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Riveting World War II Fiction You Haven't Read Yet

5 Books | by Likewise User verified icon

If you love All the Light We Cannot See, The Nightingale, and other World War II novels, check out these hidden gems.

Sisters of Night and Fog

Sisters of Night and Fog

Books

“Profoundly moving.”—Jennifer Robson Two women, two countries. Nothing in common but a call to fight. A heart-stopping new novel based on the extraordinary true stories of an American socialite and a British secret agent whose stunning acts of courage collide in the darkest hours of World War II. 1940. In a world newly burning with war, and in spite of her American family’s wishes, Virginia d’Albert-Lake decides to stay in occupied France with her French husband. She’s sure that if they keep their heads down, they’ll survive. But is surviving enough? Nineteen-year-old Violette Szabo has seen the Nazis’ evil up close and is desperate to fight them. But when she meets the man who’ll change her life only for tragedy to strike, Violette’s adrift. Until she enters the radar of Britain’s secret war organization—the Special Operations Executive—and a new fire is lit in her as she decides just how much she’s willing to risk to enlist. As Virginia and Violette navigate resistance, their clandestine deeds come to a staggering halt when they are brought together at Ravensbrück concentration camp. The decisions they make will change their lives, and the world, forever.

Tears of Amber

Tears of Amber

Books

From the bestselling author of The Murmur of Bees comes a transportive novel of two families uprooted by war and united by the bonds of love and courage. With war looming dangerously close, Ilse's school days soon turn to lessons of survival. In the harshness of winter, her family must join the largest exodus in human history to survive. As battle lines are drawn and East Prussia's borders vanish beneath them, they leave their farm and all they know behind for an uncertain future. But Ilse also has Janusz, her family's young Polish laborer, by her side. As they flee from the Soviet army, his enchanting folktales keep her mind off the cold, the hunger, and the horrors unfolding around them. He tells her of a besieged kingdom in the Baltic Sea from which spill the amber tears of a heartbroken queen. Neither of them realizes his stories will prove crucial and prophetic. Not far away, trying and failing to flee from a vengeful army, Arno and his mother hide in the ruins of a Königsberg mansion, hoping that once the war ends they can reunite their dispersed family. But their stay in the walled city proves untenable when they find themselves dodging bombs and scavenging in the rubble. Soon they'll become pawns caught between two powerful enemies, on a journey with an unknown destination. Hope carries these children caught in the crosshairs of war on an extraordinary pilgrimage in which the gift of an amber teardrop is at once a valuable form of currency and a symbol of resilience, one that draws them together against insurmountable odds.

Even As We Breathe

Even As We Breathe

Books

Nineteen-year-old Cowney Sequoyah yearns to escape his hometown of Cherokee, North Carolina, in the heart of the Smoky Mountains. When a summer job at Asheville's luxurious Grove Park Inn and Resort brings him one step closer to escaping the hills that both cradle and suffocate him, he sees it as an opportunity. The experience introduces him to the beautiful and enigmatic Essie Stamper—a young Cherokee woman who is also working at the inn and dreaming of a better life. With World War II raging in Europe, the resort is the temporary home of Axis diplomats and their families, who are being held as prisoners of war. A secret room becomes a place where Cowney and Essie can escape the white world of the inn and imagine their futures free of the shadows of their families' pasts. Outside of this refuge, however, racism and prejudice are never far behind, and when the daughter of one of the residents goes missing, Cowney finds himself accused of abduction and murder. Even As We Breathe invokes the elements of bone, blood, and flesh as Cowney navigates difficult social, cultural, and ethnic divides. Betrayed by the friends he trusted, he begins to unearth deeper mysteries as he works to prove his innocence and clear his name. This richly written debut novel explores the immutable nature of the human spirit and the idea that physical existence, with all its strife and injustice, will not be humanity's lasting legacy.

The Forest of Vanishing Stars

The Forest of Vanishing Stars

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Parade “Best Books of Summer” pick * Real Simple pick * She Reads “Best WWII Fiction of Summer 2021” pick The New York Times bestselling author of the “heart-stopping tale of survival and heroism” (People) The Book of Lost Names returns with an evocative coming-of-age World War II story about a young woman who uses her knowledge of the wilderness to help Jewish refugees escape the Nazis—until a secret from her past threatens everything.After being stolen from her wealthy German parents and raised in the unforgiving wilderness of eastern Europe, a young woman finds herself alone in 1941 after her kidnapper dies. Her solitary existence is interrupted, however, when she happens upon a group of Jews fleeing the Nazi terror. Stunned to learn what’s happening in the outside world, she vows to teach the group all she can about surviving in the forest—and in turn, they teach her some surprising lessons about opening her heart after years of isolation. But when she is betrayed and escapes into a German-occupied village, her past and present come together in a shocking collision that could change everything. Inspired by incredible true stories of survival against staggering odds, and suffused with the journey-from-the-wilderness elements that made Where the Crawdads Sing a worldwide phenomenon, The Forest of Vanishing Stars is a heart-wrenching and suspenseful novel from the #1 internationally bestselling author whose writing has been hailed as “sweeping and magnificent” (Fiona Davis, New York Times bestselling author), “immersive and evocative” (Publishers Weekly), and “gripping” (Tampa Bay Times).

Those Who Are Saved

Those Who Are Saved

Books

In the spirit of We Were the Lucky Ones and We Must Be Brave, a heartbreaking World War II novel of one mother's impossible choice, and her search for her daughter against the odds. Vera's wealth cannot protect her or her four-year-old-daughter, Lucie, once the Nazis occupy France. Ordered to report to an internment camp, Russian Jewish Vera must make an impossible choice: bring Lucie with her, or put her into hiding? Believing the war will end soon, Vera chooses to leave Lucie in safety. She cannot know that she and her husband will have an opportunity to escape, to flee to America. She cannot know that Lucie will be too far to reach in time. And so begins a heartbreaking separation and journey, a war and a continent apart. Vera's marriage will falter under the surreal sun of California. But her determination to return to France and find Lucie will only grow. Then she meets Sasha, a man on his own search for meaning. Together, they will travel to France in search of Lucie, discovering her fate.

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