100 books like A Train in Winter

By Caroline Moorehead,

Here are 100 books that A Train in Winter fans have personally recommended if you like A Train in Winter. Shepherd is a community of 10,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of Suite Française

David Snell Author Of Sing to Silent Stones: Part One

From my list on wartime books about families torn apart by the conflict in WW1 and WW2.

Why am I passionate about this?

My reading is almost entirely influenced by my own family’s extraordinary history. My mother and father-in-law were both illegitimate. Both suffered for the fact and my father-in-law was 11 years old when he first found out and was reunited with his mother, albeit on a second-class basis compared to his half siblings. My mother trained bomb aimers. My father flew Lancaster bombers and was just 19 years old in the skies above wartime Berlin. My own books combine history, my personal experiences, and my family’s past to weave wartime stories exploring the strains that those conflicts imposed on friendships.

David's book list on wartime books about families torn apart by the conflict in WW1 and WW2

David Snell Why did David love this book?

An abiding theme within my own book is that love and friendship can supplant racial and cultural differences, and this book, set in a village in France during the 2nd World War, highlights a growing and reluctant friendship between an occupier and the occupied.

The hatred that invasion induces causes any fraternisation to be labelled ‘collaboration.’ Sometimes it is. Sometimes, it is just people caught out of context seeking comfort and normality.

It is easy for those whose countries have never been occupied to scoff at the behaviour of those who had to live in the atmosphere and the reality of a hostile invasion. Let’s hope we never have to find out firsthand.

By Irene Nemirovsky,

Why should I read it?

11 authors picked Suite Française as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In 1941, Irene Nemirovsky sat down to write a book that would convey the magnitude of what she was living through, not in terms of battles and politicians, but by evoking the domestic lives and personal trials of the ordinary citizens of France. She did not live to see her ambition fulfilled, or to know that sixty-five years later, "Suite Francaise" would be published for the first time, and hailed as a masterpiece. Set during a year that begins with France's fall to the Nazis in June 1940 and ends with Germany turning its attention to Russia, "Suite Francaise" falls…


Book cover of Madame Fourcade's Secret War: The Daring Young Woman Who Led France's Largest Spy Network Against Hitler

Sarah Steele Author Of The Schoolteacher of Saint-Michel

From my list on formidable females in Nazi-occupied France.

Why am I passionate about this?

Having spent much time in France, I’ve been party to some incredible stories of the war years. The beautiful home owned by friends was once gifted by General De Gaulle to the village baker for his work hiding Resistance messages in loaves of bread; 90-year-old Jeanne remembers her father hiding Jewish families and helping them cross into free France; woodlands are punctuated by wooden crosses marking execution sites. For a writer, this is irresistible material, and it has been an honour to write The Schoolteacher of Saint-Michel and The Lost Song of Paris in tribute to the many acts of bravery and resistance over four long years of German occupation.

Sarah's book list on formidable females in Nazi-occupied France

Sarah Steele Why did Sarah love this book?

On finishing my book, I wanted to write a companion novel, based this time in Paris. My inspiration for the lead character in that book was Marie-Madeleine Fourcade, an extraordinary woman who led the Alliance network in France, operating on behalf of SIS, as MI6 was then known. Her handler Sir Kenneth Cohen described her as the ‘textbook beautiful spy,’ but her intelligence and courage marked her out even more. Marie-Madeleine lived a life on the run, operating under the radar via a string of false identities, and even escaping imprisonment. Lynne Olsen’s riveting account tells the story of Marie-Madeleine’s terrifying existence in Nazi-occupied France, and of a heartbreaking love affair. 

By Lynne Olson,

Why should I read it?

6 authors picked Madame Fourcade's Secret War as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • The little-known true story of Marie-Madeleine Fourcade, the woman who headed the largest spy network in occupied France during World War II, from the bestselling author of Citizens of London and Last Hope Island

“Brava to Lynne Olson for a biography that should challenge any outdated assumptions about who deserves to be called a hero.”—The Washington Post

NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY NPR AND THE WASHINGTON POST 

In 1941 a thirty-one-year-old Frenchwoman, a young mother born to privilege and known for her beauty and glamour, became the leader of a…


Book cover of War Brides: A Novel

Susan Tate Ankeny Author Of The Girl and the Bombardier: A True Story of Resistance and Rescue in Nazi-Occupied France

From my list on women during WW2.

