Virginia Town, a Civil Rights Battle

Goodreads

– Rating: 3.84 (1,562 ratings)
– Author: Kristen Green
– Published: May 19, 2015
– Genres: Nonfiction, History, Education, Race
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The Dying of the Light

Goodreads

– Rating: 3.22 (956 ratings)
– Author: Robert Goolrick
– Published: July 3, 2018
– Genres: Historical Fiction, Fiction, Historical, Adult
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The Killing Hour (Quincy & Rainie, #4)

Goodreads

– Rating: 4.18 (26,555 ratings)
– Author: Lisa Gardner
– Published: July 15, 2003
– Genres: Mystery, Thriller, Fiction, Suspense
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Postmortem (Kay Scarpetta, #1)

Goodreads

– Rating: 4.03 (229,771 ratings)
– Author: Patricia Cornwell
– Published: January 9, 1990
– Genres: Mystery, Crime, Fiction, Thriller
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Weird Virginia: Your Travel Guide to Virginia’s Local Legends and Best Kept Secrets

Goodreads

– Rating: 3.65 (229 ratings)
– Author: Jeff Bahr
– Published: June 1, 2007
– Genres: Travel, Nonfiction, History, Ghosts
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Crazy, VA (Lil and Boris, #1)

Goodreads

– Rating: 3.92 (988 ratings)
– Author: Shannon Hill
– Published: December 31, 2012
– Genres: Mystery, Fiction, Cozy Mystery, Animals
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Flowers in the Attic (Dollanganger, #1)

Goodreads

– Rating: 3.84 (189,658 ratings)
– Author: V.C. Andrews
– Published: January 1, 1979
– Genres: Fiction, Horror, Young Adult, Classics
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The Silence of the Lambs (Hannibal Lecter, #2)

Goodreads

– Rating: 4.23 (519,035 ratings)
– Author: Thomas Harris
– Published: July 1, 1988
– Genres: Horror, Fiction, Thriller, Mystery
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A Little Maid of Virginia

Goodreads

– Rating: 3.75 (36 ratings)
– Author: Alice Turner Curtis
– Published: January 1, 1922
– Genres: Historical Fiction, Historical, Fiction
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The Next Accident (Quincy & Rainie, #3)

Goodreads

– Rating: 4.19 (19,886 ratings)
– Author: Lisa Gardner
– Published: August 20, 2001
– Genres: Mystery, Thriller, Suspense, Fiction
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Split Second (Sean King & Michelle Maxwell, #1)

Goodreads

– Rating: 4.03 (68,332 ratings)
– Author: David Baldacci
– Published: January 1, 2002
– Genres: Mystery, Fiction, Thriller, Crime
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I, Alex Cross (Alex Cross, #16)

Goodreads

– Rating: 4.02 (41,414 ratings)
– Author: James Patterson
– Published: November 16, 2009
– Genres: Mystery, Fiction, Thriller, Crime
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First Lady (Wynette, Texas, #4)

Goodreads

– Rating: 3.99 (12,275 ratings)
– Author: Susan Elizabeth Phillips
– Published: January 1, 2000
– Genres: Romance, Contemporary Romance, Contemporary, Chick Lit
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Dead of Night (Doc Ford Mystery, #12)

Goodreads

– Rating: 3.96 (2,045 ratings)
– Author: Randy Wayne White
– Published: March 17, 2005
– Genres: Mystery, Fiction, Thriller, Mystery Thriller
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Tail Spin (FBI Thriller, #12)

Goodreads

– Rating: 4.08 (9,578 ratings)
– Author: Catherine Coulter
– Published: June 24, 2008
– Genres: Mystery, Fiction, Romance, Thriller
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Miss Ophelia

Goodreads

– Rating: 4.04 (147 ratings)
– Author: Mary Burnett Smith
– Published: August 20, 1997
– Genres: Historical Fiction, Coming Of Age, Fiction, Drama
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Candle in the Darkness (Refiner’s Fire, #1)

Goodreads

– Rating: 4.27 (14,981 ratings)
– Author: Lynn Austin
– Published: November 1, 2002
– Genres: Historical Fiction, Christian Fiction, Fiction, Christian
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In the Land of Cotton

Goodreads

– Rating: 4.19 (16 ratings)
– Author: Maryann Austin
– Published: May 16, 2013
– Genres: Civil War, Historical Fiction
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Boy in the Ivy: The Inner Child of a Buried Man

Goodreads

– Rating: 4.60 (15 ratings)
– Author: T. McKinley
– Published: June 4, 2013
– Genres: Psychology
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Killer Sweet Tooth: A Daphne Martin Cake Mystery

Goodreads

– Rating: 3.83 (290 ratings)
– Author: Gayle Trent
– Published: October 11, 2011
– Genres: Mystery, Cozy Mystery, Chick Lit, Fiction
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Jericho

Goodreads

– Rating: 4.20 (3,327 ratings)
– Author: Ann McMan
– Published: December 1, 2010
– Genres: Romance, LGBT, Lesbian, Fiction
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Heartsick

Goodreads

– Rating: 3.48 (87 ratings)
– Author: Caitlin Sinead
– Published: February 16, 2015
– Genres: New Adult, Contemporary, Romance, Mystery
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Imagining Reality

Goodreads

– Rating: 3.98 (785 ratings)
– Author: Lynn Galli
– Published: July 27, 2007
– Genres: Lesbian, Lesbian Romance, LGBT, Romance
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His Everlasting Love: 50 Loving States, Virginia

Goodreads

– Rating: 4.20 (1,097 ratings)
– Author: Theodora Taylor
– Published: September 25, 2015
– Genres: Romance, Paranormal, Interracial Romance, Ghosts
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The Killer Angels (The Civil War Trilogy, #2)

Goodreads

– Rating: 4.32 (81,477 ratings)
– Author: Michael Shaara
– Published: January 1, 1974
– Genres: Historical Fiction, Fiction, Civil War, War
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