books set in Australia

Ep 21: 5 Great Books Set in Australia

Are you ready to get away to Australia? In today’s episode, my guest, Alina, is looking for a literary escape to Australia. So, I’ve got a fabulous list of books set in Australia just for her (and you)!

books set in australia

Reader Escape to Australia

In this episode, I have the pleasure of talking with one of the members of my Literary Escape Society book club, Alina.

Check out where we go and what books I’ve recommended today.

Listen to Books Set in Australia

In This Episode We’ll Cover

I had a request for a Reader Escape from Literary Escape Society book club member Alina. Alina requested books set in Australia for her literary escape. Check out below which books I chose for her literary getaway.

Destination: Australia

Genres: Historical fiction, cozy mysteries, classic

Books Set in Australia

Here are the five novels set in Australia that I recommended for this Reader Escape. Make sure you listen to the episode to hear all about each of the books and what Alina thinks of my recommendations for her.

Books Set in Australia mentioned in this episode

In Falling Snow by Mary Rose-MacColl (Genre: historical fiction)

Bodies on the Beach by Stacey Alabaster (Genre: cozy mystery)

Death at Victoria Dock by Kerry Greenwood (Genre: cozy mystery)

The Touch by Colleen McCullough (Genre: classic)

The Thorn Birds by Colleen McCullough (Genre: classic)

Links from this episode

Want to learn more about any of the books from this episode? CLICK HERE to check out any of those books

Literary Escape Society – Interested in learning more about the Literary Escape Society? CLICK HERE and I’ve got a special deal just for you!

Here are 3 ways we keep up with our favorite novels and what’s coming out each month:

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  2. Try Kindle Unlimited Membership Plan for free for one month. You can find all the new books coming out each month.
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Keep in Touch with Me

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Transcript of Show

In case you are unable to listen to this episode, here’s the transcript of the conversation.

Becki Svare 0:02
Hey there, I’m Becki, and welcome to Literary Escapes Podcast, where we travel the world one book at a time. Today, I have a reader request for an escape. So let’s see where we’re going today. I hope you enjoy the show.

So welcome again to another episode of the Literary Escapes Podcast. Today I am joined by Alina who is one of the members of my Literary Escape Society book club, and I absolutely love having her part of it because she reads like crazy. She reads a heck of a lot more than I do. Alina, welcome to the show today.

Alina 0:42
Hi, Becki. Nice to speak to you in the podcast.

Becki Svare 0:48
So, where you’re joining me from today.

Alina 0:51
I live in Rotterdam in the Netherlands. So that’s where I am at the moment.

Becki Svare 1:00
Rotterdam, right. And you are a big reader.

Alina: I am. I am almost addicted you could say.

Becki: There are worse things to be addicted to right?!

Alina: My wallet sometimes doesn’t like it.

Becki: Just keep telling yourself, you’re not spending that money on drugs.

Aina: That’s true. So I have always been a big reader. I think I’ve always read a lot. I mean, my mother was a big reader too. And she used to read almost anything. I mean, we always had books at home. The latest blockbuster, bestsellers, also, classics, and she was crazy about Agatha Christie and all kinds of mysteries.

So she was always like, oh, I have a new one. And I always thought that it was a very good thing for us to learn to read. She would buy us books or take us to the library.

I was born in Cuba, but I grew up in Curacao, which is an island in the Caribbean. It’s a Dutch Island. It’s still a part of the Netherlands. So we learned Dutch at school.

Becki: How interesting. So, what language do you read in typically,

Alina: Nowadays I usually read English because that’s the most available. So yeah, I read English a lot. I do read a lot of Dutch when I read a Dutch writer.

Becki: Yeah, that makes sense.

Alina: I do read some translated literature if it’s come from Germany, or places where the language of Dutch is compatible. And I read Spanish.

Becki: Well, that makes sense. Since you started out Spanish.

Alina 3:12
My first language is Spanish, but I don’t read that as much either, because it’s not as available,

Becki 3:20
That makes sense. So today, you wanted a reader escape and tell me where we’re going to today.

Alina: We’re going to Australia.

Becki: Nice! Have you ever actually been to Australia?

Alina: Yes, I’m even wearing a T-shirt saying Australia. If I ever had a bucket list, that was Australia. I think even before I left Curacao, in the Caribbean, I already was completely crazy about Australia. So I did go to Australia, and it didn’t disappoint me.

Becki: That’s awesome. Don’t you love that when they don’t disappoint?

Alina 4:06
Yes. I love that. Yeah.

Becki 4:08
I have never been to Australia. So I’m happy to go with you today in our books. So what is the first genre that you’d like?

Alina 4:17
I think historical fiction.

Becki 4:23
Historical fiction. That’s a good one. I have really been enjoying historical fiction lately, and especially ones that have dual timelines. And so the choice for you on this one is a book called In Falling Snow by Mary Rose McCall.

So here’s the blurb on that one. Iris Crane’s tranquil life is shattered when a letter summons memories from her bittersweet past. Her first love, her best friend, and the tragedy that changed everything.

