There is no doubt that I’m a fan of historical fiction around war-time and most of what I’ve read is WWII centered. I’m always looking for new recommendation on the genre and whenever a novel’s blurb says “WWII”, I’m almost 90% likely to read it (including films). Here are 5 of the WWII novels I’ve read and enjoyed (link to review in titles)
The novel tells the story of Sarah Starzynski as a young girl who got arrested with her family in July 1942 during the Vel’ d’Hiv’ roundup where thousands of Jews (including children) were arrested and kept at a velodrome before being deported to Auschwitz.
It’s a dual time narrative, where parts of the story also plays off in 2002 while a journalist is researching this harrowing event in French history and takes a special interest in what has become of Sarah. This book had me in a puddle of tears and I highly recommend it.
The Book Thief is a story set in Nazi Germany during World War II and tells the story from German people’s perspective. What makes the story unique is the narrator – Death, who claims he/she is haunted by humans. One such human is Liesel Meminger, a young girl whose parents are believed to be Communists and whose mother decides to give them up to foster care to keep Liesel and her brother safe.
The narrating style of the novel takes some getting used to, but The Book Thief is worth a read, for his incredible story. It’s also well known, as there is a movie out, so if you’ve seen the film, you simply have to read the book!
“There is one thing that I do find extraordinary and it never ceases to amaze me. That even in this day and age, in any day and age, that people always insist on believing their heroes are men” (p351)
That quote from the book really does say it all. This is a WWII story that plays off in Florence, Italy and centers around two women who faced the war with so much bravery. It’s a beautiful tale.
Speaking of female heroes during war, The Nightingale is no different. This one plays off in France and Vianne’s war story is my favourite. She had to live with Nazi soldiers occupying her house and having to fear for her life daily, while her sister Isabelle was working with the Resistance, both women being brave in their own way.
The Lavender Garden is another WWII war time story that plays off in France, also telling the story about two women and it was the novel that made me fall in love with Lucinda Riley’s novels. It is filled with bravery, loss, pain and guilt and it’s a must read if you enjoy WWII historical fiction
Are there any good WWII historical fiction you’ve read that you think I should give a read?