The WWII Home Front: Europe


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Britain, Ireland and British and Irish Travelers and Expatriates
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The Aftermath
Mysteries and Thrillers

For novels about German civilians during WWII, see the Nazi Germany page.

WWII London during the Blitz

For European civilians, World War II was an ever-present part of their lives. London and other European cities suffered terrifying bombing raids. Civilians in Japanese-occupied Singapore and elsewhere were forced into prisoner-of-war camps, while people living near prisoner-of-war camps had mixed feelings, from fear to curiosity and even affection, about the captured foreign soldiers in their midst.

Civilians supported the war effort in a variety of ways, large and small: knitting socks for soldiers, growing vegetable gardens, working in aircraft and bomb factories, making patriotic films. People living in occupied territory in France, Poland and elsewhere, or in the war zone itself, like the unfortunate citizens of Leningrad, often risked losing their lives and sometimes displayed remarkable heroism. After the war ended, it continued to affect people's lives as war-weary soldiers returned home, Jewish refugees tried to find new lives in new countries, and professionals traveled to Germany and Japan to prosecute war crimes and help rebuild shattered civilizations.


Britain, Ireland and British and Irish Travelers and Expatriates

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Rosie Alison, The Very Thought of You (2009), about an eight-year-old girl evacuated from London as Hitler's bombs begin to drop, to the home of a childless couple whose marriage is disintegrating. Review at Pursewarden

Rosie Archer, The Munitions Girls (2015), about a Hampshire girl who works in a munitions factory but is fired after she becomes pregnant by an American serviceman, and must rely on her friends to help her survive.

Joan Bakewell, All the Nice Girls (2009), about the headmistress of a school who arranges for her girls to "adopt" a Liverpool merchant ship and then embarks on affair with the married ship captain; a frame story concerns a woman in 2003 as the Iraq War is about to begin, who discovers a box of newspaper clippings about the 1942 ship adoption.

Lily Baxter, Poppy's War (2010), about a girl evacuated to a village in Dorset as a thirteen-year-old in 1939, later moves again after learning her parents have been killed in the Blitz, and begins training as a nurse.

Lily Baxter, Spitfire Girl (2011), historical romance about an eighteen-year-old London girl in 1940 who wants to learn to fly so she can help defend her country and the flying instructor she falls in love with before she discovers he is missing in action.

Lily Baxter, The Shopkeeper's Daughter (2013), historical romance about a London shopgirl who falls for an American soldier in 1944, but discovers he is already engaged to a girl at home.

Maggie Bennett, A Family's Duty (2013), about a Hampshire family during the World War II years and beyond.

Charlotte Bingham, The Daisy Club (2009), about a group of young women defending an English country house from a closer threat than Germany as World War II breaks out.

Chris Bohjalian, Skeletons at the Feast, about an escaped Scottish prisoner of war in love with a German farmer's daughter as they flee from the advancing Russian army during the last days of World War II.

Chris Bohjalian, The Light in the Ruins (2013), about an aristocratic Italian family in 1943 whose isolation from the war is broken when a Nazi officer begins to court the eighteen-year-old daughter, and a police detective in 1955 assigned to find a serial killer targeting the family.

Rita Bradshaw, The Colours of Love (2015), about a young woman serving in the Land Girls whose husband rejects her when the birth of her child reveals secrets about her own parentage.

Melvyn Bragg, Grace and Mary (2013), about a son who visits his 92-year-old mother in the hope of reviving her fading memories and learns about her girlhood in Cumbria in the 1940s.

Rhidian Brook, The Aftermath (2013), about a British officer in charge of the de-Nazification of Hamburg who brings his family to live in the same house with a German family in 1946.

Kate Lord Brown, The Beauty Chorus (2011), about a debutante who volunteers to become one of the female pilots who fly planes to military bases where they are needed.

Michael Cannon, Lachlan's War (2006), about a doctor in a remote Scottish village and his encounters with four newcomers, an evacuated boy and three young women, who introduce disconcerting changes and a greater awareness of the war to the village.


Helen Carey, Lavender Road (1995), about the people living in a London neighborhood during World War II; #1 in the London at War series.

Helen Carey, Some Sunny Day (1996), about the people living in a London neighborhood during the Blitz; #2 in the London at War series.

Helen Carey, On a Wing and a Prayer (1997), about the people from a London neighborhood during the third year of the war; #3 in the London at War series.


Amelia Carr, A Song at Sunset (2010), about a woman trapped in a loveless marriage who defies her husband to go to work at a hospital during World War II, where she falls in love with a doctor.

Mary Chamberlain, The Dressmaker of Dachau (2015), about an English seamstress in Paris who is taken prisoner by the Nazis.

Peter Ho Davies, The Welsh Girl (2007), about the daughter of a Welsh sheep farmer and a German soldier in a prisoner-of-war camp during the last months of World War II.

Ellie Dean, There'll Be Blue Skies (2011), about a sixteen-year-old girl responsible for her younger brother, crippled by polio, who goes with him to live in a boarding house on the coast when they are evacuated; #1 in the Beach View Boarding House series.

Ellie Dean, Far From Home (2012), about an English nurse who must send her daughter to Canada in order to work at a hospital on the coast where she can be near her seriously wounded husband; #2 in the Beach View Boarding House series.

Margaret Dickinson, The Clippie Girls (2013), about sisters working as tram conductors in Sheffield as WWII begins.

