22 Books Set in Massachusetts to Read ASAP

Considering the sheer number of writers from New England, it’s no surprise Massachusetts is the setting for many books—3,085 according to Mappit. From classic literature and dark thrillers to semi-autobiographical memoirs and everything in between, here are a few books set in Massachusetts to read this summer. 

The Crucible by Arthur Miller

the crucible books set in massachusetts

You probably read this tale of the Salem Witch Trials in high school. 

Make Way for Ducklings by Robert McCloskey

make way for ducklings

Mr. and Mrs. Mallard search for the perfect place to raise their family in this classic children’s illustration book.

Summer Sisters by Judy Blume

summer sisters

Nostalgia runs deep in this coming-of-age novel set on Martha’s Vineyard.

Girl, Interrupted by Susanna Kaysen

books set in massachusetts early autumn

This book-turned-movie will have readers questioning where to draw the line between sanity and normalcy.

Tuesdays with Morrie by Mitch Albom

Mitch reconnects with his college mentor after two decades learning invaluable lessons along the way.
Fair warning this one is a tear-jerker. 

The Namesake by Jhumpa Lahiri

Traditional and modern customs clash when an Indian family moves to Cambridge. A beautifully written story examining immigrants across multiple generations.

Every Visible Thing by Lisa Carey

books set in massachusetts every visible thing

In 1980’s Brookline tragedy touches a fractured family forever changing their lives.

Don’t Ask Me Where I’m From by Jennifer de Leon

A powerful first-hand look at racism, deportation, and the METCO program in Boston’s school system.

Disappearance at Devil’s Rock by Paul Tremblay

disappearance at devil's rock books set in massachusetts

A teen goes missing at Borderland State Park in Tremblay’s genre-bending paranormal thriller.

The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath

books set in massachusetts the bell jar

A depressing semi-autobiographical novel focused on a woman’s declining mental health.

Little Women by Louisa May Alcott

little women

A family fights to survive in Massachusetts during the Civil War in Alcott’s debut novel inspired by her own life.

Conversion by Katherine Howe

A modern-day take on Miller’s The Crucible set in Danvers. Will mob mentality play a part in this YA thriller?

Mystic River and Shutter Island and Gone Baby Gone by Dennis Lehane

books set in massachusetts shutter island

Dorchester native Dennis Lehane has penned plenty of books set in Massachusetts. Several have been turned into thriller and mystery movies of the same name. 

Running with Scissors by Augusten Burroughs

We’ll leave it up to the readers to decide how much of Burroughs’ eccentric novel is fact and fiction. 

The Double Helix by James D. Watson

books set in massachusetts the double helix

Remember those guys who ‘discovered’ DNA’s double helix structure? One of them wrote a book about it (and spilled a lot of tea).  

Early Autumn: A Story of a Lady by Louis Bromfield

books set in massachusetts early autumn

Winner of the 1927 Pulitzer Prize, Bromfield’s novel explores the double lives of a wealthy New England family. 

The Scarlet Letter and The House of Seven Gables by Nathaniel Hawthorne 

Hawthorne’s version of Puritan Boston was full of witches, sin, creepy houses, and letter-branded clothing. 

Doubloon Cove by Kelly Novak

A group of teens set out on an adventure in 1990’s Massachusetts to search for ancient Viking treasure.

Caleb’s Crossing by Geraldine Brooks

A Puritan girl and Wampanoag boy form a secret friendship in 17th century Martha’s Vineyard.