Top Ten Tuesday: “Zuzu, I’ve a Feeling We’re Not in the USA Anymore”

Posted July 19, 2016 by meezcarrie in Aimie K. Runyon, Camille Eide, Carla Laureano, Cathy Gohlke, Elizabeth Musser, Irma Joubert, Janette Oke, Kathleen Morgan, Kristy Cambron, Melanie Dickerson, Rachel McMillan, Randy Alcorn, Top Ten Tuesday, Tracy Groot / 78 Comments


Top Ten Tuesday Favorite

I’m really excited about this week’s topic for Top Ten Tuesday – Books Set Outside the United States.ย  And yes I shamelessly borrowed my title from The Wizard of Oz, with Zuzu subbing for Toto in a pinch. In all honesty, that wouldn’t really work. She’d be more suited in the role of The Cowardly Lion (just don’t tell her that’s a c-a-t).ย  But that’s really neither here nor there – simply a rambling digression.ย  You’re welcome ๐Ÿ™‚

In planning my post for this week, I forced myself to cut off at ten twelve fourteen books.ย  (Ten is really just a loose suggestion, right?)

book set outside the us banner

Get your virtual passports ready because we’re heading to six different countries on today’s post. But if I hadn’t cut myself off at ten twelve fourteen books, it could have been even more countries! I also crossed “England” off the list, because as much as I love books set there it seems there are just as many as there are from the United States. And the purpose of this week’s theme is to broaden our reading horizons a bit.


1.ย  Like There’s No Tomorrow by Camille Eide (Ashberry Lane, September 2014) – Two elderly Scottish sisters who are a handful and a hoot all at once. One brooding, hunky, tender Scotsman hero with a sense of humor and a nicely sculpted chest from chopping wood. One compassionate American heroine with a heart for others and a secret she keeps close. Hilarity, swoons, and tears are all in store in this fantastic contemporary novel.ย  My Review

2. Five Days in Skye by Carla Laureano (David C. Cook, June 2015) – I feel quite sure I’ve mentioned this book and it’s hero (#myJames) a time or 5,000 since the onset of my blog. Not to mention social media. Through Carla’s fabulous writing, you feel as though you are there in Skye with James and Andrea.ย  And you will certainly want to go there when you’ve finished the book! Sadly, I don’t believe #myJames is provided with the Isle of Skye. My Review

3. Child of the Mist by Kathleen Morgan (Revell, February 2005) – The Scottish highlands in the sixteenth century. Rival clans achieving a wobbly truce through the arranged engagement of their respective heirs. Suspicions of a traitor. Accusations of witchcraft. Niall and Anne have a lot of obstacles to overcome in their quest for happily ever after.


4. Two Crosses by Elizabeth Musser (David C. Cook, June 2012) – This is a captivating book about a time in history I haven’t often read about, 1960s France & the Algerian war for independence. Gabriella Mason and the Huguenot cross she innocently wears get unwittingly drawn into intrigue and secrets. A nun involved in smuggling operations, a little girl with secret information, and the man she loves whose loyalties are unknown.

5. Flame of Resistance by Tracy Groot (Tyndale, June 2012) – A 2013 Christy Award Winner and completely deserved. The French Resistance is another aspect of history that I haven’t read much about (apparently my education in French history was sadly lacking). The characters in this book – an American pilot shot down in France and picked up/recruited by the Resistance, a prostitute sympathetic to the Allied cause, the leader of a French resistance cell – all of these characters get deep in your heart and capture your emotions as well as your interest.


6. All The Tea in China by Jane Orcutt (Revell, June 2007) – This is a regency unlike any you’ve read before, with so many twists and turns. It’s quirky and unpredictable and at times a bit outrageous but the dialogue is so witty and clever! My reading friends have mixed feelings about this one but I enjoyed it ๐Ÿ™‚

7. Safely Home by Randy Alcorn (Tyndale, July 2001) – I have talked about this book before on previous Top Ten Tuesday but to say that it was life-changing for me is an understatement. It’s also probably the book I shove at people the most, proclaiming “Read this! Now!” And if you aren’t moved by it, don’t tell me because then I’m not sure we can be friends and I would hate that ๐Ÿ˜‰


