All the Light We Cannot See, Doerr’s lovely bestselling novel, set during the occupation of France in World War II, centers around a blind French teenager and an orphaned German boy. For more novels set during World War II, check out these staff picks.
The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah
The Nightingale captures the epic panorama of World War II and illuminates an intimate part of history seldom seen: the women’s war. It tells the stories of two sisters, separated by years and experience, each embarking on her own dangerous path toward survival, love, and freedom in German-occupied, war-torn France.
Motherland by Maria Hummel
Motherland centers on the German Kappus family, who live in the remote town of Hannesburg during the waning days of the Third Reich. The novel bears witness to the shame and courage of German families during the devastating final days of the war.
The Undertaking by Audrey Magee
In a desperate bid to escape the Eastern front, Peter Faber, an ordinary German soldier, marries Katharina Spinell, a woman he has never met, in a marriage of convenience. Both are surprised by the passion that develops between them. This is an unforgettable novel of marriage, ambition, and the brutality of war.
In Paradise by Peter Matthiessen
One week in late autumn of 1996, a group gathers at the site of a former death camp. They pray at the crematoria, and eat and sleep in the quarters of the Nazi officers. As the days pass, tensions--both political and personal--surface among the participants, stripping away any easy pretense to resolution or healing.
The Wives of Los Alamos by TaraShea Nesbit
They arrived in New Mexico ready for adventure, or at least resigned to it. But hope quickly turned to hardship as they were forced to adapt to a rugged military town where everything was a secret—including what their husbands were doing at the lab. The end of the war would bring even bigger challenges, as the scientists and their families struggled with the burden of their contribution to the most destructive force in the history of mankind.
The Wind Is Not a River by Bryan Payton
The Wind Is Not a River is Brian Payton’s gripping tale of survival and an epic love story in which a husband and wife—separated by the only battle of World War II to take place on American soil—fight to reunite in Alaska’s starkly beautiful Aleutian Islands.
The Secret of Raven Point by Jennifer Vanderbes
1943: When seventeen-year-old Juliet Dufresne receives a cryptic letter from her enlisted brother and then discovers that he’s been reported missing in action, she lies about her age and travels to the front lines as an army nurse, determined to find him. In luminous prose, Vanderbes tells the story of one girl’s fierce determination to find her brother as she comes of age in a time of unrelenting violence.
Lisette’s List by Susan Vreeland
In 1937, young Lisette Roux and her husband, Andre, move from Paris to a village in Provence to care for Andre’s grandfather Pascal. When war breaks out, Andre goes off to the front, but not before hiding his grandfather’s precious paintings (some by Cezanne and Pissarro) to keep them from the Nazis’ reach. A richly imagined story of a woman’s awakening—to the power of art, to the beauty of provincial life, and to love in the midst of war.
Need more Recommendations?
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