WWII in Fiction


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In Farleigh Field: a novel / Rhys Bowen

World War II comes to Farleigh Place, the ancestral home of Lord Westerham and his five daughters, when a soldier with a failed parachute falls to his death on the estate.

The Fortunate Ones: a novel / Ellen Umansky

One very special work of art–a Chaim Soutine painting–connects the lives and fates of two different women, generations apart, in a novel that moves from World War II Vienna to contemporary Los Angeles.

The Librarian of Auschwitz / Antonio Iturbe

The novel follows Dita Kraus from age fourteen, when she is put in charge of a few forbidden books at Auschwitz concentration camp, through the end of World War II and beyond.

The Chilbury Ladies’ Choir: a novel / Jennifer Ryan

Letters and journals reveal the struggles, affairs, deceptions, and triumphs of five members of a village choir during World War II as they band together to survive the upheavals of war and village intrigue on the English home front.

The Boat Runner: a novel / Devin Murphy

Beginning in the summer of 1939, fourteen-year-old Jacob Koopman and his older brother, Edwin, enjoy lives of prosperity and quiet contentment. Many of the residents in their small Dutch town have some connection to the Koopman lightbulb factory, and the locals hold the family in high esteem. On days when they aren’t playing with friends, Jacob and Edwin help their Uncle Martin on his fishing boat in the North Sea, where German ships have become a common sight. But conflict still seems unthinkable, even as the boys’ father naively sends his sons to a Hitler Youth Camp in an effort to secure German business for the factory. When war breaks out, Jacob’s world is thrown into chaos.

The Lost Letter / Jillian Cantor

A heartbreaking, heartwarming historical novel of love and survival inspired by real resistance workers during World War II in Austria, and the mysterious love letter that connects generations of Jewish families. 

The Nightingale / Kristin Hannah

Vianne and Isabelle have always been close despite their differences. Younger, bolder sister Isabelle lives in Paris while Vianne lives a quiet and content life in the French countryside with her husband Antoine and their daughter. When World War II strikes and Antoine is sent off to fight, Vianne and Isabelle’s father sends Isabelle to help her older sister cope. As the war progresses, it’s not only the sisters’ relationship that is tested, but also their strength and their individual senses of right and wrong. Vianne and Isabelle will find themselves facing frightening situations and responding in ways they never thought possible as bravery and resistance take different forms in each of their actions.

The Japanese Lover: a novel / Isabel Allende

A multigenerational epic by the New York Times best-selling author of The House of the Spirits follows the impossible romance between a World War II escapee from the Nazis and a Japanese gardener’s son, whose story is discovered decades later by a care worker who would come to terms with her past.

Winter of the world: book two of the Century trilogy / Ken Follett

Continues the stories of five interrelated families who struggle with social, political, and economic turmoil in the mid-twentieth century, during which they witness the rise of Nazi Germany, the Spanish Civil War, and the horrors of World War II.

The Garden of Letters / Alyson Richman

In World War II Italy, cello prodigy Elodie Bertolotti joins the Italian Resistance to Mussolini’s fascist regime, and soon she must seek sanctuary with a young doctor who has painful secrets of his own.

All the Light we cannot see: a novel / Anthony Doerr

A blind French girl on the run from the German occupation and a German orphan-turned-Resistance tracker struggle with respective beliefs after meeting on the Brittany coast.

Lilac Girls: a novel / Martha Hall Kelly

The lives of three women converge at the Ravensbruck concentration camp as Caroline Ferriday resolves to help from her post at the French consulate, Kasia Kuzmerick becomes a courier in the Polish resistance, and Herta Oberheuser takes a German government medical position.

Sarah’s Key / Tatiana de Rosnay

On the anniversary of the roundup of Jews by the French police in Paris, Julia is asked to write an article on this dark episode and embarks on an investigation that leads her to long-hidden family secrets and to the ordeal of Sarah.

Lisette’s List: a novel / Susan Vreeland

A tale centered on the lives of Provence-inspired master artists follows the experiences of an exiled young Parisian who cares for her husband’s ailing grandfather during the Vichy regime and rediscovers love through the master works of Cezanne, Pissarro, Chagall and Picasso.

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Just In – December 2017


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The Floating World: a novel
/ C. Morgan Babst

When a fragile young woman refuses to leave New Orleans as Hurricane Katrina approaches, her parents are forced to go without her, setting off a chain of events that leaves their marriage in shambles and their daughter catatonic, the victim or perpetrator of some unknown violent act.

Seven Days of us / Francesca Hornak

The Birch family will be spending the Christmas holiday in quarantine, thanks to eldest daughter Olivia’s recent relief work in a disease-infested Liberia. She has returned to England but must be in quarantine for seven days. This family has not ever spent this much time in each other’s company. Each person has secrets that are slowly revealed over the course of the seven days. It is particularly interesting to watch them become the family they should have been all along: supportive and loving.

The Story of Arthur Truluv : a novel / Elizabeth Berg

Arthur meets Maddy when he’s visiting his dead wife in the cemetery; he eats lunch there every day. Maddy is a high school senior who’s got a hopeless crush on a jerk. Warm-hearted Arthur reaches out to Maddy in a totally open way, as her parents seem uninvolved at best. The Story of Arthur Truluv is one of those rare coming-of-age novels that is just as much about the end of life as it is about growing up.

Mrs. Osmond / John Banville

From the Man Booker Prize-winning author of The Sea, a dazzling and audacious new novel that extends the story of Isabel Archer, the heroine of Henry James’s The Portrait of a Lady, into unexpected territory.

Bonfire : a novel / Krysten Ritter

Successful environmental lawyer Abby Williams is forced to confront her small-town past while investigating a high-profile corruption case back home.

The Ninth Hour / Alice McDermott

A portrait of the Irish-American experience is presented through the story of an Irish immigrant’s suicide and how it reverberates through innumerable lives in early twentieth-century Catholic Brooklyn.

The Ocean in my Ears / Meagan Macvie

In small-town Alaska in the 1990s, high school senior Meri’s determination to escape for a more exciting place wanes as she struggles with family, grief, friends, and hormones.

All the Crooked Saints / Maggie Stiefvater

In Colorado in 1962 the three teenage Soria cousins run an unlicensed radio station from a beat-up box truck converted into a transmitter; Beatriz is the thinker and technician, Joaquin, the youngest, is the disc jockey, and Daniel is called the Saint of Bicho Raro because he can perform miracles (just not for himself). Then one night Pete Wyatt and Tony DiRisio drive into town in search of a miracle.

The Rules of Magic / Alice Hoffman

Traces the story of Susanna Owens’ children, who have powerful magical abilities, as they uncover secrets about a family curse while visiting their Aunt Isabelle and struggle to escape it before they fall in love and tragedy strikes.

Reading with Patrick : a teacher, a student, and a life-changing friendship / Michelle Kuo

A former alternative school teacher and Harvard Law School fellow shares the story of her work with a gifted student who was imprisoned for murder in the Mississippi Delta and whose education she continued through classic works of literature.