Why am I passionate about this?

Susan Tate Ankeny left a career in teaching to write the story of her father’s escape from Nazi-occupied France. In 2011, after being led on his path through France by the same Resistance fighters who guided him in 1944, she felt inspired to tell the story of these brave French patriots, especially the 17-year-old- girl who risked her own life to save her father’s. Susan is a member of the 8th Air Force Historical Society, the Air Force Escape and Evasion Society, and the Association des Sauveteurs d’Aviateurs Alliés. 

Susan's book list on women during WW2

Susan Tate Ankeny Why did Susan love this book?

War Brides is a work of historical fiction that explores the lives of five young women from differing backgrounds who meet in a small English village in 1939. I love World War II stories about ordinary people on the Homefront. Despite a slightly misleading title, I was drawn to the strong characters who face the horrors surrounding them with the unwavering support of one another. Bryan has done extensive research into the time period and the traumatic effect the war had on British citizens. What sets this story apart is the inspiring friendship the women develop that endures over time despite the challenges of their differences, the terror of bombing raids that cause the deaths of their neighbors and friends, and an unforgivable deception.

By Lois Battle,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked War Brides as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A vibrant novel set in postwar America from the New York Times bestselling author of The Florabama Ladies' Auxiliary and Sewing Circle

World War II is over, but for three young Australian women who meet on their way to new lives and new husbands in America, the adventure is just beginning. Sheila, Dawn, and Gaynor will need to reacquaint themselves with the military men they swore to love when peace seemed like a lifetime away. But the world that awaits them is filled with new challenges, and each woman will be forced to summon courage and strength she never knew…


Book cover of Lilac Girls

Jo Horne Author Of Monica's War

From my list on unsung heroes of WWII.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have had a lifelong passion for history—the choices and challenges faced by others in trying times. I find myself looking for connections and a visit to the Holocaust Museum in DC led me to just such a connection with the story of the White Rose Resistance group, sending me down a rabbit hole of research that has blossomed into years of looking for little known stories of WWII heroes and heroines. From there telling their stories through my stories has become my passion.

Jo's book list on unsung heroes of WWII

Jo Horne Why did Jo love this book?

An American working in Paris, a German doctor, and a Polish teenager working for the Resistance are thrown together in this WWII story based on real events culminating in the notorious Ravensbruck Camp for women, famous for its medical experimentation during the war. It’s a story of survival and courage and unlikely friendships.

By Martha Hall Kelly,

Why should I read it?

4 authors picked Lilac Girls as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • One million copies sold! Inspired by the life of a real World War II heroine, this remarkable debut novel reveals the power of unsung women to change history in their quest for love, freedom, and second chances.

“Extremely moving and memorable . . . This impressive debut should appeal strongly to historical fiction readers and to book clubs that adored Kristin Hannah’s The Nightingale and Anthony Doerr’s All the Light We Cannot See.”—Library Journal (starred review)

New York socialite Caroline Ferriday has her hands full with her post at the French consulate and a new…


Book cover of In Our Strange Gardens

Christophe Corbin Author Of Revisiting the French Resistance in Cinema, Literature, Bande Dessinée, and Television (1942–2012)

From my list on the French Resistance.

Why am I passionate about this?

My grandfather joined the French Resistance in his early twenties in 1942. He told me his story when I was a teenager, which has had a lasting effect on me. I have since taught college students about the French Resistance and published on the way it has been depicted in films, TV series, novels, and comics since 1942. My book Revisiting the French Resistance will appeal to those interested in the relationship between history and fiction, and/or who enjoy stories of ordinary, yet exemplary individuals who at some point of history have felt compelled to say “no” to a situation deemed unacceptable.  

Christophe's book list on the French Resistance

Christophe Corbin Why did Christophe love this book?

A clown shows up at the trial of Maurice Papon for crimes against humanity. What is he doing there? Written half a century after WWII, In Our Strange Gardens invites its readers to go beyond a black-and-white tinted version of the German Occupation of France. Heroes are not heroic, and the enemy is not always a villain. The story of a man who was embarrassed by his clowning father as kid before learning about his past during the war, In Our Strange Gardens is also a lesson of the power of derision in the face of tragedy. 

By Michel Quint,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked In Our Strange Gardens as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In Our Strange Gardens was named a BookSense 76 Recommended Pick for January 2002!

