One of my favorite genres to read is historical fiction, specifically one that is set during the World War II era. I think this time in our history is such an important one, as it altered our world in many ways. I also think that there are just so many stories from different perspectives that are left to tell and that deserve to be told. If you are like me who have a special place for stories set during this time, here are some fictional novels (and movie) that I HIGHLY recommend.
- The Book Thief by Markus ZusakI sound like a total broken record including this book in here, because I feel like I've included it in all the lists I make. It makes it on this list though, deservedly so, as it is just a great story about ordinary people living during this horrific time. It is beautifully written and features such memorable characters that readers will fall in love with. It also is pretty unique as it's told through the point of view of 'Death.'
- The Nightingale by Kristin HannahThis book is one of my favorite books now, as it's just perfect. It has gorgeous writing and effortless storytelling from the author, and has unforgettable characters. It's honest and unflinching, a beautiful fiction at its finest. Read my review here.
- Those Who Save Us by Jenna BlumI read this a few years ago, but I still remember how it made me feel. This is told through the point of view of German civilians, as the war and its effects surround them. I particularly loved the narration in this one.
- Suite Francaise by Irene Nemirovsky*This one has a special place in my heart. It tells the stories of the French people during the Nazi occupation. *What's even more special is who it's written by: Irene Nemirovsky. She was a successful writer living in Paris, but at the start of the war, she and her family had to flee and hide because of their Jewish parentage. While hiding, she completed the first part of this book, but she was captured by the German SS and was sent to a concentration camp where she was executed. Her children hid her manuscript and sixty years later, one of her daughters took it to a publisher. The translator simply translated and edited her work, creating this profound story. A must read for sure!
- Schindler's List (film)This would be a time when I would recommend seeing the movie more than reading the book. I did read the book that the famous film was based on, but I have to say that this adaptation was something else entirely. It will always be a heartbreaking must-watch movie, and that theme score by John Williams will forever haunt me.
And with that, let me leave you with that very theme from the movie.
Let me know if you have any more books, fiction or non-fiction, to add to this list, or if you have any book recommendations set during this time that you think I should try out. I am always looking for more beautifully told stories.