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Article  •  31 August 2023

 

Didn't get to Europe this year? These 3 books will transport you there

Revisit three Amanda Hampson books to experience European summer from the comfort of your living room.

With seemingly everyone travelling to Europe this summer, it’s hard not to feel a yearning for the rolling hills of Tuscany or the lavender fields of the French countryside.

But for those who don’t have a trip planned, watching friends and colleagues traipse off to soak up the European summer is less than fun. While we can’t claim that a book will make up for a business-class ticket to your dream destination, great novels do have the power to transport you to far-flung locales, from the city streets of Berlin to the French Riveria.

For those looking to visit Europe via a novel, look no further than the books of Amanda Hampson.

While you might know her first from her cosy-crime novel The Tea Ladies – which is, yes, set in Sydney – Amanda has also written a slew of other books that will take you on a trip overseas.

Read on to learn more about Amanda’s European stories. Then cuddle up in a cosy chair and get ready to be transported across the world.

Amanda Hampson books set in Europe

The French Perfumer Amanda Hampson

'Shorthand typist required by English speaker in the South of France. Live-in, full board plus salary commensurate with experience.'

Iris Turner, an unworldly young Englishwoman, arrives in the French Riviera to take up a secretarial role for the mysterious Hammond Brooke. Living in a small, exclusive hotel among eccentric and unpredictable aristocrats and struggling to gain her employer’s trust, she soon realises that nothing is as it seems.

Initiated into the mysterious world of perfume, she finds herself entangled in a web of intrigue and deception. Gradually discovering the truth, she gains a new understanding of the meaning of love, loyalty and betrayal.

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The Yellow Villa Amanda Hampson

Mia and Ben, an Australian couple in their early thirties, have relinquished one dream and embraced another, selling their Sydney flat and purchasing an old yellow house in the picturesque village of Cordes-sur-Ciel in South-West France.

They soon meet sophisticated neighbours Dominic and Susannah, a British couple in their sixties who welcome them warmly but whose own relationship is in crisis. Mia and Ben are immediately star-struck and impressed by their lavish hospitality. However, things with Dominic and Susannah are not what they first seem.

Gradually secrets begin to surface, revealing details of a scandal Dominic and Susannah had hoped to leave behind in London. Reeling from these revelations, Mia and Ben no longer trust their own instincts and the peaceful idyll of their French life begins to unravel. Can Dominic and Susannah escape each other, and can Ben and Mia they find their way back to each other and the dream they shared?

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Sixty Summers Amanda Hampson

When Maggie, Fran and Rose met in their youth, they had dreams and ambitions. Forty years later, the three friends are turning sixty, each of them restless and disenchanted with their lives.

Fran works in a second-hand bookshop. Her lover, one of a long line of disappointing men, is drifting away and her future is uncertain.

Maggie married into a volatile family. Her beautiful, indulged twin daughters are causing havoc and her elderly mother-in-law has moved in and is taking charge.

Rose has been an off-sider for her hopelessly vague but academically brilliant husband and their two sons. Time is running out to find and fulfil her own ambitions.

In an attempt to recapture the sense of freedom and purpose they once possessed, they decide to retrace the steps of their 1978 backpacking trip through Europe and set off an odyssey that will test their friendship, challenge their beliefs and redefine the third age of their lives.

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Take a journey through Europe with three friends as they retrace the steps of their 1978 backpacking trip.

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