Margaret Dickinson, Red Sky in the Morning (2004), about a lost girl, the Lincolnshire farmer who takes her in against the wishes of his wife, and the tragic results for the family. (Not to be confused with Richard Bradford's 1968 novel Red Sky at Morning, set in contemporary New Mexico)

Robert Dinsdale, Three Miles (2011), about a police captain in Leeds who finally captures the leader of a gang of thieves on the night of a German bombing raid and must escort him to the station while evading both the bombs and the rest of the gang.

Donna Douglas, The Nightingale Girls (2012), about three student nurses in 1936 London.

Lissa Evans, Their Finest Hour and a Half (2009), about a London film company and the making of a heart-warming and not exactly accurate war movie about Dunkirk.

Lissa Evans, Crooked Heart (2015), about a boy evacuated to live with a widow in a London suburb during the Blitz and the money-making scheme they pursue. Review at The Guardian

Natalie Meg Evans, The Milliner's Secret (2015), about a woman who moves from London to Paris to pursue a new career as a dressmaker on the eve of the German occupation.

Pamela Evans, On Her Own Two Feet (2014), about a woman who becomes a fitness instructor in WWII London after her husband walks out on her and her baby.

Patricia Falvey, The Linen Queen (2011), historical romance about an Irish mill girl who plans to win a beauty contest and use the prize money to leave her home town, a plan complicated by the Belfast blitz.

Katie Flynn, A Mistletoe Kiss (2010), about a librarian who befriends a girl with a longing to read on the eve of World War II.

Katie Flynn, Time to Say Goodbye (2014), about three Liverpool girls evacuated to the country during WWII who find an injured fighter pilot.

Ken Follett, Night Over Water (1991), a thriller about the passengers on a luxury airliner sabotaged while on its way to New York from Southampton in 1939 as World War II rages.

Alicia Foster, Warpaint (2013), about three women working for the War Artist's Advisory Committee to record wartime life and improve morale, and a woman serving as part of a secret propaganda team to demoralize the enemy, whose lives intersect in 1942.

Kate Furnivall, The Far Side of the Sun (2014), about two women from very different backgrounds in the Bahamas, where the Duke and Duchess of Windsor were sent in order to keep them away from their Nazi friends in Germany.

Rosie Goodwin, Home Front Girls (2013), about three young women who become friends after they all take jobs in a shop in Coventry.

Iris Gower, Bombers' Moon (2009), historical romance about a young woman evacuated to Wales when her home town of Swansea is bombed, who falls in love with a half-German man.

Linda Grant, The Cast Iron Shore (1996), about a young Jewish woman who leaves her home in Liverpool for America after she uncovers a devastating secret during the Blitz.


Hilary Green, Now Is the Hour (2006), about four friends who work in the theatre business and are forced to part at the beginning of World War II to face dangers in the service and on the home front; #1 in the Fairbourne Follies series.

Hilary Green, They Also Serve (2007), about four friends who used to work in the theatre business and their experiences in 1941 as World War II brings each of them different challenges; #2 in the Fairbourne Follies series.

Hilary Green, Theatre of War (2008), about four friends who used to work in the theatre business and their experiences in 1942 as the war is fought in North Africa and Italy; #3 in the Fairbourne Follies series.

Hilary Green, The Final Act (2009), about four friends who used to work in the theatre business and their experiences in 1944 as they hope for the end of the war; #4 in the Fairbourne Follies series.


Iona Grey, Letters to the Lost (2015), about a London woman of the present day who becomes drawn into the story of two lovers in the World War II era when she reads a mysterious letter.

Catherine Hall, Days of Grace (2010), about a twelve-year-old girl sent away from London at the beginning of World War II to live with a family in which more is going on under the surface than she at first realizes.

Ruth Hamilton, Sugar and Spice (2010), about a girl who is orphaned in 1940 at age five when her mother dies in childbirth, leaving twin babies who become a challenge to their elder sister's warm heart as they grow up.

Ruth Hamilton, That Liverpool Girl (2011), about a Liverpool woman separated from the rest of her family when her daughter refuses to be evacuated after Britain declares war on Germany in 1939.

Charlotte Hardy, Meg (2007), about a woman who discovers a painting that belonged to her dead mother which tells the story of her 1938 love affair with an Austrian intellectual.

Rosie Harris, Guarded Passions (2014), about a widow in her thirties who fears her eighteen-year-old daughter, who falls in love with a soldier, may be about to repeat her own mistake.

Sherrie Hewson, The Tannery (2009), about a girl whose father leaves his tannery job and enlists in the military at the beginning of World War II, leaving his family in desperate straits.

Christine Dwyer Hickey, Last Train from Liguria (2011), about a London woman who moves to Italy in 1933 to tutor the child of a Jewish heiress and an Italian aristocrat and, as the fascism overtakes the country, must try to smuggle the child to safety.

Maggie Holt, A Nurse At War (2011), historical romance about a young woman who begins working for an RAF hospital after learning that the man she loves is having an affair with a married woman.

Helen Humphreys, The Lost Garden (2002), about a London woman who goes to the countryside during the Blitz to take charge of a crew of young women who will plant vegetables in the ruined gardens of an old country estate. Review

Angela Huth, Land Girls (1993), about three young women who become fast friends after volunteering to help raise vegetables as part of the Women's Land Army during the war. Article in the Telegraph about the controversy over this novel and the film

Angela Huth, Once a Land Girl (2010), follows the lives after the war of three women who became friends after they volunteered for the Women's Land Army; sequel to Land Girls.

