World War Historical Fiction for Adults
Band of sisters : a novel
Willig, Lauren, author
In this sweeping novel based on a true story, in 1917, Kate Moran joins the new Smith College Relief Unit. Kate and seventeen other Smithies set sail for France. Despite constant shelling from the Germans, French bureaucracy, and the threat of being ousted by the British army, the Smith volunteers bring welcome aid - and hope - to the region. As they cope with the hardships and terrors of the war, Kate and her colleagues find themselves navigating old rivalries and new betrayals which threaten the very existence of the Unit.
The bookbinder : a novel
Williams, Pip, 1969-, author
It is 1914, and as the war draws the young men of Britain away to fight, women must keep the nation running. Two of those women are Peggy and Maude, twin sisters who live on a narrowboat in Oxford and work in the bindery at the university press. Then refugees arrive from the war-torn cities of Belgium, sending ripples through the Oxford community and the sisters' lives. Peggy begins to see the possibility of another future where she can educate herself and use her intellect, not just her hands. But as war and illness reshape her world, her love for a Belgian soldier-and the responsibility that comes with it-threaten to hold her back.
Canary girls : a novel
Chiaverini, Jennifer, author
Early in the Great War, as arsenals are struggling to keep up production, they hire women to build the weapons the military urgently needed. Thousands of women answered their nation's call. Among them is nineteen-year-old former housemaid April Tipton and Lucy Dempsey. When Lucy's coworkers learn she is a footballer's wife, they invite her to join the arsenal ladies' football club, the Thornshire Canaries. As the war grinds on and tragedy takes its toll, the Canary Girls persist despite the dangers, proud to serve, determined to outlive the war and rejoice in victory and peace.
The dark edge of night
Pryor, Mark, 1967-, author
Winter 1940: Police Inspector Henri Lefort's wishes for a quiet holiday season are dashed when the Gestapo orders him to investigate the disappearance of Dr. Viktor Brandt, a neurologist involved in a secret project at one of Paris's hospitals. Being forced onto a missing persons case for the enemy doesn't deter Henri from conducting his real job. A Frenchman has been beaten to death in what appears to be a botched burglary, and catching a killer is more important than locating a wayward scientist. But when Henri learns that the victim's brother is a doctor who worked at the same hospital as the missing German, his investigation takes a disturbing turn.
The golden doves : a novel
Kelly, Martha Hall, author
1952. It's been over a decade since American Sofie Anderson and Frenchwoman Arlette LaRue were imprisoned at the Ravensbrück concentration camp. Now thirty and supposedly working for the U.S. Army, Sofie nurtures an undying ember of anger in her heart. Arlette is trying to make ends meet in Paris. She's exhausted all her finances to find her stolen son. Then, the charming Luc Bouchard arrives in her cafe. He invites her to their compound in French Guiana with the promised hope she might find Willie at the orphanage. Soon, she has to rely on her old techniques as a spy to uncover a deep deception that hits close to home. In the meantime, Sofie's quest for Dr. Snow leads her from Strasbourg to the Vatican to Brazil, and finally back to Arlette in French Guiana, where the two discover that their lives, and the ones they love, are in grave danger.
The last lifeboat : a novel
Gaynor, Hazel, author.
"Inspired by a remarkable true story, a young teacher evacuates children to safety across perilous waters, in a moving and triumphant new novel from New York Times bestselling author Hazel Gaynor. 1940, Kent: Alice King is not brave or daring-she's happiest finding adventure through the safe pages of books. But times of war demand courage, and as the threat of German invasion looms, a plane crash near her home awakens a strength in Alice she'd long forgotten. Determined to do her part, she finds a role perfectly suited to her experience as a schoolteacher-to help evacuate Britain's children overseas. 1940, London: Lily Nichols once dreamed of using her mathematical talents for more than tabulating the cost of groceries, but life, and love, charted her a different course. With two lively children and a loving husband, Lily's humble home is her world, until war tears everything asunder. With her husband gone and bombs raining down, Lily is faced with an impossible choice: keep her son and daughter close, knowing she may not be able to protect them, or enroll them in a risky evacuation scheme, where safety awaits so very far away. When a Nazi U-boat torpedoes the S. S. Carlisle carrying a ship of children to Canada, a single lifeboat is left adrift in the storm-tossed Atlantic. Alice and Lily, strangers to each other-one on land, the other at sea-will quickly become one another's very best hope as their lives are fatefully entwined"-- Provided by publisher.
Let it destroy you : a novel
Lye, Harriet Alida, author.
