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Ten Great Books set in the MALDIVES

11th September 2021

The Maldives is the latest location for our ‘Ten Great Books Set In…’ series. Ten great books set in the Maldives. Floating in the Indian Ocean, the Maldives are the cream of the crop when it comes to secluded beach holidays. The waters are their own brand of blue, the sands are blindingly white, and rows of palm trees stand to attention along the shoreline. What’s more, if you count each island individually, you’ve got almost 2,000 reasons to visit!

‘Eat a coconut while you have teeth’ – Maldivian proverb

Ten Great Books set in the MALDIVESGatecrashing Paradise: Misadventures in the Real Maldives by Tom Chesshyre

Away from the five-star hotels and beyond luxury hideaways, Tom Chesshyre travels to see the real, unexplored Maldives, skirting around the archipelagos periphery, staying at simple guesthouses, and using cargo ships and ferries. He discovers that beyond the glossy brochures lies an almost undiscovered country that is brimming with life, yet also a paradise teetering on the brink of trouble.
In the Maldives outsiders used to be banned from islands not officially endorsed as tourist resorts, but now a thousand sandy shores can be visited in this remote nation deep in the Indian Ocean the flattest on Earth.
This is island-hopping for the twenty-first century, sailing around 600 miles of the most beautiful islands and atolls on Earth, often to communities that have not seen an outsider for decades, …and gatecrashing the odd posh hotel.

Mad Love by Colet Abedi

23-year-old aspiring artist Sophie Walker can think of no better place than the exotic paradise of the Maldives Islands to escape the wrath of her controlling parents, the monotony of her boring legal work and her passionless boyfriend. With her two best friends along for the ride and to help her find herself again, Sophie is not prepared for the enigmatic Clayton Sinclair. Clayton comes from another world of privilege that seems like a fantasy to Sophie. Can this man introduce her to the passion & seduction she never realized she was desperately searching for? Sophie quickly becomes ensnared in Clayton’s seductive web until a shocking treachery makes her question her judgment and actions…

On the Island by Tracey Garvis Graves

When thirty-year-old English teacher Anna Emerson is offered a summer job tutoring T.J. Callahan at his family’s holiday home in the Maldives, she accepts without hesitation: a tropical island beats the library any day.

T.J. has no desire to leave town, not that anyone asked him. He’s almost seventeen and if having had cancer wasn’t bad enough, he now has to spend his first summer in remission with his family instead of his friends.

Anna and T.J. are en route to join T.J.’s family in the Maldives when the pilot of their seaplane suffers a fatal heart attack and crash-lands in the Indian Ocean. Marooned on an uninhabited island, Anna and T.J. work together to obtain water, food, fire and shelter but, as the days turn to weeks then months and finally years, Anna begins to wonder if the biggest challenge of all might be living with a boy who is gradually becoming a man…

The Honeymoon by Tina Seskis

There’s trouble in paradise . . .

For as long as she can remember, Jemma has been planning the perfect honeymoon. A fortnight’s retreat to a five-star resort in the Maldives, complete with luxury villas, personal butlers and absolute privacy.

It should be paradise. But it’s turned into a nightmare.

Because the man Jemma married a week ago has just disappeared from the island without a trace. And now her perfect new life is vanishing just as quickly before her eyes.

After everything they’ve been through together, how can this be happening? Is there anyone on the island who Jemma can trust? And above all – where has her husband gone?

Ten Great Books set in the MALDIVESA Maldives Adventure by Naomi Davies

After a roller coaster year, Sandy and Anne decide that they need a holiday. Nothing quite goes to plan however, and things start to go wrong even before they have boarded their flight. Nevertheless they do eventually arrive safely and discover an island full of secrets and mysterious people.
Most strange of all are the two perfect men, Paulo and Giorgio, who look like they are on holiday but keep disappearing with little or no explanation. No one in this book is quite who they seem. Will Sandy and Anne find romance on the Emperor Island Hotel? Why is everyone so secretive and behaving so strangely?

Naomi Davies retired from her full time business in 2013. She now devotes much of her time to writing. This book is part of a series of light romantic stories, ideal for easy holiday reading. You will laugh and sometimes cry as you follow the characters through their lives.