Ruby Jackson, Churchill's Angels (2013), a romantic novel about twin sisters from Dartford, one of whom signs up for work in a munitions factory, while the other dreams of becoming a pilot; #1 in the Churchill's Angels series.

Ruby Jackson, Wave Me Goodbye (2014), a romantic novel about a Dartford girl who signs up to do agricultural work as a Land Girl during World War II; #2 in the Churchill's Angels series.

Janice Y.K. Lee, The Piano Teacher (2009), about a love affair between an English woman who teaches piano in Hong Kong after World War II and a man who had an earlier affair during the war with a Eurasian woman.

Maureen Lee, Au Revoir Liverpool (2011), about a Liverpool woman abandoned by her jealous husband, who finds herself stranded in Paris during the German occupation.

Maureen Lee, The Seven Streets of Liverpool (2014), about a neighborhood in Liverpool during the Christmas season of 1942.

Judith Lennox, In the Heart of the Night (2009), about a young British woman and the young Russian woman for whom she is hired as a companion.

Margaret Leroy, A Brief Affair (2016), about a London widow, an amateur photographer and the mother of two daughters, who volunteers to become a warden during the Blitz.

Alison MacLeod, Unexploded (2013), about a woman in Brighton, whose banker husband is in charge of a prisoner-of-war camp, and a German prisoner she comes to know.


Olivia Manning, The Great Fortune (1960), about a newly married couple in the English colony in Bucharest, Romania, on the eve of World War II; #1 in the Balkan Trilogy (technically not historical fiction, as it was based on the author's own experiences as a civilian during the war).

Olivia Manning, The Spoilt City (1962), about a young married couple in the English colony in Bucharest, Romania, as the threat of German invasion looms; #2 in the Balkan Trilogy (technically not historical fiction, as it was based on the author's own experiences as a civilian during the war).

Olivia Manning, Friends and Heroes (1965), about a young married couple who are separated when the wife flees to Athens while the husband is trapped in Nazi-occupied Bucharest, Romania; #3 in the Balkan Trilogy (technically not historical fiction, as it was based on the author's own experiences as a civilian during the war).

Olivia Manning, The Danger Tree (1977), about an English couple in Egypt during the Second World War; #1 in the Levant Trilogy, which continues the story in the Balkan Trilogy (technically not historical fiction, as it was based on the author's own experiences as a civilian during the war).

Olivia Manning, The Battle Lost and Won (1977), about an English couple in Egypt during the Second World War; #2 in the Levant Trilogy (technically not historical fiction, as it was based on the author's own experiences as a civilian during the war).

Olivia Manning, The Sum of Things (1977), about an English couple in Egypt during the Second World War; #3 in the Levant Trilogy (technically not historical fiction, as it was based on the author's own experiences as a civilian during the war).


Anthony Masters, Tenko (1981), about British women, wives of officials in the British colony of Singapore, in a Japanese prisoner-of-war camp after the fall of Singapore to Japan; based on a BBC television series; difficult to obtain outside the U.K.

Beryl Matthews, The Uncertain Years (2010), about four London friends and their different experiences during World War II.

Ian McEwan, Atonement, a literary novel about the children in an upper-middle-class British family during the years from 1935 through World War II and beyond.

Susan Meissner, Secrets of a Charmed Life (2015), about a young American woman and the English WWII survivor she interviews, who was sent with her sister to the Cotswolds during the Blitz.

Connie Monk, When the Bough Breaks (2011), about a woman whose husband is called up to fight when the war begins in 1939, leaving her to run their market garden.

Kate Morton, The Distant Hours (2010), about a present-day woman who sets out to unravel the mystery of her mother's experience as a girl during World War II when she was evacuated to stay with an eccentric family in their castle in the country.

Annie Murray, War Babies (2015), about a sixteen-year-old Birmingham girl who struggles to care for her newborn after her husband is sent to fight.

Annemarie Neary, A Parachute in the Lime Tree (2012), about a German parachutist who lands in a tree in Ireland, the woman who finds him in her kitchen, and two young lovers in neutral Ireland in 1941.

Mary Nichols, The Farmer’s Daughter (2016), about a Suffolk girl who falls in love with the German POW who helps her manage her sick father’s farm.

William Nicholson, Motherland (2013), about two best friends and the woman they both fall in love with in 1942 while stationed in Sussex, and the effects of their choices in the following decades.

Robert Radcliffe, Under an English Heaven (2002), about an American pilot, a schoolteacher whose husband is missing in the war, and a fourteen-year-old boy evacuated from London, and the turmoil of their lives in a Suffolk village after an American military base locates nearby.

Anna Richards, Little Gods (2009), a comic novel about a tall young woman freed of her hateful mother by a bombing raid on London who finds, then loses, love with a short American GI who admires her size. Review at The Guardian

Lucinda Riley, The Lavender Garden (2013), about a British woman sent to Paris in 1944 to help the Resistance, and a French woman who inherits a debt-ridden chateau and vineyard in the Cote d'Azur in 1998.

Carol Rivers, East End Angel (2010), about a young bride who becomes pregnant after being raped while her hot-tempered husband is away serving in the military.

Melanie Rose, Ashford (2011), about an American orphan stranded in England as World War II begins; self-published.

