The best time-slip novels with present day & WWII protagonists and themes of courage, forgiveness, redemption, & faith

Who am I?

I’m a Southern girl from Atlanta who writes ‘entertainment with a soul’ from my writing chalet—tool shed—outside Lyon, France where my husband and I have worked with a non-profit for over 30 years. I love to incorporate little-known historical facts into my award-winning and best-selling contemporary, historical, and time-slip fiction. I want my reader to find not only a good story and an interesting plot, but also the soul in my book and in my characters with themes of betrayal, regret, redemption, forgiveness, and faith that allow my reader to think, to ask questions, to laugh and cry and hope. To be entertained way down in her soul. 

I wrote...

By Way of the Moonlight

By Elizabeth Musser,

Book cover of By Way of the Moonlight

What is my book about?

A Bestselling, Publishers Weekly Top 10 Pick for Fall 2022.

For as long as she can remember, Allie Massey, a gifted physical therapist, has dreamed of making her grandparents' ten-acre estate into a trauma recovery center using equine therapy—a dream her grandmother, Nana Dale, embraced wholeheartedly. But when her grandmother's will is read, Allie is shocked to learn the property has been sold to a developer. Decades earlier, tragedy strikes close to home for headstrong champion equestrian Dale Butler riding her filly one fateful night during the Battle of the Atlantic, changing her life forever. Two courageous young women, tied together by blood and shared passion, will risk everything to save what they love most.

The books I picked & why

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The Nightingale

By Kristin Hannah,

Book cover of The Nightingale

Why this book?

As with so many other readers, I loved this story of two sisters, separated by years and experience, by their dreams and beliefs and circumstances, who are forced to fight for love and freedom and simple survival in German-occupied, war-torn France.

Having lived in France for 35+ years and having written a novel that included much about the French Resistance in WWII, I especially loved learning more about the women’s roles in the Resistance. I also loved the mystery of the present day plotline. All very inspiring as I considered writing a dual-time story.

The Last Year of the War

By Susan Meissner,

Book cover of The Last Year of the War

Why this book?

Susan Meissner is my go-to for wonderfully deep characterization in time-slip novels. The Last Year of the War tells a much less familiar part of WWII, the horrifying way many German and Japanese Americans were interned in camps in Texas during the war years. Elise Sontag is a typical American teenager from Iowa who meets fellow internee Mariko Inoue, a Japanese-American teen from Los Angeles, at the camp. The story is filled with heartache and twists and turns and has a lovely present-day thread that delights and surprises. 

As an author, I am often inspired when I stumble upon little know historical facts as Susan has done here. I incorporated the little known Coast Guard Mounted Patrol into my dual-time of my book

Whose Waves These Are

By Amanda Dykes,

Book cover of Whose Waves These Are

Why this book?

Amanda’s dual-time novel is like reading a poem—the prose is breathtaking, the story compelling, the characters real and wounded, and the love story! In the wake of WWII, a grieving fisherman, Robert Bliss, submits a poem to a local newspaper and his humble words change the tide of a nation. Decades later, Annie Bliss is summoned back to Ansel-by-the-Sea when she learns her Great-Uncle Robert, the man who became her refuge during the hardest summer of her youth, is now the one in need of help. The time slip is expertly done, the story wild and wonderful, and again, I was inspired to try my hand at a time-slip novel after having soaked up every last drop of the water on the sand in Whose Waves These Are.

The Butterfly and the Violin

By Kristy Cambron,

Book cover of The Butterfly and the Violin

Why this book?

Manhattan art dealer Sera James watched her world crumble at the altar two years ago, and her heart is still fragile. Her desire for distraction reignites a passion for a mysterious portrait she first saw as a young girl—a painting of a young violinist with piercing blue eyes. Along with wealthy heir William Hanover, Sera unravels the story behind the painting’s subject, an Austrian violinist Adele Von Bron who smuggles Jews out of Vienna and finds herself in Auschwitz.

Evocative, haunting, soul searching, this debut by Cambron is time-slip historical fiction at its best: heartbreaking truth of the horrors of Auschwitz, romance with a musical refrain, art and faith. Just the kind of story I try to write. A delight.

Fragments of Light

By Michele Phoenix,

Book cover of Fragments of Light

Why this book?

When Ceelie, reeling from everything cancer has stolen from her, sets out to track down her ailing friend’s father, who disappeared decades ago, she uncovers a story of faith, heroism, and heartbreak dating back to the Normandy beaches in World War II—and finds her own life transformed.

Michele Phoenix does it again in Fragments of Light. With prose that takes your breath away, she expertly navigates two time periods while exploring themes of loss, love, forgiveness, regret, and redemption. And France! What could be better! These themes often populate my novels and Michele’s novel was an inspiration for me.

5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in World War 2, France, and family secrets?

5,810 authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about World War 2, France, and family secrets.

World War 2 Explore 967 books about World War 2
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