If you’re looking for a book that will describe, in flowery detail, what various areas which books of the past have been set in are like, then this is likely a very good book for you. If you’re looking, instead, for a book that will guide you through the masterfully captured worlds of novels by authors from Victor Hugo to Emily Brontë, the sort of book that will allow readers to immerse themselves within the world of the books they know and love as they visit the very settings where the events of the novel took place, this isn’t that sort of book. I think I had a lot of expectations for Literary Places by Sarah Baxter and a bunch of them just never really appeared within her book. While it is well researched and definitely a pleasant read, it doesn’t leave me feeling as though I could imagine myself in those places nor would it help me navigate them as though I were walking the same streets that the characters walked through their stories.
Readers will find a lot of information about the various places mentioned throughout this book and you can definitely get a sense of what the areas are like, but Literary Places does not work as a travel guide to help you visit those places. I’m not sure if that was the author’s intention or if she just wanted to educate the public about these places, but I truly do believe I would have gotten a lot more out of it had the book been more about helping readers experience the locations of these novels. I’d like to be able to imagine myself there.
A worthwhile read that develops one’s understanding of various places throughout the world where many novels were set, I definitely appreciate having read the book, but I probably wouldn’t pick it up much again.
I was provided a free copy of this book via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.