This year, we’ve started to see the light at the end of the tunnel. Vaccinations are in progress and people are desperate to get out and about and travel.

But for now, we have to sit tight.

Let these novels transport you to another world – let the words invoke strong senses within you. Speaking of senses, reported that neuroscientists tracking the brain activity of patients who read words like “cinnamon” and “jasmine” found that the very act of reading those words caused the part of the brain involved with processing smells to light up.

Lose yourself in these books that will transport you from armchair to the country itself.

  1. The Dragon Lady – by Louisa Treger (Zimbabwe)

Ostracised by society for being a foreign divorcée at the time of Edward VIII and Mrs Simpson, Ginie and her second husband Stephen Courtauld leave the confines of post-war Britain to forge a new life in 1950’s Rhodesia, only to find that being progressive liberals during segregation proves mortally dangerous.

  1. Devil’s Peak – by Deon Meyer (South Africa)

Best known for his Benny Griessel series, Meyer immerses his characters deep within Cape Town and beyond. If you’ve ever climbed Devil’s Peak or had a drink in Long Street, you’ll be sure to recognise key landmarks in this award winning author’s book. 

  1. I dreamed of Africa – by Kuki Gallman (Kenya)

Although more haunting memoir than novel, Gallman’s descriptions of her adopted home Kenya resonate deeply. She lost both her son and husband in Kenya but has never left. ‘Often, at the hour of day when the savannah grass is streaked with silver, and pale gold rims the silhouettes of the hill …and the evening shadows settle over the valleys and plains of the Laikipia plateau.’ Gallman’s descriptions are vividly depicted.

  1. Don’t let’s go to the dog’s tonight – Alexandra Fuller (Zambia)

Set in Zambia and other parts of Southern Africa, Fuller describes her childhood from 1972 – 1990, at times poignant and at others, funny. Fuller’s mother embraced african life but wasn’t a stereotypical, nurturing mother. Her father was away often, leaving the children to get up to antics that could never happen to children in Europe. Tragedy strikes on several occasions but she manages to tell her tale with a streak of stoicism.

  1. The Tea Planter’s Wife – by Dinah Jeffries (Sri Lanka)

Set in 1920’s Ceylon, this novel follows a young British Woman sent to Ceylon to marry a widower, who although charming and a wealthy tea plantation owner, carries a dark secret close to his heart. Gwyneth must muddle her way through this foreign country and see if she can really learn to love her husband.