Mosaic of an Unquiet Time
This novel is set in 1963 in the fictional British colony of As Areias, an archipelago located off the coast of Portugal. The book itself was published and printed (to a very high standard, incidentally) in Gibraltar, which explains an awful lot, particularly the insights into the mindset of the characters.
Actually, As Areias is more an amalgam of several past and present UK colonies. Life is ordered, staid and genteel. The social structures are very traditional. Crime is almost nonexistent. Most people are happy with their lot, although arguably that is because most of them have never bothered to consider any alternative to their current situation. The whole colony is presented as a little bubble of the past, with the larger world something that exists a long way off.
The characters are a good cross-section of this cosy set-up, and the way they react when change does come enables you to thoroughly appreciate the pluses and minuses of colonial life. It’s very much a character-driven novel, insightful and often humorous.