World War II Fiction


One of the biggest events of the 20th Century was World War II (1939 – 1945). It is not an over exaggeration to say this changed the world in so many ways. We are still discovering the stories of individual people during this time of upheaval and authors are using these stories to write deep and philosophical musings on the very essences of humanity in all its shades. I often get asked for fiction set during these years and so have complied this list of books I have read, loved, found interesting or simply devoured. There are many others that I haven't read, and are probably fantastic but these ones each have something particular to offer you as the reader.

A Town Like Alice by Neville Shute - Australian's living before, during and after wartime.

All that I Am by Anna Funder - multi award winner story of five friends during pre-war Germany

All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr - a blind French girl and a young German boy

Beast's Garden by Kate Forsyth - Beauty and the Beast, with a Nazi as the Beast

Between Shades of Grey by Ruth Septys - the oft forgotten stories of the Latvians during WWII

Book Thief by Markus Zusak - a young girl saves books from Nazi book burnings

Boy in the Striped Pajamas by John Boyne - the friendship of a Jewish and a German boy

Briar Rose by Jane Yolen - a grandmother's tale through the eyes of her granddaughter

Captain Corelli's Mandolin by Louis de Bernières - the invading force of Italians on a Greek Island and an epic love story

Code Name Verity Elizabeth E. Wein - a young British spy is captured

Diary of Anne Frank - the classic diary found and printed after Anne's death

Empire of the Sun by J. G. Ballard - the harrowing tale of a young boy in a prisoner of war camp

Everyone Brave is Forgiven by Chris Cleave - the tale of two men and two women in London during WWII

Goodnight Mister Tom by Michelle Magorian - Willie is evacuated from London during the Blitz, this will make you cry

King Rat by James Clavell - the politics of living in Changi prison

Life After life / God in Ruins by Kate Atkinson - an English family living in the chaos of WWII

Narrow Road to the Deep North by Richard Flanagan - the story of an Australian man's affair and his war experiences

Sarah's Key by Tatiana de Rosnay - heart-wrenching story of a family

Suite Francaise by Irene Nemirovsky - the unfinished book of a Holocaust victim that is now an unforgettable classic

Tales of the South Pacific by James A. Michener - the book that became the musical South Pacific

The Bronze Horseman by Paulina Simmons - the first in a trilogy that everyone loves

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary-Anne Schaffer - yes, you need to read this, that's all

The Reader by Bernard Schlink - sad and dark tale of a woman who worked at the prisoner of war camps

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