Phyll MacDonald Ross and I.D. Roberts, Bandaging the Blitz (2015), about an eighteen-year-old girl training to be a nurse in London during World War II who falls in love with a soldier.

Joanna Rossiter, The Sea Change (2013), about a woman in 1971 searching for her husband after a tsunami in India, and her mother's experiences in 1943 when the Wiltshire village where she lived was requisitioned by the army.

Robert Ryan, Night Crossing (2003), a love triangle about a German violinist who flees to England and the Scotland Yard policeman and German POW who both love her; #3 in the Morning, Noon and Night series.

Judith Saxton, You Are My Sunshine (2011), about four young British women who become friends while serving their country as balloon operatives during World War II.

Kamila Shamsie, A God in Every Stone (2014), about an English woman working at a Turkish archaeological dig in 1914 where she falls in love with a Turk and comes to share his dream of finding an ancient silver circlet, just before World War II separates them.

Alexander McCall Smith, La's Orchestra Saves the World (2008), about a London widow who moves to the countryside during World War I, organizes an orchestra, and finds love.

Natasha Solomons, Mr. Rosenblum Dreams in English (2010; titled Mr. Rosenblum's List in the U.K.), about a Jewish man who relocates his family from Germany to England and sets out to become perfectly assimilated, to his wife's dismay.


Jessica Stirling, A Corner of the Heart (2011), about a girl from London's East End who, after she takes a job as private secretary to an author, begins moving in sophisticated circles where she meets a handsome agent with a questionable past.

Jessica Stirling, The Wayward Wife (2013), about a woman who gets a job as a producer's assistant at the BBC in London while her husband is in Evesham monitoring German radio broadcasts; sequel to A Corner of the Heart.

Jessica Stirling, The Constant Star (2014), about a woman whose job at the BBC becomes complicated when a bomb destroys the building and she begins working under a new boss; sequel to The Wayward Wife.


Julia Stoneham, Muddy Boots and Silk Stockings (2008), about a young woman who works as a warden for a group of Land Girls growing food in Devonshire as part of home front efforts to support the war; #1 in the Land Girls trilogy.

Julia Stoneham, The Girl at the Farmhouse Gate (2010), about a young woman recovering from family troubles while taking charge of a group of Land Girls and wondering how to respond to her employer's growing interest in her; #2 in the Land Girls trilogy.

Julia Stoneham, Alice’s Girls (2011), about three women who became friends while doing farm work as Land Girls and their experiences as the war comes to an end; #3 in the Land Girls trilogy.

D.J. Taylor, The Windsor Faction (2013), alternative history which imagines Wallis Simpson dying in 1936, Edward VIII remaining as king, and a secret society influencing him to consider peace negotiations with Germany.

Patrick Taylor, An Irish Doctor in Peace and War (2014), about an Irish doctor whose plan to marry his sweetheart is interrupted by World War II, when he serves as a surgeon on a battleship.

Leslie Thomas, Dover Beach (2005), a comic novel set in Dover, England, in May 1940 as some 338,000 soldiers evacuated from Dunkirk passed through the town.

Rosie Thomas, The Kashmir Shawl (2013), about a young bride from rural Wales whose missionary husband takes her to India in 1941 amid World War II and then leaves her in Srinagar to go on a dangerous mission.

Kate Thompson, Secrets of the Sewing Bee (2016), about two young women working in a London textile factory in Bethnal Green during the early years of World War II.

Liz Trenow, The Last Telegram (2013), about a woman who works in her family's silk weaving factory during World War II and falls in love with a Jewish refugee from Germany who also comes to work at the factory.

Anne Valery, Tenko Reunion (1985), about British women, wives of officials in the British colony of Singapore, in a Japanese prisoner-of-war camp after the fall of Singapore to Japan.

Martyn Waites, Angel of Death (2013), about a teacher caring for a group of children evacuated to a haunted country mansion during the London Blitz; sequel to Susan Hill's novel The Woman in Black. Review at The Guardian

Sarah Waters, The Night Watch, about two women falling in love in World War London.

Peter Watson, Madeleine’s War (2015), about an injured British military officer who trains resistance fighers, and the French-Canadian recruit he falls in love with.

Paul Willetts, Rendezvous at the Russian Tea Rooms (2015), a thriller about a London spy-hunter, a Russian-born fashion designer, and an American who becomes a spy for the Soviets during World War II.

Dee Williams, This Time for Keeps (2009), about a young London woman who joins the Land Army after her parents are killed in an air raid, the Italian POW who breaks her heart, and the violent man she marries.

Connie Willis, Blackout (2010), about time-traveling historians who become stranded in England during the Blitz. Review

Connie Willis, All Clear (2010), about time-traveling historians stranded in England during World War II who suspect that, contrary to the conclusions of experts about the nature of time travel, their actions may have affected events sufficiently to alter the outcome of the war; sequel to Blackout.

Janet Woods, I’ll Get By (2013), historical romance about a London girl living with her aunt and uncle who joins the Wrens at the beginning of WWII and meets a man from an upper class background.


Russia and Russian Travelers and Expatriates

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Belinda Alexandra, White Gardenia (2002), about the daughter of Russians who fled to China during the Revolution, and her struggle to survive after she and her mother are separated near the end of WWII. Review

David Benioff, City of Thieves, about a man who tells his grandson the story of his experiences during the siege of Leningrad, when to save his life he had to find a dozen eggs in the starving city for a wedding cake for a military official's daughter.

