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11 Enchanting Books That Will Transport You to Ireland Without Ever Leaving Home

Woman's World books editor (and book lover!) shares her top 11 books set in Ireland — savor them all! 


From the cobblestone streets of Dublin to the sweeping green hills of the Irish countryside, Ireland is undoubtedly one of the world’s most beautiful places. And if you’re looking for a good book to transport you there, you’re in luck! We rounded up 11 of our favorite books — both old and new — set in The Emerald Isle. With stories written by beloved Irish authors such as Marian Keyes, Felicity Hayes-McCoy, Sally Rooney and more, it’s the perfect medley of reads to satisfy your wanderlust.

Keep scrolling to discover our top books set in Ireland, from cozy mysteries to romance, magical realism, historical fiction and more. Happy reading!

Women’s Fiction

The Moonlight Gardening Club by Rosie Hannigan 

The Moonlight Gardening Club by Rosie Hannigan (Book set in Ireland)

Secrets, second chances and an enchanting Irish village…this too-cute tale has it all. When lonely widow Ruby and single mother Frankie find the Moonlight Gardening Club, an unexpected friendship soon blossoms. But as shocking secrets come to light, their worlds collide and turn upside down. Now, they need to face what they’re running from to find healing and true friendship.

What readers are saying: “This was such a good book. There’s a reason why some of my favorite authors are Irish. I really liked Frankie and Ruby and Dillion — and pretty much all of them! I loved the way this group of people became friends and family and supported each other through hard times. I wish I could be a member of the moonlight gardening club! What a lovely setting in Ireland, too. There were also little pieces of wisdom throughout. Can’t wait until Rosie’s next book comes out!”

Cozy Mystery

Murder at an Irish Bakery by Carlene O’Connor

Murder at an Irish Bakery by Carlene O’Connor (Book set in Ireland)
Kensington Cozies

This fun, adventurous whodunit begins when a reality baking TV show comes to County Cork in Ireland’s countryside. It’s the perfect backdrop for baking, and the locals, including police officer Siobhan O’Sullivan, get a chance to appear in the opening shots. But on the second day of filming, the top contestant is found dead with her face in her pie. Now, Siobhan and her husband must find the killer — or else!

What readers are saying: Murder at an Irish Bakery by Carlene O’Connor is a wonderful cozy mystery that is the ninth book in the amazing series: Irish Village Mystery. We get to visit the rural, ideal and stunning landscape of Kilbane, County Cork in Ireland again. I always love hearing about the village, its inhabitants and the comings and goings. It is also home to our main character Garda Siobhan O’Sullivan, her family and her husband, Garda Macdara Flannery. I just love this series.”


Last Call at the Local by Sarah Grunder Ruiz

Last Call at the Local by Sarah Grinder Ruiz 
(Book set in Ireland)

Filled with feel-good moments and heartfelt charm, this sweet story stars Raine Hart, a musician traveling around Europe. But when a mistake leaves Raine unable to perform in Ireland, she has to give up her nomadic life. She meets Jack Dunne, owner of the Local, who hires her to spruce up his pub. As they collaborate and begin to connect, sparks fly — soon they’ll have to decide if they’re ready to take a chance on love.

What readers are saying: “This book takes you on a captivating journey through Ireland, immersing you in the charming settings and introducing you to endearing characters dealing with issues. The allure of friends-to-lovers romance adds to the appeal, making it a must-read with its layered storytelling and relatable struggles. This novel is not only a sweet and swoon-worthy romance but also thought-provoking and informative, tugging at your heartstrings throughout.”

Historical Fiction

The Edge of Lost by Kristina McMorris

The Edge of Lost by Krisitina McMorris (Book set in Ireland)

This New York Times bestselling novel by Kristina McMorris opens with a prisoner trying to escape Alcatraz in 1937, then goes back in time 20 years and tells the story of Shanley Keagen, a young boy in Dublin who is left in the care of his uncle when his parents pass away. Forced to work as an entertainer in pubs for money, Shanley jumps at the chance to move to America where he dreams of a new life. An intricately layered story of loyalty and sacrifice that takes readers from Ireland to America.

What readers are saying: “The story begins on a foggy night in 1937 on Alcatraz, where the daughter of a prison guard has gone missing. The scene then changes to Dublin, Ireland, some 20 years earlier. The way the author brings together the two story lines is absorbing. It’s about the lives of immigrants, family relationships and most of all, second chances. The twist near the end was unexpected, but all the more brilliant for that. A must read!”

Related: 12 Must-Read Historical Fiction Books That Will Send You Back in Time

Magical Realism

 The Lost Bookshop by Evie Woods

 The Lost Bookshop by Evie Woods (Book set in Ireland)

Brimming with mystical charm and a cast of memorable characters, this beautiful story penned by Evie Woods takes readers from Dublin to another magical world, where a vanishing bookshop casts a spell. The plot follows three strangers — Opaline, Martha and Henry — who find their lives intertwined as they unlock secrets from the shop’s shelves. In this world of wonder, they all start to realize their own lives are just as extraordinary as the books they lose themselves in.

What readers are saying: “This magnificent story really reads like a fairy tale! Bibliophiles will adore this book most because of the descriptions of books, libraries and bookshops and the quaint, picturesque scenes in Ireland. A lush story to get lost in!”


Born in Fire by Nora Roberts 

Born in Fire by Nora Roberts  (Book set in Ireland)

The first in the Irish Born trilogy, this classic romance novel written by #1 New York Times bestselling author Nora Roberts is sure to enthrall and enchant. The story, set in Ireland, follows the eldest Concannon sister, Maggie, as she struggles to leave the past behind. Engulfed by her newfound attraction to gallery owner Rogan Sweeney, the strong-willed artist must soon confront the fears keeping her walled off. This sweeping novel is perfect for fans of romances set in the Emerald Isle!

