10 books like A Train in Winter

By Caroline Moorehead,

Here are 10 books that authors have personally recommended if you like A Train in Winter. Shepherd is a community of 7,000+ authors sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Suite Française

By Irene Nemirovsky,

Book cover of Suite Française

I’ve chosen this book not just for the incredible picture it paints of German occupation, but for the story of its survival. Irène Némirovsky was a Ukrainian-Jewish author living in Paris with her young family until she was denied French citizenship and forced to flee to the French countryside. In July 1942 she was arrested during a period of vicious roundups by the Germans and transported to Auschwitz, where she died a month later from typhus. Irène’s two daughters were amongst the crowd that gathered daily outside the Hotel Lutetia in Paris, where returnees from concentration camps were processed after the liberation of France. Her daughter Denise kept the notebook containing Suite Française for fifty years before realising what it contained, and Irène’s masterpiece was finally published in 2004.

Suite Française

By Irene Nemirovsky,

Why should I read it?

10 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…


Madame Fourcade's Secret War

By Lynne Olson,

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

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. 

Madame Fourcade's Secret War

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…


War Brides

By Lois Battle,

Book cover of War Brides: A Novel

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.

War Brides

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…


Lilac Girls

By Martha Hall Kelly,

Book cover of Lilac Girls

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.

Lilac Girls

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…


In Our Strange Gardens

By Michel Quint,

Book cover of In Our Strange Gardens

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. 

In Our Strange Gardens

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…


Never Forget You

By Jamila Gavin,

Book cover of Never Forget You

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. 

Never Forget You

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…


Fair Stood the Wind for France

By H.E. Bates,

Book cover of Fair Stood the Wind for France

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.

Fair Stood the Wind for France

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...


Code Name Verity

By Elizabeth Wein,

Book cover of Code Name Verity

I was recently drawn to this book because of its unusual central characters—two young women, Julie and Maddie, from very different backgrounds, who become friends during WW2. Both women are doing crucial work, not being the object of desire for a man, not competing with one another. I read it in one sitting. The ingenious structure starts with a ‘confession’ by SOE recruit Julie, written under torture by the Nazis in France, which reveals the depth of her friendship with Maddie, a pilot, supposedly just transporting planes for the RAF, who ends up hiding in occupied France trying to free her friend from the most appalling fate. I found it clever, moving, and unputdownable. Code Name Verity is marketed as YA but was quite graphic enough for this adult!

Code Name Verity

By Elizabeth Wein,

Why should I read it?

6 authors picked Code Name Verity as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

'I have two weeks. You'll shoot me at the end no matter what I do.'

Shortlisted for the Carnegie Medal, Code Name Verity is a bestselling tale of friendship and courage set against the backdrop of World War Two.

Only in wartime could a stalwart lass from Manchester rub shoulders with a Scottish aristocrat, one a pilot, the other a special operations executive. When a vital mission goes wrong, and one of the friends has to bail out of a faulty plane over France, she is captured by the Gestapo and becomes a prisoner of war. The story begins in…


The Other Side Of Midnight

By Sidney Sheldon,

Book cover of The Other Side Of Midnight

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.

The Other Side Of Midnight

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.


Double Cross

By Ben Macintyre,

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

If you want to read about one of the most amazing operations of World War II, then this is the book for you. It is the story of the Allied double agents (five in particular) who successfully tricked Hitler into thinking the invasion of France would occur in a different location than planned. In my opinion, this book is enjoyable to read because of the five agents and their backgrounds, personalities, and how they went about tricking the Germans. One of the agents was used by Ian Fleming as a model for the James Bond character. Another agent was the only person in the war to have been awarded both the German Iron Cross and the British MBE. I have several favorite World War II genre authors and Ben Macintyre is one of them.   

Double Cross

By Ben Macintyre,

Why should I read it?

2 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…


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