Debra Dean, The Madonnas of Leningrad, about a woman with Alzheimer's who cherishes the memory of the paintings she helped preserve during the siege of Leningrad. Review

Helen Dunmore, The Siege, about a woman in Leningrad and her struggle for survival when it is besieged by the Germans during World War II.

Susan Fromberg Schaeffer, Anya, about Russian Jews in Poland in the years leading up to World War II.


Paullina Simons, The Bronze Horseman (2000), a love story set in World War II Leningrad; #1 in the Tatiana and Alexander series.

Paullina Simons, Tatiana and Alexander (2003; also titled The Bridge to Holy Cross), about a young Russian woman who flees to New York, believing herself widowed, while her husband is being held by Stalin's secret police; #2 in the Tatiana and Alexander series.

Paullina Simons, The Summer Garden (2005), about Russian lovers who have been reunited in the U.S. only to find their happiness threatened by the Cold War atmosphere and their memories of the past; #3 in the Tatiana and Alexander series.

Paullina Simons, Children of Liberty (2013), about a young Sicilian woman and the son of a wealthy English businessman who meet in the U.S. at the turn of the twentieth century; prequel to The Bronze Horseman.

Paullina Simons, Bellagrand (2014), about an Italian immigrant in Masschusetts and the wealthy Boston man she loves; sequel to Children of Liberty.




Italy and Spain under Fascism

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Belinda Alexandra, Tuscan Rose (2012), about an Italian girl raised by nuns who leaves the convent to become governess for an aristocratic family in an elegant but cursed house. Review

Virginia Baily, Early One Morning (2015), about a Roman woman whose impulsive decision to save a Jewish child in 1943 affects many lives.

Dave Boling, Guernica (2008), about two Basque families living in and near the town of Guernica in the years before and after the town's bombing by the Nazis. Review

Emilio Calderon, The Creator's Map, about a Spanish architect in Rome during the fascist period from 1937-1952, and a mysterious, occult map sought by the Nazis.

Ellen Cooney, Lambrusco, about an woman in German-occupied Italy who sets out to find her son, who has disappeared after blowing up a German truck.

Anthony Capella, The Wedding Officer (2006), a comic love story about a beautiful Italian cook and a British officer responsible for preventing wartime marriages between British soldiers and Italian civilians.

Victor del Arbol, The Sadness of the Samurai (2012), a thriller about a woman in 1941 Spain whose lover betrays her after she becomes involved in a plot to assassinate her husband.

Dasa Drndic, Trieste (2012), about an old Italian woman's memories of the Nazi era as she finally awaits a reunion with her son, who was taken from her by the Lebensborn program.

Valerio Massimo Manfredi, A Winter's Night (2012), about a family of Italian farmers who offer their barn as a shelter for travelers during World War I.

Mike Mignola and Christopher Golden, Father Gaetano's Puppet Catechism (2012), an illustrated horror novella about a priest who runs an orphanage in Sicily during World War II and the puppets he uses to teach the catechism, who come to life after dark and take the Bible stories literally.

Elsa Morante, History (1974), about an Italian widow and her sons during World War II and its aftermath; written by an author alive during the war, so not technically historical fiction.


Occupied Europe and Europeans in Occupied Countries

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Belinda Alexandra, Wild Lavender (2005), about a Frenchwoman whose success as a singer is disrupted by the German occupation of Paris during World War II.

Ronald H. Balson, Once We Were Brothers (2013), about two Polish men, raised together as boys, who are divided during the Holocaust when one of them persecutes Jews as "the Butcher of Zamosc."

Charles Belfoure, The Paris Architect (2013), about an architect asked to design a secret hiding place for a wealthy Jewish man in Nazi-occupied Paris.

Louis De Bernieres, Captain Corelli’s Mandolin, about a doctor on a small Greek island occupied by Mussolini's army, his daughter, the fisherman and resistance fighter to whom the daughter is engaged, and the charming and cultured commander of the Italian garrison who becomes the daughter's lover.

Kate Breslin, For Such a Time (2014), a retelling of the Esther story of the Bible in a World War II setting, about a blonde Jewish woman and an SS officer in charge of the Theresienstadt concentration camp in Czechoslovakia; Christian message.

Mykola Dementiuk, Vienna Dolorosa, about the patrons, employees and residents of a Viennese transvestite brothel/hotel on the day in 1938 that Hitler invades Austria. Review at Speak Its Name

Anthony Doerr, All the Light We Cannot See (2014), about a blind French girl in Nazi-occupied France and an orphaned German boy whose skill at building and repairing radios makes him valuable to the Germans for tracking the French Resistance.

Andrew Eddy, Revontuli (2014), about a Finnish girl who falls in love with the German officer billeted in her family's home.

Sarah Gainham, Night Falls on the City (1967), about a non-Jewish actress hiding her Jewish husband from the Nazis in German-occupied Vienna; technically not historical fiction.

Franz-Olivier Giesbert, Himmler's Cook (2015), about a French chef who lives through the most harrowing events of the twentieth century without losing her joie de vivre.

Hélène Grémillon, The Confidant (2012), about a Parisian book editor who in 1975 begins corresponding with a man who tells her the story of his first love on the eve of World War II and the Nazi occupation of Paris.