Folk Tales of the Maldives by Xavier Romero-Frias

The Maldives are mainly known as an equatorial tourist paradise to the south of India but some will know the archipelago risks drowning owing to global warming. Far less is known about the people, who have occupied these islands for millennia but whose deep indigenous culture is today under threat from a multitude of external forces. This volume is a collection of 80 traditional short stories and legends selected from the large corpus of stories in the local oral tradition, and translated and illustrated by the author who is the foremost authority on the language and anthropology of the Maldives. These folk tales offer keen insights both into the history, culture and beliefs of the people of the Maldives and into the world they live in. The close relationship the Maldivians have with their environment is clear, likewise the syncretic nature of their Islamic faith, the tales bustling with spirits, sorcerers and monsters as well as local people, seabirds, etc. Would-be travellers to the Maldives will find this a unique insight into the real country behind the tourist brochures. For scholars, the folk tales and analytical material offer a wonderful literary/folklore resource as well as fresh perspectives on the effects of globalisation.

Maldives Musings by Liz Banks

This is the frank and often funny account of a very brave woman. After many years of marriage and raising a family, Liz Banks found herself alone. Her response? To take a voluntary posting in a different country and culture, completely isolated from everything and everybody she knew. Her brief was to teach midwifery, but the reality entailed much more than that. There were the considerable barriers of language and custom, and an absence of facilities and support. Without the comfort of contact with family and friends, she wrote a monthly newsletter, along with a journal and other writings, to record her impressive assimilation into this new culture. This book brings together Liz Banks’ travel and autobiographical writing. It includes a wealth of detail normally omitted from such works. The result brings an unusual insight into the motivation and experience of those who have the tenacity to bounce back against all odds.

Swimming With Sharks by Anna Legat

Swimming with Sharks is the scintillating new novel by acclaimed author Anna Legat, and the first in the DI Gillian Marsh series.

When fortysomething Nicola Eagles goes on the holiday of a lifetime to the Maldives, she never dreams she’ll fall in love – she’s too shy, too set in her ways. But then she meets someone who changes her life for ever…

Just when things seem to be going right for Nicola, though, she disappears without a trace. Was it a voluntary disappearance, or was she abducted – or murdered? When her absence is noted back in the UK, DI Gillian Marsh is sent to investigate.

Gillian is a good detective but her life is dysfunctional to say the least – and as she delves deeper into the case, she realises that she may be out of her depth professionally too. For Nicola’s disappearance is just the start…

The Love Island Bookshop by Kate Frost

A dream job, two handsome men, one destructive act. Will Freya’s opportunity of a lifetime end in tears?

When Freya leaves her publishing job in London to be a barefoot bookseller in the Maldives, it’s the push she needs to move on from her sadness and reignite her passion for life.

While resort owner Zander is charming, it’s handsome dive instructor Aaron who befriends her when she needs it most. But all is not what it seems and there’s trouble brewing in paradise.

Taking a chance on happiness is harder than she imagined. Can Freya let go of her heartache and allow herself to fall in love again?

The Maldives Avenger by Royston Ellis

Set in today’s celebrity vacation islands of the Maldives, this is a story few visitors know: how a young Maldivian became a favourite of the Portuguese conqueror of the northern atolls and then led a seaborne guerrilla campaign to oust the tyrannical colonizers from the islands.

Based on tales passed down by word of mouth for over 400 years and blending fact with legend, Royston Ellis has created an exciting story of historical fiction that captures the spirit of a brave young man touched by destiny, Mohamed Thakurufaan, the Maldives Avenger.

This swashbuckling yarn is written with the same passion, verve and insight that characterises the contemporary adult novels of Kicks Kindles master storyteller, Royston Ellis

 

What a great selection of books there is in the Maldives. If you have any to add to the list, please do so in the Comments below…

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Enter the 2021TripFiction 'Sense of Place' Creative Writing Competition!

A story in which the location plays as important a role as the rest of your words.

2,500 word maximum, 750 word minimum

Judges include Victoria Hislop and Rosanna Ley

First Prize of £1,000 / US$1,350

Prizes total £1,750 / US$2,362 

Winning entry published on TripFiction site and publicised on Social Media

Entries close 6th November 2021