Michel has a story to tell. It's about his father, an exquisitely common man whose very ordinariness is a source of grave embarrassment for the boy. It's also the story told to him by his uncle, who shared a family secret with the child in the flickering black and white images of a Sunday matinee.

Years before, in the bitter years of World War II, during the Nazi occupation of France, two brothers found themselves at the mercy of a German guard following an explosive act…


Book cover of Never Forget You

Sarah Steele Author Of The Schoolteacher of Saint-Michel

From my list on formidable females in Nazi-occupied France.

Why am I passionate about this?

Having spent much time in France, I’ve been party to some incredible stories of the war years. The beautiful home owned by friends was once gifted by General De Gaulle to the village baker for his work hiding Resistance messages in loaves of bread; 90-year-old Jeanne remembers her father hiding Jewish families and helping them cross into free France; woodlands are punctuated by wooden crosses marking execution sites. For a writer, this is irresistible material, and it has been an honour to write The Schoolteacher of Saint-Michel and The Lost Song of Paris in tribute to the many acts of bravery and resistance over four long years of German occupation.

Sarah's book list on formidable females in Nazi-occupied France

Sarah Steele Why did Sarah love this book?

Jamila Gavin is best known for Coram Boy, which enjoyed huge success and went on to become a stage production. Her latest book is an incredibly moving story of four schoolfriends who go on to take very different and equally demanding roles during World War Two. The character of Noor is based on the real-life SOE agent Noor Inayat Khan, an Indian princess who served as a wireless operator in Nazi-occupied Paris. This is a beautifully written, emotionally engaging story of women barely in their twenties, and a harrowing insight into life in Paris for Jewish families and those working to help them. 

By Jamila Gavin,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Never Forget You as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A stunning and heartbreaking new novel from Jamila Gavin, the bestselling and award-winning author of Coram Boy and The Wheel of Surya.

England, 1937.

Gwen, Noor, Dodo and Vera are four very different teenage girls, with something in common. Their parents are all abroad, leaving them in their English boarding school, where they soon form an intense friendship. The four friends think that no matter what, they will always have each other. Then the war comes.

The girls find themselves flung to different corners of the war, from the flying planes in the Air Transport Auxiliary to going undercover in…


Book cover of Fair Stood the Wind for France

Gerard Woodward Author Of Nourishment

From my list on human stories behind World War Two.

Why am I passionate about this?

My novel Nourishment is loosely based on stories I was told about the war by my parents who lived through it. My mother was a firewoman during the Blitz and my father was in Normandy after the D-Day landings. They married during the war. I wish now I’d written down the stories my parents used to tell me. There was always humour in their stories. My parents could both see the absurdity and the dark comedy that can sometimes be present in wartime situations, especially on the home front, and I hope some of that comes through in Nourishment.

Gerard's book list on human stories behind World War Two

Gerard Woodward Why did Gerard love this book?

Less involved with the moral and political dilemmas than some of the other novels I’ve listed, this is more of a straightforward adventure story about a British aircrew who survives a crash landing in France and hides out in a farmhouse. Naturally one of them falls for the farmer’s daughter and she helps him on his way to the border. A great romantic adventure but tinged with the real horror and pain of warfare.

By H.E. Bates,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Fair Stood the Wind for France as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

When John Franklin brings his plane down into Occupied France at the height of the Second World war, there are two things in his mind - the safety of his crew and his own badly injured arm. It is a stroke of unbelievable luck when the family of a French farmer risk their lives to offer the airmen protection. During the hot summer weeks that follow, the English officer and the daughter of the house are drawn inexorably to each other...


Book cover of The Other Side Of Midnight

Trevor D'Silva Author Of Fateful Decisions

From my list on early twentieth century history from WW1 to WW2.

Why am I passionate about this?

Growing up, I loved studying history, and reading historical, family sagas, and crime novels. Even though I have four degrees—three engineering and one accountingI love to write. My goal is that my readers who don’t like history, learn it through my novels. What I like about writing is you learn not just about history not taught in school, but also other topics, including meeting and learning from very interesting people. Therefore, it is an interesting hobby to have. I am currently writing my third novel set in the 1960s, and written several articles and short stories. I have also written screenplays for two of my short stories.

Trevor's book list on early twentieth century history from WW1 to WW2

Trevor D'Silva Why did Trevor love this book?

