Getting lost in a good book is just fun. Especially when those stories are about a time in history that actually occurred. WWII books are all the rage with story after story popping up – another compelling tale that begs to be read. If you have hopped on the historical fiction novel train, the following WWII books include 10 of the best and most read stories.
1. The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah
The Nightingale is one of those historical fiction WWII books that has it all. Two sisters completely opposite but tied together in their devotion to one another during the war. Espionage, suspense, love, passion, and character development that will keep you holding your breath until the last page. A favorite of many, this tale about courage during impossible times is one you shouldn’t pass up.
2. The Alice Network by Kate Quinn
Painting a picture of strong and courageous women from varying generations, The Alice Network bounces the reader between WWII and WWI. One of the main characters served as a female spy in the Alice Network, a group of secret agents working in enemy territory. Full of both humor and heartbreak, this is one of the WWII books you need to read.
3. All The Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr
All The Light We Cannot See takes the reader down two very different paths that intertwine during the desecration of a French town in WWII. He is a young German solder with unlimited potential and she is a blind French teenager forced to flee her home and live with her eccentric uncle. While during most of the story, it is uncertain how they will meet and if their futures combine, the character development keeps you reading and cheering for both main characters.
4. The Winemaker’s Wife by Kristin Harmel
Bouncing back and forth between 1940 in France and 2019 New York, The Winemaker’s Wife is a beautiful tale of love and courage. Ines and Celene, the two main female characters, both boldly risk their lives and the lives of those they love. The current day story leads with a French grandmother visiting her granddaughter during a divorce and whisks her off to France. The reader is taken on a heart wrenching journey to solve how these tales intertwine.
5. Secrets of a Charmed Life by Susan Meissner
Set in current day Oxford, England, a college aged Kendra Van Zant arrives at the home of Isabel McFarland, a wealthy elderly woman unexpectantly eager to share the stories of her past. The story she tells paints a beautiful picture of the relationship of two sisters during wartime. If you are looking for WWII books that contains some mystery and keeps you reading to unwrap the answers, Secrets of a Charmed Life is the novel for you.
6. The Tattooist of Auschwitz by Heather Morris
Based upon interviews with the characters which the novel is based, The Tattooist of Auschwitz tells the love story of two people in the most unlikely of places. Set in Auschwitz, the concentration camp, Lale is imprisoned for over two years before he meets Gita, the future love of his life. This extraordinary tale tells of the horrors lived by camp prisoners and the hope that kept many alive. Many WWII books are based on true stories and this is one you can’t miss.
7. The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows
Made into a Netflix film, The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society is the story of an author in 1946 London seeking the subject of her next book. In her search, she meets a man from the island of Guernsey who is part of a literary society. What follows is a series of letters back and forth detailing the correspondence between the author and the members of the society. With all of the amazing WWII books available, there is a reason this one was captivating enough to make into a film.
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8. The Lost Girls of Paris by Pam Jenoff
Similar to The Alice Network, The Lost Girls of Paris revolves around the heroic women who served as agents during WWII. Grace Healey, the heroine of this tale, finds a suitcase empty outside of 12 photos of various woman under a bench at Grand Central Station in 1946 NYC. Impulsively, Grace takes the photographs home which takes her down a path of identifying and finding these women. This is one of the WWII Books inspired by true events that keeps you reading late into the night.
9. Beneath A Scarlet Sky by Mark Sullivan
Soon to be made into a film, Beneath A Scarlet Sky is based on the true story of an Italian boy turned German soldier and driver of Adolf Hitler’s Italian counterpart, General Hans Leyers. The boy, Pino Lella, bravely spies for the Allies inside the German High command and in turn, witnesses the horrors of war. This novel made the list of WWII books for its meticulous research and ability to articulate the events of this war torn time in history.
10. The German Midwife by Mandy Robotham
WWII books set in Germany are often set in concentration camps – which is the backdrop for The German Midwife. The main character, Anke, selflessly helps her fellow prisoners by delivering their babies. Her skill as a midwife is noticed by the Fuhrer who tasks Anke with delivering his child. This presents Anke with the difficult choice of serving the very people keeping her prisoner or allowing the child to suffer the wrath directed at its parents.
While the majority of these WWII books include fictional characters, all are built around true historical events. Each author paints a detailed account of what life was like in war torn times. Read one (or all 10) of these books to get lost in a great story from start to finish.
WANT TO READ MORE?
Check out this article on 10 Books Every High Schooler Should Read Before Graduation.
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Product Sources: Amazon.com