Lucretia Grindle, The Villa Triste (2010), about two sisters in Nazi-occupied Florence, Italy, as bands of partisans work to undermine the occupation; and about a present-day policeman who investigates the death of one of the partisans who helped liberate the city in 1944. Review at the Daily Express

Kristin Hannah, The Nightingale (2015), about a woman in a rural French village whose husband is fighting at the front when the Nazis invade France, and her sister, who falls in love with a partisan.

Douglas Jacobson, Night of Flames (2007), about the World War II experiences of a Polish couple, she in Krakow and he in a Polish cavalry unit, during the German invasion of Poland; self-published. Brief critique

Martha Hall Kelly, Lilac Girls (2016), about two women subjected to medical experiments in the Ravensbruck concentration camp, and a New York socialite who tries to help them.

Joseph Kertes, Gratitude (2009), about a family of wealthy Hungarian Jews and their efforts to survive during the World War II years.

Nancy Kricorian, All the Light There Was (2013), about an Armenian girl living with her family in Paris during the German occupation.

Michele Lang, Lady Lazarus (2010), historical fantasy about a young Hungarian woman whose inherited powers as a Jewish witch may give her the ability to stop Hitler; #1 in a series.

Michele Lang, Dark Victory (2012), historical fantasy about a young Hungarian-Jewish witch trying to stop Hitler's invasion of Poland; #2 in a series.

Jean-Marie Le Clézio, Wandering Star (1992), about a Jewish girl who escapes from occupied France to Israel and a Palestinian girl growing up in a refugee camp; the author was awarded the 2008 Nobel Prize for Literature. Review

Margaret Leroy, The Soldier's Wife (2011), about an unhappily married Guernsey woman who falls in love with a German officer during the German occupation of Guernsey.

Patrick Modiano, The Occupation Trilogy (1968-1974), an omnibus edition of three novels about life in Paris during the Nazi occupation: La Place de l'Etoile, The Night Watch, and Ring Roads, by a Nobel-Prize-winning author.

Jan Moran, Scent of Triumph (2015), a romance about a French woman in the perfume business who becomes separated from her family at the beginning of WWII, and the American naval captain who helps her search for them.

Holly Müller, My Own Dear Brother (2016), a coming-of-age story about a thirteen-year-old girl in an Austrian village occupied by the Nazis whose mother has an affair with a married man, brother joins the Hitler Youth, and best friend disappears.

Sofi Oksanen, When the Doves Disappeared (2015), about an Estonian family amid the political changes of World War II and the years that follow.

Julie Orringer, The Invisible Bridge (2010), about a Jewish architecture student from Budapest who arrives in Paris in 1937 where he falls in love with a ballet teacher as the rising anti-Semitism across Europe builds toward World War II. Review at the San Francisco Chronicle

Alison Pick, Far to Go (2011), about a Jewish family in Czechoslovakia who struggle for survival during the Nazi invasion of 1938-39, and a present-day historian who takes an interest in them while working on the history of the Kindertransport, which helped Czechoslovakian children escape.

Alyson Richman, The Lost Wife (2011), about young lovers separated when the Nazis invade Prague, but who meet again decades later in New York.

Richard Romanus, Chrysalis (2011), about a young woman from a mountain village in Greece and her struggle for love during World War II and the Greek Civil War. Review

Steve Sem-Sandberg, The Emperor of Lies (2011), about Mordechai Chaim Rumkowski, the Jewish businessman and orphanage director the Nazis put in charge of the Jewish ghetto in Lódz, Poland, in 1940.

Steve Sem-Sandberg, The Chosen Ones (2015), about a child and a nurse in a hospital in Austria that carries out a Nazi euthanasia program.

Elena Mauli Shapiro, 13, Rue Therese (2011), about an American man who discovers a box of artifacts in Paris dating to World War II and imagines the life of the French woman whose story they tell.

Jim Shepard, The Book of Aron (2015), about a boy who leads a gang of child smugglers in the Warsaw Ghetto during the Nazi occupation, and a doctor famous as an advocate for children's rights who is in charge of the Warsaw orphanage.

Kevin Vennemann, Close to Jedenew, about children in the small, Nazi-occupied Polish town of Jedenew whose Jewish playmates are disappearing one by one.

Susan Vreeland, Lisette's List (2014), about a Paris woman who, shortly before WWII, must give up her dream of becoming an art gallery apprentice to move to a small town in Provence. Review

Eva Weaver, The Puppet Boy of Warsaw (2013), about a teenage puppeteer struggling to survive in the Warsaw Ghetto during the German occupation.

Charles Weinblatt, Jacob's Courage: A Holocaust Love Story (2007), a coming of age story about two young Jewish lovers in Salzburg at the time of the Nazi takeover; self-published.

Isabel Wolff, Shadows Over Paradise (2015), about a present-day ghostwriter who interviews an elderly Dutch woman who was interned with her family in Indonesia after the fall of Java in 1942.

Sara Young, My Enemy's Cradle, about a pregnant, half-Jewish woman in German-occupied Holland who masquerades as her cousin in a German-run maternity home in order to escape the Nazi persecution of Jews. Review

Simone Zelitch, Louisa (2000), about a Hungarian Jew and her widowed German Christian daughter-in-law, who insists on accompanying her to Israel in 1949; flashbacks show their lives during the war.

Sofka Zinovieff, The House on Paradise Street (2013), about an elderly Greek woman whose son's funeral rekindles an old family feud and memories of her experiences in Nazi-occupied Athens.