Lovers of World War 2 and the interwar years will like this book. It partly goes into life during Nazi-occupied France during WW2 and its aftermath. Although this book is about one woman’s revenge against her former lover, it gives the reader an idea of what life was like during the occupation. It helped me understand the problems people go through and who their real friends are when faced with adversity. Even though people may do wicked things to others or to those who have harmed them, their conscience gets the better of them when it comes to helping those who have shown them kindness. Their good side is revealed; so therefore, it is always good to find the saving grace rather than just the bad qualities in people.

By Sidney Sheldon,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Other Side Of Midnight as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The Other Side of Midnight is Sidney Sheldon at his best. This page-turner is full of tortured romantic entanglements, reverses of fortune, thrilling suspense, and ultimate justice. In Paris, Washington, and a fabulous villa in Greece, an innocent American becomes a bewildered, horror-stricken pawn in a game of vengeance and betrayal. She is Catherine Douglas, a woman caught in a web of four lives intertwined by passion as her handsome husband pursues an incredibly beautiful film star . . . and as Constantin Demeris, a legendary Greek tycoon, tightens the strands that control them all.


Book cover of Double Cross: The True Story of the D-Day Spies

Larry Enmon Author Of Class III Threat

From my list on spies from a retired secret service agent.

Why am I passionate about this?

As a kid, I always wanted to be a Secret Service agent. As an adult, I became one. The job introduced me to the classified and shadowy world of national security. I traveled the globe, working in places I'd only read about in novels and meeting people who seemed like well-written characters from a book. When I was assigned as a liaison agent to the Joint Terrorism Task Force, I attended numerous FBI and CIA schools—even the facility known as The Farm. But through it all, I read! When I retired and had time to think about what I did, I figured I'd try writing.

Larry's book list on spies from a retired secret service agent

Larry Enmon Why did Larry love this book?

I have always been fascinated with WWII war stories, especially those involving intelligence operations.

Double Cross is one of the most unbelievable stories I've ever read. It's a nonfiction book that's so incredible it almost sounds like fiction. The British scored success after success against all the German intelligence services to keep the Germans guessing about dozens of Allied military activities, including the actual site of the D-Day landings.

MI6 might get all the cool James Bond movies made about it, but MI5 was the real star of this book.

By Ben Macintyre,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked Double Cross as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

D-Day, 6 June 1944, the turning point of the Second World War, was a victory of arms. But it was also a triumph for a different kind of operation: one of deceit, aimed at convincing the Nazis that Calais and Norway, not Normandy, were the targets of the 150,000-strong invasion force.

The deception involved every branch of Allied wartime intelligence - the Bletchley Park code-breakers, MI5, MI6, SOE, Scientific Intelligence, the FBI and the French Resistance. But at its heart was the 'Double Cross System', a team of double agents controlled by the secret Twenty Committee, so named because twenty…


Book cover of Occupation: The Ordeal of France 1940-1944

Ruth Druart Author Of While Paris Slept

From my list on living with the enemy.

Why am I passionate about this?

I became intrigued by the German occupation of Paris when I moved here in 1993. I began to imagine how the French citizens would have lived alongside the enemy; housing them, serving them, working for them, feeding them, and even entertaining them, while hiding what was really in their hearts. This duplicity fascinated me, and I read all the books I could on the subject. Living in Paris, I also had the opportunity to talk to French people who had lived through the occupation. Putting all the pieces together, I did my best to recreate the atmosphere in my two novels.

Ruth's book list on living with the enemy

Ruth Druart Why did Ruth love this book?

This was my go-to book when I researched the occupation. Well-written and thorough, it is sensitive, well-balanced, and insightful, neither seeking to blame nor to praise, but to understand a nation in trauma. The photos and personal quotes brought it to life, and it is one of those non-fiction books that the fiction lover can appreciate. It reads seamlessly.

By Ian Ousby,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Occupation as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

France was slow and somewhat ineffectual in organizing resistance movement. In Occupation Ian Ousby challenges the myth that France was liberated " by the whole of France." The author explores the Nazi occupation of France with superb detail and eyewitness accounts that range from famous figures like Simone de Beauvoir, Charles de Gaulle, Andre Gide, Jean-Paul Sartre and Gertrude Stein to ordinary citizens, forgotten heroes and traitors.


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