It is 1945, and Hungarian Jewish physicist August Snow is on trial at the International War Crimes Court for patenting a technology that has been proven capable of destroying the entire world. He instigated humanity's ability to decide its death. Then he profited from the inevitable, but the initial reason for his research was to devise a way to cure his daughter, Leora, of cancer. August's wife, June, insists she had nothing to do with the bomb--after all, she was forced to give up her career as a doctor for being pregnant, lost her place in the public sphere, and in the early days of motherhood, she almost lost her mind, too.
The lost English girl : a novel
Kelly, Julia, 1986- author.
Liverpool, 1935: Raised in a strict Catholic family, Viv Byrne knows what's expected of her: marry a Catholic man from her working-class neighborhood and have his children. However, when she finds herself pregnant after a fling with Joshua Levinson, a Jewish man with dreams of becoming a famous Jazz musician, Viv knows that a swift wedding is the only answer. Her only solace is that marrying Joshua will mean escaping her strict mother's scrutiny. Five years later and on the eve of World War II, Viv is faced with the impossible choice to evacuate her young daughter, Maggie, to the countryside estate of the affluent Thompson family. In New York City, Joshua gives up his failing musical career to serve in the Royal Air Force, fight for his country, and try to piece together his feelings about the family, wife, and daughter he left behind at eighteen. However, tragedy strikes when Viv learns that the countryside safe haven she sent her daughter to wasn't immune from the horrors of war.
My father's house
O'Connor, Joseph, 1963- author
September 1943: German forces occupy Rome. Gestapo boss Obersturmbannfu??hrer Paul Hauptmann rules with terror. Hunger is widespread. Rumours fester. The war's outcome is far from certain. Diplomats, refugees, and escaped Allied prisoners flee for protection into Vatican City. A small band of unlikely friends led by a courageous Irish priest is drawn into deadly danger as they seek to help those seeking refuge. Based on the true story of Monsignor Hugh O'Flaherty, who risked his life to smuggle thousands of Jews and escaped Allied prisoners out of Italy under the nose of his Nazi nemesis.
The secret book of Flora Lea : a novel
Henry, Patti Callahan, author
Fourteen-year-old Hazel and five-year-old Flora evacuate their London home for a rural village to escape the horrors of the Second World War. But the unthinkable happens when Flora suddenly vanishes. Shattered, Hazel blames herself for her sister's disappearance. Twenty years later, Hazel's tidy life is turned upside down when she unwraps a package containing a picture book called "Whisperwood and the River of Stars." Hazel never told a soul about the storybook world she created just for Flora. Could it be a sign that her beloved sister is still alive after all these years?
The war pianist : a novel
Robotham, Mandy, author
July, 1940. Blitz-ridden London: Marnie Fern's life is torn apart when her grandfather is killed in an air raid. But once she discovers that he'd been working undercover as a radio operative - or pianist - for the Dutch resistance, Marnie knows she must complete his mission - no matter the cost... Nazi-occupied Amsterdam: At the other end of the wireless, fellow pianist Corrie Bakker is caught in a dangerous game of cat-and-mouse as she desperately tries to keep her loved ones out of the line of fire - even if it means sacrificing herself. Bound together by the invisible wires of their radios, the two women lead parallel lives in their home cities, as both are betrayed by those they trust the most. But when the Nazis close in on one of them, only the other can save her...
The woman at the front
Cornwall, Lecia, author.
"A daring young woman risks everything to pursue a career as a doctor on the front lines in France during World War I, and learns the true meaning of hope, love, and resilience in the darkest of times. When Eleanor Atherton graduates from medical school near the top of her class in 1917, she dreams of going overseas to help the wounded, but her ambition is thwarted at every turn. Eleanor's parents insist she must give up medicine, marry a respectable man, and assume her proper place. While women might serve as ambulance drivers or nurses at the front, they cannot be physicians--that work is too dangerous and frightening. Nevertheless, Eleanor is determined to make more of a contribution than sitting at home knitting for the troops. When an unexpected twist of fate sends Eleanor to the battlefields of France as the private doctor of a British peer, she seizes the opportunity for what it is--the chance to finally prove herself. But there's a war on, and a casualty clearing station close to the front lines is an unforgiving place. Facing skeptical commanders who question her skills, scores of wounded men needing care, underhanded efforts by her family to bring her back home, and a blossoming romance, Eleanor must decide if she's brave enough to break the rules, face her darkest fears, and take the chance to win the career--and the love--she's always wanted"-- Provided by publisher.