Iris, a young Australian nurse travels to France during World War One to bring home her 15-year-old brother who ran away to be enlisted. But in Paris, she meets the charismatic doctor, Francis Ivans who convinces Iris to help establish a field hospital in the old Abbey, staffed entirely by women. A decision that will change her life.

Seamlessly interwoven is the story of Grace, Iris’s granddaughter in 1970s Australia. Together their narratives paint a portrait of the changing role of women in medicine, and the powerful legacy of love.

So we’ve got these two stories, one that started in Australia back in World War One. In the mid to late 1910s, and then we’ve got the 1970s Australia. That one sounded like it would give a really interesting picture of the two timelines of Australia.

You’re going to get some France in there, too. That’s a bonus. This book sounded like it would be a really interesting story. I have not read much of the World War One stories and so I thought that might be kind of interesting.

Alina 6:12
Nice. Sounds very interesting. I have not read this one. So, you did well.

Becki 6:20
It’s hard to find ones you haven’t read because, as I said, I know that you’re a big reader. So what’s our second genre that you wanted today?

Alina 6:32
Our second genre would be Cozy Mystery.

Becki 6:35
I love a good cozy mystery. I had fun looking for this one. There is a series called Hang Ten which is an Australian Cozy Mystery series. And so I thought that sounded just perfect for a good Australian book. So the first one in that series is called Bodies on the Beach. The series is written by Stacey Alabaster.

And our little blurb on that says Claire is an up-and-coming movie exec who inherited her grandmother’s bookstore in the quiet beach community of Eden Bay.

Allison is a surf bum who embraces the small-town beach lifestyle. When a surfer is killed the two ex-best friends are pulled together to solve the murder. Can they put their differences behind them and find a killer before there are more bodies on the beach.

Alina 7:34
This sounds interesting.

Becki 7:37
Yeah, I liked the whole plotline of two ex-best friends having to work together. I thought that had some potential for something interesting there. So, that’s why I chose that one. And there’s like twelve in the series

Alina 7:54
Twelve, of course. Why not, haha.

Becki 7:58
So it’ll keep you busy for a little while.

Alina: It will. I will look this one up and see if I can find it.

Becki: I have another one for you that is a bonus Cozy Mystery. This one the whole series is not in Australia like the other one is just one of the series is but it sounded really fun. The series is called Miss Fisher Murder Mysteries.

Alina 8:25
Oh, is it Miss Fisher?

Becki 8:26
Yes. Have you watched that on Netflix?

Alina 8:29
Yes. I think most of them are in Australia.

Becki 8:34
Are they? Okay, I didn’t catch that.

Alina 8:37
Yes, I think most of them are in Australia. And I think a couple of them are not in Australia.

Becki 8:43
So have you read these books?

Alina 8:46
I’ve read two I think. I read first and the second I think.

Becki 8:50
Okay. I had chosen the fourth one and I’ll tell you a little bit about that one, but I’m excited that you know about the series. That’s really cool.

The fourth one is called Death at Victoria Dock and the series was written by Carrie Greenwood. And it says driving home late one night Phryne Fisher. Is that how you say her name?

Alina 9:12
I have no idea she has she has a very strange name. I’ve never heard that name before or after.

Becki 9:28
Okay, we’re goning to call her Phryne. Okay, so driving home late one night Phryne Fisher is surprised when someone shoots out her windscreen. She alights to find a pretty young man with an anarchist tattoo, dying on the tarmac just outside the dock gates, Phryne does all she can to help but soon realizes she holds death in her hands.

He bleeds to death in her arms and all over her shirt and enraged by the loss of the clothing, the damage to her car, and the senseless waste of human life, Phryne promises to find out who is responsible. These kinds of crimes simply don’t happen in Victoria, Australia,

But she doesn’t yet know how deep into the mire she’ll have to go. bank robbery, tattoo parlors, pubs, spiritualist Hall then when someone kidnaps her cherished companion Dot, Phryne will stop at nothing to retrieve her. So that sounds like fun.

Alina 10:28
They are very fun, these are really fun. I don’t know if you ever saw them?

Becki 10:34
I haven’t, but I’m curious about watching them now.

Alina 10:38
The series is very well done. I mean, I think Ronie, our friend Ronie, would love it just because of the clothes,

Becki 10:47
What time frame is it set in? It didn’t say that.

Alina 10:50
The 1920s. I think she returns from post-war torn Europe, World War One. So I think in the 20s, she’s a flapper. But she has in the series she wears beautiful clothes. And in the book also, she also she’s always thinking, Hmmm, what am I going to wear?

Becki 11:22
It sounded like she was very concerned with our clothes. So that’s kind of fun. So that series Miss Fisher Murder Mystery, which you can find on Netflix. And I love the fact that you’ve already found it on Netflix. That’s really cool. So what is our third genre that you wanted me to find?

Alina 11:44
Our third will be classics or a classic.

