Historical fiction novel The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah is a moving tale of two sisters’ experiences living in France during World War II.
We gained an entirely new perspective on life in France in the early 1940s after reading this book.
Meanwhile, her younger sister joins the resistance movement and makes heroic efforts to aid British and American soldiers who parachute into France after their planes are disabled by German bombing.
In our search for books that are similar to The Nightingale, we were most interested in reading about the various roles and experiences of women during this tragic period.
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by Martha Hall Kelly
Emotionally raw and unflinching, The Lilac Girls examines three distinct World War II experiences.
A Polish girl, a New York socialite, and a German doctor will accompany you from 1939 to 1959 as you experience the horrors of World War II. You’ll be able to draw from their experiences in many ways, and you’ll be influenced by them for the rest of your life.
The doctor’s journey from aspiring surgeon to her current position is an interesting one that is rarely explored in World War II novels. Another fascinating example of how non-extremist Germans in the millions became complicit and committed crimes against humanity during World War II.
Ravensbrück has scenes that are difficult to comprehend. Melissa was tempted to skip some of them. However, the author’s note at the end of the book reveals that the scenes were based on actual events and people. We owe it to the women and girls who lived through this to know what happened to them.
Secrets of a Charmed Life
by Susan Meissner
When World War II broke out, London, like the rest of the country, was under threat. Some children were taken out of the city temporarily and placed in foster homes. A threat to their safety would be removed and they’d be reunited with their guardians. Operation Pied Piper was the inspiration for this book.
Emmy, a 15-year-old aspiring fashion designer, recently received a major opportunity, and she and her younger sister, Julia, are moving to the Cotswolds. Emmy doesn’t want to leave London, but she boards the train in order to protect her younger sister from harm.
Their story continues as they find a foster home and Emmy plans to return to London. Additionally, a portion of the book takes place in the present day and follows an American student named Kendra. For the next seven decades, she’ll have to track down someone who lived through World War II and has some sort of connection to Isabel McFarland.
All the Light We Cannot See
by Anthony Doerr
After ten years of work, the author has produced a beautifully written tale about a blind French girl and a German boy who meet in occupied France and try to survive World War II’s destruction.
Everything We Can’t See is an award-winning Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award nominee for his vivid portrayal of the effects of war on two young children, both well-deserved. There is a lot to like here for those who enjoy literary fiction.
by Jennifer Robson
One of the most famous wedding gowns in history was created by Norman Harnell at his famed fashion house. Two embroiderers, Ann and Miriam, are introduced here.
Since her mother’s death, Heather has been searching for answers about a set of embroidered flowers left by her grandmother, who never spoke about her life in Britain.
Melissa has never read a book that focuses on the post-World War II years before. You get to see what happens in the days and weeks and months that follow a bombing.
While the gown’s construction is important to the story and fascinating, you won’t remember it. As a result, we believe you’ll enjoy this trip back to the years following World War II.
The Last Correspondent
by Soraya M. Lane
Journalist Ella Franks uses a male pseudonym because she is the only woman allowed to write for her newspaper’s publication. A new opportunity to travel to Europe to cover the war presents itself, and she must decide whether to give up her hopes or take it.
When she meets Danni, a trailblazing female photographer who is fighting to get close to the action and capture images from the frontlines, she is inspired.
Once in Normandy, the women reluctantly band together after taking a risk to reach the front lines.
The Things We Cannot Say
by Kelly Rimmer
The author was inspired to write The Things We Cannot Say by his or her own family’s history. Friends planning to get married before their Polish village is overrun by the invaders are the focus of this storyline. Alina has no idea whether or not Tomasz is still alive as the conflict progresses.
Alice’s son was diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder when he was just a few months old. To see what happens to the people she cared about in Poland, Alice’s grandmother pleads with her.
It’s a nice break from the more intense 1940s scenes thanks to the story’s split between the present and the past.
To find more authors like Kristen Hannah, we suggest checking out Kelly Rimmer’s work!
The Beantown Girls
by Jane Healey
Similar to Isabelle, the protagonist of The Nightingale, The Beantown Girls’ female characters are positioned closer to the action than most World War II women. Based on the real-life Red Cross Clubmobile girls who delivered donuts and coffee, as well as mail, to troops on the front lines, this historical fiction novel is set during World War II.
When her fiance returned from WWII, Fiona had plans to marry him and start a family in the Boston suburbs. However, her plans are shattered when he is reported missing in Germany! Desperate to find out what happened to him, Fiona enlists the help of her two closest friends and becomes a Red Cross Clubmobile girl.
Throughout the book, the trio is depicted as they progress through their military service. You’ll be smitten by them, as well as the soldiers they meet.