8. The Girl From The Train by Irma Joubert (Thomas Nelson, November 2015) – Bookworm/story-loving Gretl who has stoically endured more than her share of heartache for one so young. Serious, kindhearted, heroic Jakรณb who carries the weight of the world on his shoulders. Both have secrets that could damage their friendship… a friendship that really shouldn’t exist because of who she is and who watches him. But a friendship they do have. A deep, lasting, rare friendship that transcends political and religious prejudices, eventually distance and years, and even powerful secrets. Half of the book takes place in South Africa as well, which makes it that much more unique.ย  My Review

9. The Butterfly and the Violin by Kristy Cambron (Thomas Nelson, July 2014) – Sweet. Tender. Heartbreaking. Captivating. Characters that engage you right away. The story behind the painting keeps you turning the pages for more, and the dual timeline is so exquisitely well done. I read this pre-blog so I don’t have an official review up for it but my friend Jane over at Greenish Bookshelf recently wrote a great review for this beautiful book. Check out her review


10. Promised to the Crown by Aimie K. Runyan (Kensington, April 2016) – Rose, Elisabeth, and Nicole โ€“ three distinct women, three distinct narratives, three intertwined stories. This is yet another novel rich with a history that I hadn’t really ever studied before… and yet again it’s connected to France. Hmmm… Anyway, it follows three women as they forge a lasting friendship with each other, one that begins on their journey across the ocean and endures long after they arrive in New France.ย A novel which will cause every womanโ€™s heart to swell in pride, solidarity, and gratitude for those who forged the path ahead of us. My Review

11. The Bachelor Girl’s Guide to Murder by Rachel McMillan (Harvest House, March 2016) – Merinda and Jem are quite possibly my favorite crime fighting gal pals since Nancy Drew and her chums, and Jasper and Ray make much better love interests than Ned Nickerson ever did. As well as just being quite simply a FUN book (enhanced by the clever footnotes and the snippets from made-up works of literature included at the beginning of each chapter), Rachel McMillan’s debut novel is also a fascinating look at Toronto in the early 1900s. My Review

12. When Calls the Heart by Janette Oke (Bethany House, 1983) – A cultured East Coast young lady takes a teaching position in the western Canadian frontier.ย  At first it goes about like you’d expect – not well. A lot of tears, a lot of adjustments. But she’s determined to stick it out and fight the harsh conditions for the children she’s come to care about…. And there’s a hunky Mountie in the picture (one of my first historical fiction book boyfriends) so that may have factored in a bit as well ๐Ÿ˜‰


13. The Beautiful Pretender by Melanie Dickerson (Thomas Nelson, May 2016) – Really, I could have included almost all of Melanie’s fairy tale retellings in this category, but I made myself pick the most recent one. The Beautiful Pretender is “Beauty and the Beast” meets “The Princess and the Pea” meets “The Bachelor”.ย  And boy is it good! Lots of drama, some humor, a dose of action and suspense, and some fan-requiring kisses all combine with Melanie Dickersonโ€™s impeccable talent. My Review

14. Secrets She Kept by Cathy Gohlke (Tyndale, August 2015) – This recently won the 2016 Christy Award for Historical Fiction! If you glance through the Goodreads reviews, the general consensus on this one is “captivating”. After the death of her estranged mother, Hannah Sterling discovers a grandfather living in Germany – a grandfather she didn’t know she had.ย  As she travels to Germany to meet him, Hannah discovers he has secrets of his own and gains new understanding of her family’s tragic past. Now she must decide how that troubled legacy will shape her future. My friend Jamie’s review on Books and Beverages


What about you? Which of your favorite books are set in countries other than the US or England? Share with me the link to your TTT post if you participated this week ๐Ÿ™‚


78 responses to “Top Ten Tuesday: “Zuzu, I’ve a Feeling We’re Not in the USA Anymore”

  1. Winnie Thomas

    Close to You by Kara Isaac is set in New Zealand. I absolutely adored this book. I’ve gushed about it many times. How can you miss with New Zealand and Lord of the Rings/Hobbits mixed together? Such fun!

    I must admit I haven’t read very many of the books on your list, although I have several sitting on my Kindle waiting for my attention. (sigh) My TBR list is stressing me out right now!

    Have you got a basket large enough to carry Zuzu around in for your Wizard of Oz reenactment?