Becki 11:50
It seems like the obvious choice for this one would be The Thorn Birds because I think everybody and their brother has probably either watch the movie or read the book. I chose not to do that one. But, I did go with the same author because she has several books that sounded interesting, and they’re all set in that area.

So this one is called The Touch. And the author is Colleen McCullough, the same one byThe Thorn Birds. And so here’s the blurb on this one. Alexander Kinross is remembered as a young man in his native Scotland only as a shiftless Boilermaker’s apprentice, and a godless rebel.

But, when years later, he writes from Australia to summon his bride. His Scottish relatives quickly realize that he has made a fortune in the goldfields, and is now a man to be reckoned with.

Arriving in Sydney after a difficult voyage, 16-year-old Elizabeth Grumman meets her husband-to-be and discovers to her dismay that he frightens and repulses her. Offered no other choice, she marries him and is whisked at once across a wild, uninhabited countryside to Alexander’s own town named Kinross after himself. And in the crags above it lies the world’s richest goldmine.

Isolated in Alexander’s great house with no company save Chinese servants, Elizabeth finds that the intimacies of marriage do not prompt her husband to enlighten her about his past life, or even his present one. She has no idea that he still has a mistress.

It sounds like a really interesting book. So yeah, there you go. So that is what I chose for your classic one. I guess that I assumed that you probably have already read the Thorn Birds or seen the TV show or both, or this one sounded like it would show an interesting side of Australia. And kind of the wilds and the beginnings of you know, some of the people and I think a lot at the beginning of the country, a lot of the people were kind of this wild group of people, it sounds like, you know, they kind of made their own rules. They had their own towns

Alina 14:19
In a way, it’s a, you know, like the west of the United States, you know. The only difference or one of the biggest differences is that it started as a penal colony. So, many people have somehow in the background, some sort of crime or something.

Becki 14:46

Alina 14:47
And of course, it’s relative because if you stole you were hungry and you stole a piece of bread, you could be sent off to Australia, The system was completely different than what we would have now. But it was a penal colony, and when they got there, it was almost impossible to return.

Becki 15:09
Right. And I don’t know that there were a whole lot of rules set up.

Alina 15:13
It was a lonely country with no rules. And the possibilities were quite open, I think. And I think like many countries when there is a gold rush, and that was a bit later, and there was a gold rush, I mean, all kinds of people get there.

Becki 15:30
And all kinds of people get rich.

Alina 15:34
good and bad.

Becki 15:36
Exactly, exactly. So The Touch by Colleen McCullough is going to give you a little bit of all of that. So yeah, if that’s the kind of book that you enjoy, that one would probably hit all kinds of notes for you.

Alina 15:52
Yeah. Very interesting. choices.

Becki 15:56
I had a good time looking for them. I’ve not read many books set in Australia. So it was a lot of fun looking for them. I enjoyed your choice of Australia for me to look for.

Alina 16:08
It’s something different than Paris.

Becki 16:12
Exactly. Yeah, there’s a lot of books that are set in Europe and you know, Paris and Germany and you know, Italy and all of that. And so there’s not a lot set in Australia. So it was a lot of fun to take a look at that. So thank you.

Alina 16:28
My pleasure. I will look a look into the other books

Becki 16:32
And hopefully, you’ll be able to find them. I know, you know, you sometimes have a hard time finding different some of the books that we choose

Alina: Definitely Stacy Alabaster or something like that, and Colleen McCollough, I think both of them will probably be on Ebooks.

Becki: That would be good, that would be easy.

Alina 16:51
The first one, Mary-Rose McColl, I will have to look for her, but I suppose it probably is available on ebook.

Becki 17:01
Thankfully, most books are these days. So that makes it nice. Especially if you don’t need it translated into a different language.

Alina 17:09
That’s a plus.

Becki 17:11
It is! I’m discovering with the Book Club that sometimes things don’t get translated. And so it may or may not be available in different parts of the world. So yeah.

Alina 17:26
If you’re always reading if you read the translations, or you prefer to read in translation or in your own language, let’s put it that way. It’s sometimes quite complicated.

Becki 17:39
Well, thank you so much, Alina, for joining me today. I really enjoyed it.

Alina 17:42
It was very nice. I will listen to it again when you publish it.

Becki 17:49
That sounds good. And I will have links in the show notes for all of the books that we talked about. I will see you in the Book Club.

Thanks for joining me today on the Literary Escapes Podcast. If you enjoyed today’s episode and would like some more literary escape book recommendations, then come check out the Literary Escape Society.

We’re a community travelers who love books or maybe book lovers who love to travel. Either way, if you need an escape, a literary escape, come join us as we read our way around the world together, one book at a time. Check out the show notes to learn more about the Literary Escape Society. And we’ll see you next time on the next episode.

Other Episodes you Should Check Out

If you enjoyed this episode of Books Set in Australia, then you’ll want to check out these episodes too.

Books Set in Venice, Italy

Reader Escape – Books Set in Scotland with Jennifer

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