The Aftermath

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Melvyn Bragg, The Soldier's Return (2002), about an English soldier who returns from Burma to find that both he and his family have changed and must make difficult adjustments to a new reality.

Gina Buonaguro and Janice Kirk, Ciao Bella (2009), about a woman living on the farm near Venice belonging to the family of her husband, missing since since he joined the Resistance during the war, who meets an attractive American soldier stranded in Italy after the war.

Jillian Cantor, Margot (2013), a novel which imagines that Anne Frank's sister escaped to America and struggles with survivor guilt as her dead sister becomes famous for her diary.

Erri DeLuca, The Day Before Happiness (2011), about an apartment building superintendent in Naples who has the gift of reading people's thoughts and takes an orphaned boy under his wing in the aftermath of World War II.

Anita Diamant, Day After Night (2009), about four young Jewish women, each from a different place in Europe and with a different story, who meet and become friends in a British detention center where they are being held as illegal immigrants to Palestine.

Robert Edric, The Kingdom of Ashes, a literary novel about a British officer involved in the interrogation of German war criminals in 1946 and his love for a German interpreter.

Robert Edric, Peacetime, a literary novel about an engineer involved in demolishing gun emplacements in the British fenlands in the late summer of 1946 after World War II.

Martin Fletcher, Jacob’s Oath (2013), about a survivor of the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp who, aware that the S.S. guard who killed his brother is still alive and free, returns to Germany to avenge his brother's death.

Chris Greenhalgh, Seducing Ingrid Bergman (2012), about the love affair of Ingrid Bergman and Robert Capa in Paris in 1945.

Shirley Hazzard, The Great Fire, about a British war hero working in Hiroshima in the aftermath of World War II, who becomes involved with the ailing twenty-year-old son and the attractive teenage daughter of an Australian medical administrator.

Amanda Hodgkinson, 22 Britannia Road (2011), about a Polish woman and her young son who lived in hiding in the forests during the war and go to England when it ends to join her husband.

James Holland, A Pair of Silver Wings (2006), about an aging man who recalls his days as a fighter pilot in World War II and travels to Malta and Italy in a quest for emotional healing.

Sara Houghteling, Pictures at an Exhibition (2009), about a Jewish art dealer's son who returns to Paris at the end of World War II and begins an obsessive search for the paintings looted from his father's shop by the Nazis. Review from The New York Times

Rosalind Laker, The House by the Fjord (2011), about an English war widow who visits a friend in Norway in 1946, where she discovers family and love.

Andrea Levy, Small Island (2004), about four Londoners, a Jamaican woman, her white landlady, and their husbands, newly returned veterans of World War II.

Tom Macaulay, The Warning Bell (2009), about a man who goes to Brittany to try to find out what traumatized his father so badly during World War II that he could never speak about it.

Annie Murray, All The Days of Our Lives (2011), about three young Englishwomen who find in 1946 that peacetime is as challenging, in its own way, as wartime.

Robert Ryan, After Midnight (2003), about a young woman in 1964 who decides to find out what happened to her father, a bomber pilot in World War II, who disappeared on a mission in Italy in 1944 when she was a year old; #4 in the Morning, Noon and Night series.

W.G. Sebald, Austerlitz (2001), about a man adopted as a child by Welsh parents after he was evacuated from Czechoslovakia before Hitler's invasion in 1939, and his efforts to learn more about his mother, who was sent to the concentration camp at Theresienstadt.

W.G. Sebald, The Emigrants, about Jewish emigrés in the years following World War II.

Sarah Waters, The Little Stranger (2009), about a country doctor with a working class background who, called upon to treat the maladies of an upper class family fallen on hard times after the war, is reluctant to agree with the servants that there is a supernatural cause for the family's mental decline.


Mysteries and Thrillers

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Stephanie Barron, The White Garden (2009), about a modern landscape designer who, on a visit to Sissinghurst Castle, discovers a diary begun by Virginia Woolf in 1941, the day after her supposed suicide which, if authenticated, could overturn everything people thought they knew about Woolf's demise.

Tim Binding, Lying with the Enemy (1999), about a police inspector on Guernsey Island investigating the murder of a woman he had been fond of who had been having an affair with the commander of the German occupying forces.

Michael Chabon, The Final Solution (2005), a mystery featuring the 89-year-old Sherlock Holmes, a nine-year-old boy who has escaped from Nazi Germany, and a parrot who utters strings of numbers in German.

Mitch Cullen, A Slight Trick of the Mind (2005), a mystery that imagines the 93-year-old Sherlock Holmes revisiting a former case in 1947; the 2015 movie Mr. Holmes was based on this novel.

David Stuart Davies, Forests of the Night (2007), about a one-eyed private investigator in wartime London hired to find a couple's missing daughter, who worked as a high-class prostitute; #1 in the Johnny Hawke mystery series

David Stuart Davies, Without Conscience (2008), about a one-eyed private investigator in wartime London whose work sets him on a collision course with an unscrupulous deserter; #2 in the Johnny Hawke mystery series

Gordon Ferris, The Hanging Shed (2011), about a former paratrooper who returns to Glasgow in 1946 to try to clear an old friend, horribly changed by his WWII experiences, from an accusation of murder.