What readers are saying: “I was certain that I had read just about every single book that Nora Roberts had written. And, then, this book popped up. Goodness! Of course, I had to rectify that immediately. And, I am glad I did. Apparently, it is an old series (Irish Born series, circa 1994). In any event, I thoroughly enjoyed her idyllic descriptions of Ireland, learning about the art of hand blowing glass and, of course, the fiery romance of Maggie and Rogan. It was a treat. Onto the next book, Born in Ice.”

Magical Realism

What the Wind Knows by Amy Harmon

 What the Wind Knows by Amy Harmon (Book set in Ireland)
Lake Union Publishing

Reeling from the loss of her grandfather, Anne Gallagher travels to his ancestral home in Ireland to spread his ashes. She knew this was an enchanting place, but when she awakens to find herself back in 1921, she discovers its magic is real. On the cusp of a war, the Ireland she’s in is different from the one she left. Alone and injured, she’s treated by Dr. Thomas Smith — guardian of the boy who will one day become her grandfather. The spitting image of her missing great-grandmother, Anne takes on her identity, determined to learn how their fates are linked. But will these truths lead her back home or has her heart found a new one?

What readers are saying: “What a fantastic book and one of the best books I have read this year. What the Wind Knows is an epic story written by Amy Harmon. It’s an amazing interpretation of events in Ireland during the period of 1916 – 1922, the Easter Rising and Ireland’s fight for its independence. It is a stunning work of fiction interwoven with true historical events, combining the magical and the real. Beautiful.”


The Brightest Star in The Sky by Marian Keyes 

The Brightest Star in The Sky by Marian Keyes 
(Book set in Ireland)

Quirky characters and quaint settings meld in this gripping tale written by beloved Irish novelist Marian Keyes. This unique story is narrated by an omniscient voice hovering over 66 Star Street in Dublin — the narrator is just waiting for the right moment to help each of the residents. From newlyweds Maeve and Matt to elderly Jemima, who works as an over-the-phone psychic, Keyes writes a hilarious cast of characters. A clever, one-of-a-kind story filled with heart!

What readers are saying: “Love Marian Keyes — she is always entertaining. This book tells the story of four couples living at the same building address in Ireland on Star Street. Their lives interconnect and an interesting, surprising narrative is slowly revealed. Four stars!”

Chick Lit

The Guest House By The Sea by Faith Hogan 

The Guest House By The Sea by Faith Hogan (Book set in Ireland)

With idyllic settings and lovable characters, this saga stars Esme, who has run the guest house in Bally Cove, Ireland, for ages. But now she has taken a back seat and enjoys watching guests arrive. There’s Cora, the wife who is alone; Niamh, who is making big life decisions; and Phyllie, whose family is slipping away from her. All of them are searching for connection. Will Esme help them find their way?

What readers are saying: “This is a wonderful story with a great group of characters! It’s relaxing and filled with beautiful descriptions of Ireland and its famous waters! Just make sure to have tissues nearby.”

Related: Best ‘Armchair Travel’ Books: Escape to Paris, London, Italy & More Without Leaving Home!


The Library at the Edge of the World by Felicity Hayes-McCoy

The Library at the Edge of the World by Felicity Hayes-McCoy (Book set in Ireland)
Harper Perennial

This warm, feel-good novel transports readers to the gorgeous west coast of Ireland. Author Felicity Hayes-McCoy drew from her Galway and Wexford roots when thinking up the novel’s fictional setting on the Finfarren Peninsula. The story follows local librarian Hanna Casey who is struggling…with everything. She spends her days driving a mobile library through Irish villages and trying not to think about her cheating husband back in London. She’s staying with her grumpy mother while her daughter travels the world — so she’s also a bit lonely. In an attempt to reclaim her independence and bolster her library business, Hanna finds herself making a difference in the local community. Will she also find the life she’s been longing for?

What readers are saying: “This book was so enjoyable — I loved the Irish language and colloquialisms. The dialogue was great, and, loving Ireland as I do, the descriptions of the countryside and towns were very inviting. I am looking forward to the other books in the series.”

Literary Fiction

Normal People by Sally Rooney

Normal People by Sally Rooney (Book set in Ireland)

Now a popular limited series on Hulu, Normal People was originally a novel penned by bestselling Irish author Sally Rooney. The story follows Marianne and Connell, who pretend not to know each other in school. Connell is a popular soccer player and Marianne is quiet, introverted and lonely. One day Connell picks his mother up from her housekeeping job at Marianne’s family’s home and a small yet strong connection begins to grow between them. A year later, they reunite while studying at Trinity College in Dublin. What follows is an ode to first loves, undeniable connections and how far you’d go to save the ones you love.

What readers are saying: “The story focuses only on the pivotal moments for these two characters, jumping forward three weeks, six months or five minutes, as needed, to excise all the uneventful bits of life and leave us with the most emotionally intense supercut possible. It follows them from high school in a small town, through their years at university in Dublin, as the dynamic between them shifts with their surroundings and social circle. They’re not officially ‘together’ the whole time, or even most of the time, but they are always in each other’s lives in a significant way.”

For more of our favorite books, click through the links below!

12 Must-Read Romantasy Books That Guarantee a Swoon-Worthy Escape

Best Book Club Books: 10 Page Turners, From Romances to Thrillers to Historical Fiction

11 Romance Books to Make You Swoon

And for all things books, click here!

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