  2. Great list! We included several of the same books and authors. I put Joubert’s in South Africa though! I was actually surprised to see how many books I have read that are not set in the US. Makes me feel accomplished! ๐Ÿ˜‰

  3. Rebecca Maney

    Yes, you DO need to read “Yesterday’s Tomorrow”, it is exceptional! And I too, LOVED “Five Days in Skye” . . . I started pinning pictures of the island of Skye, I had no idea . . . . . and I loved “Close to You”, as well. Another great post, mentioning some wonderful books, about half of which I have read.

    • Carrie

      Yesterday’s Tomorrow is on my must-reads list. I just simply need to do nothing but read for the rest of my life lol

    • Winnie Thomas

      I loved visiting Skye when we were in Scotland! It was a very quick visit and we didn’t get to see much of it, but it was awesome! I need to read Five Days in Skye soon!

  4. carylkane

    FANTASTIC list, Carrie, I LOVE Kristy’s books. Rachel McMillan’s books are on my must-read list. A few of the others listed are in my TBR and I’m reading my way toward them. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  5. You’ve listed The Girl from the Train!! (*Jumping up and down, waving SA flag*) What an awesome book. You can check out a few other awesome books from South Africa on my TTT
    Your selection is great and it was fun touring with you!

    • Carrie

      oh yay!!! Thank you, Mareli!!! I will definitely check out your post. The Girl From The Train was my first ever read set in South Africa and I found myself very intrigued by its history!

  6. Nancy M

    Dorothy Adamek “Carry Me Home” set in Australia! Love the ones you listed! Trying to think of more. I’m not home and I don’t have my Kindle!

    • Carrie

      yes!! I need to read that one too!! And I totally had to peruse my Goodreads lists for this post because when it came down to putting it together I completely drew a blank lol

    • Carrie

      all three are fantastic!! The Beautiful Pretender may be my fave of the three, but I love fairy tale retellings. The Butterfly and the Violin is so beautifully done, and The Girl From The Train is so unique.

  7. What!? No Regency England mentioned? My heart breaks! Of course, you’d probably need to make a whole blog post just for Julie Klassen and Sarah Ladd for that, huh? The first think unthought of when I saw the blog post title was Siri Mitchell’s first person POV contemporaries with Harvest House before she started writing her first person POV historicals for Bethany House. Personally, I love her contemporary romances best– Kissing Adrien and Chateau of Echoes (both set in France) and Moon Over Tokyo (Japan). She’s actually lived in the places she wrote about too.

    • Carrie

      I really do need to read Siri Mitchell SOON too. And yes – I would need a whole separate post for recommended books set in England so I didn’t even attempt it for a Top Ten Tuesday post. I shall do that one day soon though!!

  8. Nancy M

    Czechoslovakia: A Sparrow in Terezin by Kristy Cambron!
    Another France: Chateau of Secrets by Melody Dobson
    Germany: Luther and Katharina by Jody Hedlund

  9. Okay so I admit I haven’t heard of any of these titles before but I love the locations and they look pretty intriguing for sure so may have to work on stamping my bookish passport ๐Ÿ˜‰

  10. I love that I’ve read absolutely nothing on this list, and will be mining it for my TBR, particularly interested in The Butterfly and the Violin.

    Thanks for stopping by My Top Ten @ Reviews and Readathons earlier! ๐Ÿ™‚

  11. I haven’t read any of these (shaaame Cait shaaame) but The Butterfly and the Violin IS SO VERY BEAUTIFUL CONSIDER ME INTRIGUED. XD Also I love how you organised the post and split them into different countries!
    Thanks for stopping by @ Paper Fury!

  12. YAY! There’s some great books on this list. I remember ‘Secrets She Kept’ being a great read. Seeing Rachel’s book on this list is a great addition, WCTH is nostalgia charm, and I’ve heard ‘All the Tea in China’ is amazing!

  13. Close to You is fantastic – even more so, because my family visited New Zealand last year, and ‘knew’ the places Kara Isaac mentions.

    I read a great book set in Africa called (surprisingly enough) ‘African Skies’ by Karen Rispin.

    One set in the Amazon: ‘Not Exactly Eden’ by Linda Windsor.

    And I can’t believe nobody’s mentioned anything set in Australia! Check out Dorothy Adamek’s ‘Carry Me Home’ for sure, then ‘Too Pretty’ by Andrea Grigg, then there’s Narelle Atkins Snowy Mountains-based series, and Mary Hawkins’ ‘Australia’ novellas…

  14. I will have to check into the first one you mentioned, since I love stories with fun older people.
    How could I forget Cambron and Oke on my list?

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