Elizabeth Ironside, A Good Death (2000), a mystery about a French resistance fighter who returns home for a visit and discovers his wife took a German SS officer as a lover while he was gone and the SS officer has been murdered


Kate Kingsbury, A Bicycle Built For Murder (2001), a cozy mystery featuring the lady of an English manor who must cope with numerous wartime difficulties and investigate a murder, as well; #1 in the Manor House series.

Kate Kingsbury, Death is in the Air (2001), a cozy mystery featuring the lady of an English manor who must cope with numerous wartime difficulties and investigate a murder after a German pilot crash-lands in the local woods; #2 in the Manor House series.

Kate Kingsbury, For Whom Death Tolls (2002), a cozy mystery featuring the lady of an English manor who must cope with numerous wartime difficulties and investigate the death of an American G.I. found hanging from the bell rope in the local church tower; #3 in the Manor House series.

Kate Kingsbury, Dig Deep for Murder (2002), a cozy mystery featuring the lady of an English manor who must cope with numerous wartime difficulties and investigate a murder when a corpse is discovered in a victory garden; #4 in the Manor House series.

Kate Kingsbury, Paint by Murder (2003), a cozy mystery featuring the lady of an English manor who must cope with numerous wartime difficulties and investigate the murder of one of her tenants; #5 in the Manor House series.

Kate Kingsbury, Berried Alive (2004), a cozy mystery featuring the lady of an English manor who must cope with numerous wartime difficulties and find out who has been poisoning American G.I.s; #6 in the Manor House series.

Kate Kingsbury, Fire When Ready (2004), a cozy mystery featuring the lady of an English manor who must cope with numerous wartime difficulties and find out who sabotaged the local munitions factory; #7 in the Manor House series.

Kate Kingsbury, Wedding Rows (2006), a cozy mystery featuring the lady of an English manor who must cope with numerous wartime difficulties and investigate the murder of a stranger at a local wedding; #8 in the Manor House series.

Kate Kingsbury, An Unmentionable Murder (2006), a cozy mystery featuring the lady of an English manor who must cope with numerous wartime difficulties and investigate the death of an unpopular man; #9 in the Manor House series.


David Roberts, Sweet Poison (2000), about a British nobleman and a woman journalist who team up to investigate the death of a distinguished general opposed to England's policy of accommodating Germany during the rise of the Nazis; #1 in the Lord Edward Corinth and Verity Brown mystery series.

David Roberts, Bones of the Buried (2001), about a woman who works as a foreign correspondent for a British newspaper who asks a nobleman friend to come to Spain in 1936 to help her investigate the murder of a Community Party worker; #2 in the Lord Edward Corinth and Verity Brown mystery series.

David Roberts, Hollow Crown (2002), about a woman who works as a foreign correspondent for a British newspaper who asks a nobleman friend to come to Spain in 1936 to help her investigate the murder of a Community Party worker; #3 in the Lord Edward Corinth and Verity Brown mystery series.

David Roberts, Dangerous Sea (2003), about a British nobleman and a woman journalist both traveling on the Queen Mary in 1937, he to protect an economist on a mission to U.S. President Roosevelt, she on her way to speak with Communist sympathizers in America; #4 in the Lord Edward Corinth and Verity Brown mystery series.

David Roberts, The More Deceived (2004), about a British nobleman on his way to Spain to investigate a murder, where his journalist friend is reporting on the Civil War; #5 in the Lord Edward Corinth and Verity Brown mystery series.

David Roberts, A Grave Man (2005), about a British nobleman and a journalist who team up to investigate the murder of an archaeologist stabbed with an ancient Assyrian dagger; #6 in the Lord Edward Corinth and Verity Brown mystery series.

David Roberts, The Quality of Mercy (2006), about a British nobleman and a woman journalist who team up to investigate the deaths of a painter whose body was found at Lord Mountbatten’s country house and of a Jew who fled Austria after the Nazis invaded; #7 in the Lord Edward Corinth and Verity Brown mystery series.

David Roberts, Something Wicked (2007), about a woman who, after she returns from Prague with tuberculosis, is sent to a private clinic where she begins investigating a series of deaths of the patients of a dentist; #8 in the Lord Edward Corinth and Verity Brown mystery series.

David Roberts, No More Dying (2009), about a British aristocrat and his journalist wife who must find out who is trying to assassinate Winston Churchill during a diplomatic meeting with U.S. Ambassador Joseph Kennedy; #9 in the Lord Edward Corinth and Verity Brown mystery series.

David Roberts, Sweet Sorrow (2010), about a British aristocrat and his journalist wife who investigate the murder of a poet who has been trying to impress Virginia and Leonard Woolf; #10 and last in the Lord Edward Corinth andVerity Brown mystery series.


Marcus Sedgwick, A Love Like Blood (2014), about an English medical officer who witnesses a man drinking a woman's blood days after the liberation of Paris in 1944, and becomes obsessed with finding him.

Simon Tolkien, Orders from Berlin (2012), about the junior assistant to a Scotland Yard inspector investigating the murder of a former head of MI5 in September 1940 as Nazi planes are bombing London; #3 (a prequel) in a mystery series beginning with Inheritance and The King of Diamonds, set in the decades after World War II.

Dan Vyleta, Pavel and I (2008), a thriller about an American soldier and a German orphan who become friends in the aftermath of World War II and land in trouble when a dead Russian spy turns up at the boy's apartment.

Richard Zimler, The Warsaw Anagrams (2011), about a psychiatrist in Nazi-occupied Warsaw in 1940 who tries to find out who murdered his nephew and why.


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