There are numerous novels where the story takes place in Maine. That should come as no surprise when you think about how easy it would be to fictionally fall in love with someone among the beautiful foliage while visiting Maine. You are probably also aware of the many places to hide a body for a murder-mystery. And of course, the HORROR, with the gothic and macabre architecture setting the tone for any ghoul or evil demon to terrorize humans.

Stephen King
Hodder Paperbacks

I'm going to leave Mr. King out of this list with by no means any intended disrespect nor disregarding how wonderful his novels are. Stephen King taught me so much as a 9-year-old child through reading his novels - waaaaaay more than I should've known at that age, but I've since been an avid fan to this day. It is extremely discernible where Stephen King books take place. I want to offer top-rated books that might be more obscure.

What Does A.I. Say About the Best Novels Set in Maine?

The Cider House Rules
Ballantine Books

Let's begin with artificial intelligence, since we all probably succumb to relying on it for all information in the near future. On its list at number 1 (before a King novel at #2), is John Irving's, "The Cider House Rules."

It was first published in 1985, and a 7-time Academy Award nominated eponymous film was created. On Amazon, this novel has a 4.5 out of 5-star rating. This story set in early 20th century rural Maine is a must to dive into if you haven't already.'s #1 Novel Set in Maine Recommendation

Olive Kitteridge
Random House

There is no surprise that this novel from 2008 was recommended as a top novel set in Maine to read by when you consider all the accolades. "Olive Kitteridge" by Elizabeth Strout won the 2009 Pulitzer Prize for fiction and was created into an HBO miniseries in 2014 that picked up 8 Emmy Awards.

This story takes place in the fictional coastal town of Crosby, Maine. If you happen to enjoy this Maine novel as so many already have as evident by the 4.5 rating out of 5 on Amazon, then you may enjoy the 2019 sequel, "Olive, Again." Has This Novel Set in Coastal Maine as a Top Read

Orphan Train
Mariner Books

Nominated for a Goodreads Choice Award, "Orphan Train" by Christina Baker Kline was published in 2013 and is still being discovered atop recommendation charts. 80,000 readers on Amazon have given this novel a 4.5 out of 5-star rating, making it a pretty safe bet to be a story set in coastal Maine that you can disappear into while reading on the beaches of Maine.

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When Your Mainer Boss Recommends a Novel Set in Maine, You Add it to The List

Fire Exit
Tin House Books

Morgan Talty's novel, "Fire Exit" is the newest on the list being published in 2024 and takes place in the tribal community on the Penobscot Reservation. The reviews from reputable sources speak for themselves in addition to a 4.4 out of 5-star rating on Amazon.

Spellbinding―TIME, A Best Book of Summer


Morgan Talty is a citizen of the Penobscot Indian Nation and teaches at the University of Maine! Below are more recommendations of novels set in Maine that have a rating higher than 4 out of 5 stars from readers on Amazon!

Top Rated Novels Set in Maine

Top rated novels set in Maine that aren't Stephen King.

Gallery Credit: David

Maine Children's Books

Entertain and educate your children with these greatly reviewed and award-winning children's books that take you on adventures all over Maine.

Gallery Credit: David


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