100 books like Sisters in the Resistance

By Margaret Collins Weitz,

Here are 100 books that Sisters in the Resistance fans have personally recommended if you like Sisters in the Resistance. 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 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 A Woman's War Too: U.S. Women in the Military in World War II

Ellen Hampton Author Of Women of Valor: The Rochambelles on the World War II Front

From my list on or by women on women in WWII.

Why am I passionate about this?

I was fortunate enough to meet a dozen Rochambelles while I was working on a PhD in history, and leapt at the chance to interview them and write their story. I had moved to Paris after a decade of journalism that included some war reporting, and while the conflicts of Central America were a snippet compared to WWII, I had a sense of the environment and the personal testing war invoked, especially for their generation. I’ve been working recently on a book about the Nazi Occupation of France, and while many great resources are in French, the following English-language books offer insight, detail, and fine writing about that momentous time.

Ellen's book list on or by women on women in WWII

Ellen Hampton Why did Ellen love this book?

This collection of wide-ranging essays, both from women who served in WWII and from historians who have studied them, is a great place to start. It sorts out WACS from WAVES, covers cryptographers and nurses, considers racism and the political rebound of women in the military. The editors also included a useful guide to first-person material in the National Archives as well as a directory to archival collections held around the country.

By Paula Nassen Poulos,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked A Woman's War Too as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Book by


Book cover of An American Heroine in the French Resistance: The Diary and Memoir of Virginia d'Albert-Lake

Ellen Hampton Author Of Women of Valor: The Rochambelles on the World War II Front

From my list on or by women on women in WWII.

Why am I passionate about this?

I was fortunate enough to meet a dozen Rochambelles while I was working on a PhD in history, and leapt at the chance to interview them and write their story. I had moved to Paris after a decade of journalism that included some war reporting, and while the conflicts of Central America were a snippet compared to WWII, I had a sense of the environment and the personal testing war invoked, especially for their generation. I’ve been working recently on a book about the Nazi Occupation of France, and while many great resources are in French, the following English-language books offer insight, detail, and fine writing about that momentous time.

Ellen's book list on or by women on women in WWII

Ellen Hampton Why did Ellen love this book?

Edited by historian Judy Barrett Litoff, who wrote a comprehensive introduction outlining Virginia d’Albert-Lake’s war, this memoir recounts the dramatic experience of a rare American woman resistance agent in occupied France. Working with the legendary Comet escape line, she and her French husband helped shelter and move 66 Allied airmen to safety. But in 1944, a German question answered in her American accent got her sent straight to the Gestapo and then to Ravensbrück concentration camp. Virginia d’Albert-Lake tells her amazing story of life on the edge from the pages of her diary.

By Virginia d'Albert-Lake,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked An American Heroine in the French Resistance as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This fascinating book tells the remarkable story of an ordinary American woman's heroism in the French Resistance. Virginia Roush fell in love with Philippe d'Albert-Lake during a visit to France in 1936; they married soon after. In 1943, they both joined the Resistance, where Virginia put her life in jeopardy as she sheltered downed airmen and later survived a Nazi prison camp. After the war, she stayed in France with Philippe, and was awarded the Legion d'Honneur and the Medal of Honor. She died in 1997.
Judy Barrett Litoff brings together two rare documents-Virginia's diary of wartime France until her…


Book cover of The Women with Silver Wings: The Inspiring True Story of the Women Airforce Service Pilots of World War II

Eileen A. Bjorkman Author Of The Fly Girls Revolt: The Story of the Women Who Kicked Open the Door to Fly in Combat

From my list on hidden histories of women in the military.

Why am I passionate about this?

I work in aviation, so it was natural to write about it when I started as a freelance writer. But I quickly realized that writing about aviation people is much more interesting than writing about airplanes. Because of my military background I found myself writing veterans’ stories. I’ve uncovered many stories that have never been told or have been forgotten over the years. And because I was in the Air Force in the 1980s and 1990s, I knew the events in my new book had never been told. During my research, I found more books with hidden histories and rediscovered some I read decades ago. This list is my favorites.

Eileen's book list on hidden histories of women in the military

Eileen A. Bjorkman Why did Eileen love this book?

The Women Airforce Service Pilots (WASP) were more than 1,000 women who ferried aircraft around the U.S. and flew other support missions during World War II.

