July 3rd is National Beans Day! The city of Boston, Massachusetts is often referred to as Beantown, which refers to the historical, local popularity of baked beans. Read these 7 books set in the Bean City to celebrate National Eat Beans Day!
It Ends With Us by Colleen Hoover
One of Colleen Hoover’s most popular books, It Ends With Us follows the story of Lily, a young woman in Boston who is starting her own florist business. When Lily meets Ryle Kincaid, she falls in love, but she struggles to let go of people from her past who continue to haunt her. Flooded by memories of her mother, who is mourning the loss of Lily’s father, and Atlas Corrigan, her first love, Lily battles past trauma as she faces obstacles in her new relationship.
The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath
Sylvia Plath tells the story of college student Esther Greenwood in her book The Bell Jar. Esther, a talented, aspiring poet, struggles with her identity during a month-long editorial internship in New York City. Plath invites the reader into the mind of Esther who is on the precipice of a breakdown that will rob her of her sanity. This haunting American Classic shines a light on some of the darkest corners of the human psyche while also making a commentary on life for women in the 1950s.
Ulrich Boser shares with readers the true story of the world’s largest unsolved art theft in his novel The Gardner Heist. In 1990, the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston was robbed of dozens of priceless masterpieces in what is now known as the largest unsolved art theft in history. The two robbers’ loot included one Vermeer, three Rembrandts, and five Degas. The missing masterpieces total worth is $500 million. With a hefty reward set, countless interviews, and years of hard work, nothing has come of the investigation. Reporter Ulrich Boser travels deep into the art underworld as he picks up where lead investigator, Harold Smith, left off on the case.
The Boston Girl by Anita Diamant
The Boston Girl is a coming of age novel that tells the story of Addie Baum, a young Jewish Woman growing up in Boston in the early 20th century. Best selling author Anita Diamant tells the story through the perspective of 85-year-old Addie who is telling her life story to her 22-year-old granddaughter. Addie begins her story in 1915, the year she found her voice and the friends who would help shape her into the woman she is today. Diamant beautifully illustrates a funny, and compelling tale of a woman finding her place in a changing world.
Gone Baby Gone by Dennis Lehane
Patrick Kenzie and Angela Gennaro, private detectives in Boston, are hired to search for a missing 4-year-old girl in Gone Baby Gone. Dennis Lehane’s thriller invites readers into a dangerous, dark world as Patrick and Angela venture into violence and crime in search of the missing Amanda McCready. With no idea where Amanda disappeared to, Patrick and Angela are faced with more challenges when another child goes missing. Filled with lies, deceit, and shocking twists, Gone Baby Gone is a shocking, suspenseful novel.
The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood
Set in dystopian Boston, Margaret Atwood showcases a haunting possibility for the future. The Handmaid’s Tale follows the life of Offred, a handmaid who is in service to the commander and his wife in Gilead, the capital city of the new, Theocratic government. In a time when most women are infertile, Offred serves as a vessel for the commander and his wife to have children. Grappling with this new world order that has stolen her autonomy, Offred remembers life only a few years earlier with her husband, daughter, and job.
Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace
David Foster Wallace explores the relationship between the desire to be entertained and connections with other people in his philosophical comedy Infinite Jest. Set between an addict’s halfway house and a tennis academy, Wallace details the lives of an American family. With unconventional narrative structures and enough humor to counterpart its harrowing, depth, Infinite Jest illustrates a candid reality of mental illness.
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