North Carolina is a state with a lot of different landscapes. This list of books set in the state will take you to places like the Atlantic Ocean and the forests that spread across the Blue Ridge Mountains and the Great Smoky Mountains of the Appalachian range.
Books Set In North Carolina: Introduction
The books on this list range from classics to modern fiction, and they were written by a lot of well-known North Carolina authors. There are books by local author Kaye Gibbons, like Ellen Foster and Charms for the Easy Life. There are also a lot of books from Jan Karon’s fourteen-book Mitford Years series (including At Home in Mitford, A Light in the Window and These High, Green Hills).
It would be impossible to talk about books set in North Carolina without talking about Nicholas Sparks, who lives in New Bern and has set many of his best-selling romance novels in the state. A Walk to Remember, A Walk to Remember, Nights in Rodanthe, Dear John, and Every Breath are all movies based on books. Born in Asheville, Charles Frazier won the National Book Award for his historical novel Cold Mountain in 1997. Thirteen Moons came out soon after. David Sedaris was born and raised in Raleigh. Some of the short stories in Me Talk Pretty One Day are about his childhood. On Agate Hill and Guests on Earth were both written by Lee Smith, who lives in Hillsborough. The latter is based on the life of Zelda Fitzgerald. When Sarah Addison Allen writes books about small towns, she uses magic and romance to make them more interesting. She is from Asheville and has written books like Garden Spells and The Sugar Queen. When Ron Rash was young, he lived in Boiling Springs. His books Serena and The Cove and The Risen have all been on the New York Times bestseller lists. Finally, Delia Owens’ first book, Where the Crawdads Sing, is set in the fictional Barkley Cove and has sold over 4.5 million copies. It has been on many bestseller lists.
Books Set In North Carolina
Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl by Harriet Ann Jacobs, 1861
Jacobs’ book, which was written between 1853 and 1858 and published in 1861, is one of the most important books ever written about slavery in the pre-Civil War South. It tells the story of Jacobs’ life as a slave in North Carolina and her final escape and emancipation.
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Look Homeward, Angel by Thomas Wolfe, 1929
Look Homeward, Angel is Wolfe’s first book, and it is thought to be a very personal American Bildungsroman. The character of Eugene Gant is usually thought to be a picture of Wolfe himself. The book is about Gant’s life from the time he was born until he was 19. It takes place in the fictional town of Altamont and state of Catawba, which is a play on his home town, Asheville, North Carolina, but with a twist. See what people say about the products.
If Morning Ever Comes by Anne Tyler, 1964
This story is set in Sandhill, North Carolina, but keep in mind that it is set there. In a family with six sisters, Mama and Gram are the only two men. Ben Joe is the only boy. Then he hears that his oldest sister, Joanne, has broken up with her husband and moved back home with her baby. Ben Joe goes back to the home where he has always felt like an outsider because he misses it and because he has to. See what people say about the products.
Christy by Catherine Marshall, 1967
This is between North Carolina and Tennessee, so keep that in mind. In Asheville, North Carolina, Christy Huddleston is a 19-year-old teacher who lives with her parents. The train that takes her home might as well be taking her to a different world. Cutter Gap, a small town in the Smoky Mountains, feels like it’s frozen in time. It’s stuck in poverty, superstitions, and century-old traditions. People don’t like Christy when she moves to a new place. They think she and her one-room school are a threat to their way of life, though. There are two strong men with very different ideas about how to help the Cove’s families. Her faith is shaken, and her heart is torn between these two men and what they think. See what people say about the products.
Ellen Foster by Kaye Gibbons, 1987
Gibbons was born and raised in Rocky Mount, North Carolina, which is where this setting was based on, so keep that in mind. In the beginning, I would think of ways to kill my father. I would figure out how to do this or that and run it through my head until it was easy. Kay Gibbons’s first book, Ellen Foster, is about Ellen Foster, a brave and fun heroine. An eleven-year-old heroine tells her story with honesty, perceptiveness, humor, and unselfconscious bravery in a way that will stay with you for a long time. See what people say about the products.
Ferris Beach by Jill McCorkle, 1990 (YA)
Katie Tennyson Burns is at a point in her life where everything is both good and bad. She, too, is caught up in a fight for her spirit, between a prim and sensible mother and a beautiful and risky cousin. It’s a great book about the conflict between manners and freedom, between people who follow the rules and people who bend and twist them. See what people say about the products.
