5 of the Best Novels Set in Nashville

Romance, literary fiction, and more

Claire Handscombe
4 min readOct 4, 2021


Paul Brennan/Pixabay

Nashville is a place for dreamers: somewhere people come to pursue a music career, hoping to become successful, and hopefully famous. It’s also a place were people go about their daily lives, falling in love, working grindstone jobs, fighting with their families and making up. These five excellent books all capture something of Nashville in different ways.

All We Ever Wanted, by Emily Giffin

Emily Giffin is a hugely successful author, and this is one of her best known books. In an interview for Better, she said this about choosing to set her novel in Nashvile: “Its vibrancy and history of great music, food, and Southern culture has always resonated with me. While writing the book, I spent a lot of time in the various neighborhoods in Nashville and so enjoyed getting to know the charming, diverse residents of one of America’s great cities.”

All We Ever Wanted tells the story of Nina, whose comfortable life with a tech-rich husband and Princeton-bound son is upended by a shocking photograph taken at a party, whch divides the community, pitting factions against each other. The Washington Post notes that “Giffin’s novel has style and substance” and add that the novel is “truly excellent.”

Because You’re Mine, by Rea Frey

Nashville author Rea Frey has several books to her name — both fiction and non-fiction, and she also runs a business, Writeway, whose mission is to help those who want to be published authors realise theid dreams. She hosts a podcast of the same name.

Published in August 2019, Because You’re Mine is a thriller about a single mother, Lee, who has taken a much-needed break from caring round the clock for her son, who’s on the spectrum and whose world she has carefuly constructed and protected. But while she’s gone, tragedy strikes.



Claire Handscombe

Editor of WALK WITH US: How the West Wing Changed Our Lives; author of the novel UNSCRIPTED and of CONQUERING BABEL: a Practical Guide to Learning a Language.