If there’s one thing I absolutely love to do, it’s cozy up and read a good book! My hubby affectionately calls me his little bookworm, and that I am. Growing up I used to set goals for myself over summer break – how many books could I read in two months. Let’s just say, those goals definitely helped me realize my love for a good book. For the last few years I’ve been addicted to a particular genre, historical fiction. But specifically those focusing on World War II. So let’s dive into my list of WWII fiction books to read right now!
I’ve always had a fascination with history. When I was a little girl I’d often ask my Lala about life during the war, and what she remembered. Did she plant a victory garden? Did she remember when young men in her neighborhood deployed? I think this fascination stemmed from my dad who loves a good WWII movie, and would let me watch some of them with him when I was younger… but I digress.
Historical fiction isn’t for everyone. And while it isn’t the only genre of books I like, it’s one that I’ve enjoyed most recently. I love learning about heroic women and families who put their lives on the line, all during a ghastly period in our world’s history. Transporting to locales I can only dream of visiting right now, along with a mixture of romances that tug at the heartstrings and adventure during wartime.
But honestly, probably the biggest reason I’m a WWII fiction fan is because with every single book, I learn a handful of new things. While these novels are fiction, most are loosely based on historical characters and events that actually existed. Did you know there were a group of women in the UK whom did everything to operate the anti-aircraft guns during the Blitz? I surely did not. Did you know there was a German scientist who was part of the American team that created and executed the atomic bomb? Bet you didn’t know that either.
Above all else, a good book can transport you to a faraway place! Right now, books are one of my favorite things to get lost in as we pass the time. Reading about strong women, compelling storylines and places less traveled are some of the few reasons I love curling up with a good read. Grab a cocktail and dive into one of these reads!
WWII Fiction Books to Read Now
BY KRISTIN HANNAH
If you’re going to read any WWII fiction book, make it this one. Truly one of the best books I’ve ever read. The compelling story-telling, the love and choices that are made during war, you’ll fall in love with this page-turner. Transport yourself to France, where two sisters disagree about the threat of WWII occupation. You’ll turn each page with eager anticipation to find out what happens to Hannah’s protagonist.
The Resistance Women
BY JENNIFER CHIAVERINI
A web of diverse characters and protagonists make up this novel, which chronicles the rise and fall of Hitler through the eyes of women who assist the resistance. The protagonists are real women who are willing to put their lives on the line for those they love and what they know to be right. A haunting depiction of Hitler’s Germany, that opens your eyes to the heroism of those who survived.
BY MARTHA HALL KELLY
What a moving novel! Truly, this was one of those books that I never wanted to end even though the stories of the three heroines are heartbreaking, yet memorable. A profound story of loss, strength and heroism of women in one of the most horrific concentration camps.
The Light Over London
BY JULIA KELLY
I couldn’t put this book down! This novel weaves together the past and the present in a compelling story of love and loss. It also is a wonderful reminder of courageous women whom might not receive recognition for their work, but continue to carry on regardless. I enjoyed the love stories that were intertwined within this novel as well.
We Were the Lucky Ones
BY GEORGIA HUNTER
Inspired by a true story the author uncovered from WWII, the novel chronicles a family’s will and fight to survive the Holocaust and one day reunite. I cried multiple times while reading this one, but it was worth it at the conclusion.
BY KATE QUINN
Kate Quinn, author of the Alice Network, another must-read WWII fiction novel, spins a web of deception hidden amongst everyday life, in post-war America. A team of Nazi-hunters is put on the scent of a killer who has escaped her past, only to have it brought back to life through a series of events.
BY JAN ELIASBERG
Different in that this WWII novel is set primarily in the United States, as opposed to Europe. Reaching the tail-end of the war, Hannah, a German physicist has spent her life’s work deciphering how to split the atom. Recruited to assist in the Manhattan Project, Hannah’s presence, and personal story, comes to the attention of the war crimes unit. This gripping tail of espionage, coupled with war and romance is a serious page-turner!