They were technically civilian government employees, but for all practical purposes were in the U.S. Army and later earned veteran’s status, which is why I include them here.

The military women of my generation in the 1970s and 1980s (especially aviators) stood on the shoulders of what the WASP accomplished. 

Quite a few books have been written about the WASP, but this is the best one in my opinion. It’s extremely well researched, highly readable, and does an excellent job of portraying the two main characters, the media-savvy Jacqueline Cochran and her less flashy counterpart Nancy Love.

By Katherine Sharp Landdeck,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked The Women with Silver Wings as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

“With the fate of the free world hanging in the balance, women pilots went aloft to serve their nation. . . . A soaring tale in which, at long last, these daring World War II pilots gain the credit they deserve.”—Liza Mundy, New York Times bestselling author of Code Girls

“A powerful story of reinvention, community and ingenuity born out of global upheaval.”—Newsday

When the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor in December 1941, Cornelia Fort was already in the air. At twenty-two, Fort had escaped Nashville’s debutante scene for a fresh start as a flight instructor in Hawaii. She and her…


Book cover of Silence of the Sea / Le Silence de la Mer

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?

An iconic Resistance novel today, The Silence of the Sea was written at a time when the French Resistance was yet to be invented, and was published clandestinely in 1942. The first work of fiction ever written about the Resistance, and one of the most beautiful, without a doubt. The story of a forbidden love between a German officer and a French woman who was forced to house him, Vercors’ story was meant to entice his fellow citizens to refuse a situation deemed unacceptable. There is no sabotage, explosions, or as traditionally understood acts of heroism, only an invitation to save whatever could be saved. A story of honor and dignity, universal and timeless. 

By James W. Brown (editor), Lawrence D. Stokes (editor), Cyril Connelly (translator)

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Silence of the Sea / Le Silence de la Mer as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This first bilingual edition of France's most enduring wartime novel introduces Vercors's famous tale to a generation without personal experience of World War II who may not be able to read it in its original language. Now available in paperback, readers are assisted with a historical and literary introduction, explanatory notes, a glossary of French terms and a select bibliography.


Book cover of The Resistance: The French Fight Against the Nazis

Patrick W. O'Bryon Author Of Corridor of Darkness

From my list on espionage and resistance in Hitler's Third Reich.

Why am I passionate about this?

While a graduate student and then an army interpreter in Germany, I listened to reminiscences from both Third Reich military veterans and former French resistance fighters. Their tales picked up where my father's stories of pre-war European life always ended, and my fascination with this history knew no bounds. On occasion I would conceal my American identity and mentally play the spy as I traversed Europe solo. A dozen years later upon the death of my father, I learned from my mother his great secret: he had concealed his wartime life as an American spy inside the Reich. His private journals telling of bravery and intrigue inspire each of my novels.

Patrick's book list on espionage and resistance in Hitler's Third Reich

Patrick W. O'Bryon Why did Patrick love this book?

My personal library holds dozens of histories and first-person accounts dealing with the French Resistance. Some are scholarly, others more popular in treatment, but many so boring that I barely reached the final page. Cobb’s work however is a great exception, depicting in smooth prose and outstanding research the dramatic development of the Résistance. You'll meet heroes and heroines, and see the extraordinary lengths taken by simple French citizens to undermine fascist tyranny and aid Allied efforts. Here is the insight needed to truly appreciate accurate fictional portrayals of this time.

By Matthew Cobb,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The French resistance to Nazi occupation during World War II was a struggle in which ordinary people fought for their liberty, despite terrible odds and horrifying repression. Hundreds of thousands of Frenchmen and women carried out an armed struggle against the Nazis, producing underground anti-fascist publications and supplying the Allies with vital intelligence.

The Resistancetouches on some of the strongest themes in life - courage, self-sacrifice, betrayal and struggle. It shatters the illusion of a unified Resistance created by General de Gaulle, and brings to vivid life a true story of heroes and conflicts forgotten over the next half-century as…


Book cover of Army of Shadows

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?

Usually known in its film adaptation, Army of Shadows is certainly the most comprehensive novel about the French Resistance. Written in 1943 by one of the best novelists and journalists of the twentieth century, based on facts, it offers a kaleidoscopic view of the diverse participants of a movement sometimes considered as a monolithic entity. All of the veteran Resistance fighters I have had the chance to meet agreed that it was their favorite novel about the Resistance.   

