Then try one of these books!
The Zookeeper’s Wife / Diane Ackerman
Documents the true story of Warsaw Zoo keepers and resistance activists Jan and Antonina Zabinski, who in the aftermath of Germany’s invasion of Poland saved the lives of hundreds of Jewish citizens by smuggling them into empty cages and their home villa.
Sarah’s Key / Tatiana de Rosnay
On the sixtieth anniversary of the 1942 roundup of Jews by the French police in the Vel d’Hiv section of Paris, American journalist Julia Jarmond is asked to write an article on this dark episode during World War II and embarks on investigation that leads her to long-hidden family secrets and to the ordeal of Sarah, a young girl caught up in the raid.
All the Light We Cannot See / Anthony Doerr
Marie-Laure lives in Paris near the Museum of Natural History, where her father works. When she is twelve, the Nazis occupy Paris and father and daughter flee to the walled citadel of Saint-Malo, where Marie-Laure’s reclusive great uncle lives in a tall house by the sea. In a mining town in Germany, Werner Pfennig, an orphan, grows up with his younger sister, enchanted by a crude radio they find that brings them news and stories from places they have never seen or imagined. Deftly interweaving the lives of Marie-Laure and Werner, Doerr illuminates the ways, against all odds, people try to be good to one another.
At the Water’s Edge / Sara Gruen
Set in Loch Ness, right in the middle of WWII, a foolish group of rich Americans arrive in search of the famous monster. Narrator Maddie must make sense of the circumstances that have brought her to this wild locale. Only then can she discover the strength she needs to make her own decisions.
Lilac Girls / Martha Hall Kelly
Kelly’s compelling first novel follows three women through the course of World War II and beyond. Caroline, a wealthy New Yorker, volunteers at the French consulate in New York, assisting refugees and raising funds. She meets Paul, a charming, married French actor, and sparks fly. Kasia, a young woman living in Poland during the Nazi invasion, works for the resistance until she is captured and sent to Ravensbruck, the women’s concentration camp. There, she encounters Herta, a doctor hired to help execute inmates and perform experiments.
The Ship of Brides / Jojo Moyes
World War II has ended, and four Australian women are about to embark on the trip of a lifetime. They are joined by 650 other women who will make the six-week trip to England aboard the HMS Victoria to be reunited with the men they married just prior to or during the war. These “war brides” are in a perilous position: leaving behind everyone and everything they know to start a new life in a new country, unsure whether they will be welcomed by their new in-laws and able to handle life married to men they barely know.
The Invisible Bridge / Julie Orringer
An unforgettable story of three brothers, of history and love, of marriage tested by disaster, of a Jewish family’s struggle against annihilation, and of the dangerous power of art in a time of war.
The Lost Wife / Alyson Richman
During the last moments of calm in prewar Prague, Lenka, a young art student, and Josef, who is studying medicine, fall in love. With the promise of a better future, they marry–only to have their dreams shattered by the imminent Nazi invasion. Like so many others, they are torn apart by the currents of war.
The Women in the Castle / Jessica Shattuck
Three German women’s lives are abruptly changed when their husbands are executed for their part in an attempt to assassinate Hitler. They band together in a crumbling estate to raise their children and keep each other standing.
The Book Thief / Markus Zusak
Trying to make sense of the horrors of World War II, Death relates the story of Liesel–a young German girl whose book-stealing and story-telling talents help sustain her family and the Jewish man they are hiding, as well as their neighbors.