The best books to make you fall in love with WWII fiction

The Books I Picked & Why

The Bronze Horseman

By Paullina Simons

Book cover of The Bronze Horseman

Why this book?

This is the book that made me fall in love with WWII fiction! Although it was published many years ago now, I still rate this as my favorite WWII novel, and if you’re wanting to dip your toes into historical fiction, you can’t go past this one. I must have read this book 15 years ago, yet I still recall the names of the main characters and can imagine them in my mind – and this is coming from someone who’s terrible with names! I love that this book has a strong romance at its core too – I dare you not to fall in love with Tatiana and Alex!


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White Gardenia

By Belinda Alexandra

Book cover of White Gardenia

Why this book?

Much like my first pick, this is an incredible novel that has stayed with me for years. It’s another go-to recommendation for me if anyone asks what my all-time favorite WWII novels are. Alexandra is a Russian-born Australian author, and I’m a huge fan of her other books too. Once again, she creates characters that are impossible not to fall in love with, and she’s a natural storyteller who artfully blends historical detail with fiction. 


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The Secret Stealers

By Jane Healey

Book cover of The Secret Stealers

Why this book?

I’ve become great friends with Healey over the years due to us having the same publisher, and we write similar historical fiction in that we love telling WWII from the female perspective. Honestly, all Jane’s WWII novels are brilliant, but this is my favorite of hers. Her characters are impossible not to love, and we truly see this moment in history through the eyes of women – I can’t get enough of historical feminism! If you want to read about women doing incredible jobs during the war, this is the book for you.


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The Longest Echo

By Eoin Dempsey

Book cover of The Longest Echo

Why this book?

When I like an author, I do my best to tell everyone about their books, and Eoin Dempsey is one of those authors I often recommend. Lately, the WWII fiction genre seems to be dominated by female authors, but Dempsey is the exception! I fell in love with The Longest Echo by the end of the first chapter, and I haven’t talked to anyone who hasn’t loved this novel. What captured me was that I hadn’t ever read about this moment in history before, and I found myself completely immersed in the story very quickly.


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The Last Bookshop in London: A Novel of World War II

By Madeline Martin

Book cover of The Last Bookshop in London: A Novel of World War II

Why this book?

Martin and I shared the same agent for many years, which is how I came across this novel. It’s set in London and has the most divine main character whom I immediately fell in love with. I find that most readers don’t want too much heavy historical information when they read for pleasure, and Martin has just the right balance of history with her fiction. Also, who wouldn’t love reading about a bookstore that is desperately trying to survive the war!


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