Miss Julia Speaks Her Mind by Ann B. Ross, 1990
If you want to read all 20 books, you’ll need to start with “Miss Julia.” Miss Julia, a recently widowed and wealthy woman, is a little surprised when Hazel Marie Puckett shows up at her door with a young child and says that the child is the son of Miss Julia’s dead husband. There is an unseemly scandal going on in this longtime church member’s small Southern town, and she is the guardian of a nine-year-old girl who makes her life change just by being around her. See what people say about the products.
Charms for the Easy Life by Kaye Gibbons, 1993
The Birches are a family that doesn’t have any men. They live in the lush, green backwoods of North Carolina. Sophia, who is radiant and strong, and her daughter, Margaret, who is shy and brilliant, have powerful charms that can help people avoid loneliness and despair. It’s because of Charlie Kate’s eccentric wisdom and muscular love that they are safe. She is a strong, uncompromising, self-taught healer who can treat everything from boils to broken bones, and she does it all herself. See what people say about the products.
The Body Farm by Patricia Cornwell, 1994
Check this out: The fifth Kay Scarpetta book is out now. There is a place called the “Body Farm” that studies how bodies break down. When things go wrong for the police in Black Mountain, North Carolina: they only have to deal with one murder per year. People are still getting used to the idea of locking their doors at night. People are shocked when the body of an 11-year-old girl is found, but violent death doesn’t care where it is. Dr. Kay Scarpetta, the Chief Medical Examiner on a similar case in Virginia, is called in to help with this new case. The apparent simplicity of the case turns out to be a poisoned chalice for Scarpetta until she finds a new way to look at things through the Body Farm, a pathologists’ playground. See what people say about the products.
At Home in Mitford (Mitford Years #1) by Jan Karon, 1994
Keep in mind that this 14-book series takes place in Mitford, NC. As soon as you arrive in Mitford, it is very easy to feel right at home. You can breathe easy in these high, green hills. The village is beautiful, and the people are generally nice. Yet, Father Tim, the single rector, wants more. A dog the size of a couch comes in and stays. Add an attractive neighbor who starts to make a trail through the hedge. Then, add a boy who is loved but not loved, a mysterious theft of jewels, and a sixty-year-old secret to the mix and mix well. In a split second, Father Tim gets more than he bargained for. As a result, the book is a rich comedy about everyday people and their everyday lives. See what people say about the products.
A Light in the Window (Mitford Years #2) by Jan Karon, 1995
A light is shining through the window.
Is the second book in this popular series about a small-town rector, Father Tim, and the people who love and support him. He has been single his whole life. Cynthia, his free-spirited neighbor, is a distraction for Father Tim, a longtime bachelor. Edith, a rich widow who is wooing the rector with love potion casseroles, is a distraction for his stomach and the cash box at the church. Whenever a brooding Irish cousin moves in, Father Tim has to decide if he will follow through with what he says. See what people say about the products.
These High, Green Hills (Mitford Years #3) by Jan Karon, 1996
It has been a long time now, but Mitford’s rector, who is about 60, has been very happy with his parish. Now, he’s also married to Cynthia, the lively next-door neighbor who lives across the street from him. The life of Father Tim has never been so exciting. His wife is “aging” his already old kitchen walls, as well as setting fire to his draperies. In this story, the mountain boy he’s come to love as his own makes a heart-breaking choice. In addition, it’s mind-boggling to try to figure out how to use the church computer system. When his quiet home turns into a nursery, there’s chaos. That’s not even close to what happens on a camping trip in the wilderness that makes him a different person, though! See what people say about the products.
The Notebook by Nicholas Sparks, 1996
The Notebook is set on the North Carolina coast, and it starts with the story of Noah Calhoun, a rural Southerner who has just come back from the Second World War. Rebuilding an old plantation house is making Noah think about the girl he fell in love with 14 years ago. She was beautiful and he loved her more than anyone else. Noah doesn’t know where she is, but he doesn’t want to forget the summer they spent together. One day, she comes back to his town to see him again. See what people say about the products.
Cold Mountain by Charles Frazier, 1997
This story is set in Cold Mountain, North Carolina, which is part of the Blue Ridge Mountains in the state of North Carolina.
History and family stories about the area where Frazier lives were passed down by his great-great-grandfather. Cold Mountain is the story of a wounded Confederate soldier who walks away from the war and back home to his prewar sweetheart, Ada. It all happens at the same time as Ada is trying to get her father’s farm back on track with the help of a young drifter named Ruby. Inman and Ada meet for the first time in a long time at the end of the war, and they have to deal with a world that has changed a lot. See what people say about the products.