By Joseph Kessel, Rainer J. Hanshe (translator),

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

THIS IS THE TRUTH, THOUGH THE FORM IS FICTION…

The terrible and inspiring truth about the French underground, the way it’s men and women operate, fight, die, a story full of nobility, heroism, and brutal violence.

First published in its English translation in 1944, this is the fictionalized account of French writer Joseph Kessel’s own experiences as a member of the French Resistance in World War II.


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 The Vichy Syndrome: History and Memory in France Since 1944

Bertram M. Gordon Author Of Historical Dictionary of World War II France: The Occupation, Vichy, and the Resistance, 1938-1946

From my list on France in World War II.

Why am I passionate about this?

As a child in New York, I was interested in history to the point where by third grade I had memorized the list of U.S. presidents beginning with George Washington. The world was more Eurocentric than now, and I was taken by what I saw as the richness of European history. Surrounded later by Leftist academics, I became interested in the Right. Why were so many, especially among the lower middle classes, drawn to the Right and fascism during the first half of the twentieth century? This led to my interviewing and studying World War II pro-Nazi French collaborators. Later I branched into food history and the history of tourism.

Bertram's book list on France in World War II

Bertram M. Gordon Why did Bertram love this book?

The role of France and the activities of the French during the Second World War German occupation, spanning the range from resistance through accommodation to collaboration, has been the subject of considerable literature on both sides of the Atlantic. First published in France in 1987, The Vichy Syndrome characterizes the memory of the war years as “a past that doesn't pass away.” The book addresses the different ways in which the war years were remembered and helped popularize the study of historical memory, meaning the study not only of the events themselves but also how they are remembered and how these memories influence political and cultural life in succeeding generations. Rousso received France’s National Order of Merit in 1995 and in 2018 was chosen by President Macron to supervise the design of France’s new Memorial Museum of Societies Facing Terrorism.  

By Henry Rousso, Arthur Goldhammer (translator),

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked The Vichy Syndrome as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

From the Liberation purges to the Barbie trial, France has struggled with the memory of the Vichy experience: a memory of defeat, occupation, and repression. In this provocative study, Henry Rousso examines how this proud nation-a nation where reality and myth commingle to confound understanding-has dealt with les annees noires. Specifically, he studies what the French have chosen to remember-and to conceal.


Book cover of The Soldier's Girl

Lisbeth Eng Author Of In the Arms of the Enemy

From my list on World War II with unexpected love stories.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve long been enthralled by tales, real and fictional, that transcend the obvious and clichéd. My interest in World War II was piqued years ago while studying in Italy, when our professor regaled us with accounts of the Italian Resistance. Depictions of the “enemy” in fiction are often brutalized, and he is portrayed as less than human, compared with those on the righteous side of the battle. As a romance writer, crafting characters as living, breathing human beings, amidst the abyss of war, became my passion. Conflict is essential to a captivating plot, and what could be more intriguing than pitting heroine against hero in mortal struggle.

Lisbeth's book list on World War II with unexpected love stories

Lisbeth Eng Why did Lisbeth love this book?

Multi-layered portrayals, and an absorbing, beautifully penned story shine through Sharon Maas’s The Soldier’s Girl, a novel at once heartbreaking and inspiring.

The protagonist, Sibyl Lake, works as a spy for the French Resistance in the Nazi-annexed region of Alsace. Two men vie for her affection: Jacques, her childhood sweetheart, now a Resistance fighter, and Wolfgang, a German officer and the target of her espionage mission.

Sibyl’s courage, identity, and very soul are forced to the brink as she fights for her beloved land, clutched in Germany’s oppressive control. Maas’s unforgettable characters reveal their humanity – through love and loss – and will abide in the reader’s heart long after the final page.

By Sharon Maas,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked The Soldier's Girl as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

France 1944 and the streets are filled with swastikas. The story of a brave English girl behind enemy lines, a German soldier, and a terrible sacrifice…

When young English nurse Sibyl Lake is recruited as a spy to support the French resistance, she doesn’t realise the ultimate price she will end up paying. She arrives in Colmar, a French town surrounded by vineyards and swarming with German soldiers, but her fear is dampened by the joy of being reunited with her childhood sweetheart Jacques.

Sibyl’s arrival has not gone unnoticed by Commander Wolfgang von Haagan and she realises that letting…


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