Recommendation needed: fiction set in WWII

(40 Posts)
tilleuls Sun 30-Oct-16 20:31:58

Hi all! I'm looking for a new (historical fiction) novel to read set in WWII. Mostly interested in anything about the Home Front. Any ideas?
Thanks

highlandcoo Sun 30-Oct-16 21:55:19

Have a look at The Night Watch by Sarah Waters, set in London during wartime. The Guardian review of TNW on SW's website conveys the atmosphere of the book really well.

That Summer by Andrew Greig is set during the Battle of Britain but also tells the story of the people on the ground; in particular a love affair between a radio operator and one of the young pilots.

Also, The Cazalet Chronicles by Elizabeth Jane Howard has a much wider sweep than the war years, covering the period from the 20s up to and including WWII; well worth a read as an absorbing family saga as well as an interesting portrayal of England during that period. I remember long sections exploring what it was like to be a wife or daughter - or son - waiting at home while someone in the family was fighting abroad. The first four in the five-part series are by far the best.

srtajuanita Sun 30-Oct-16 21:58:16

Where my heart used to beat - Sebastian Faulkes. Beautiful and dramatic.

tilleuls Sun 30-Oct-16 22:06:54

Great, thank you!

FoxesOnSocks Sun 30-Oct-16 22:16:06

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer / Annie Barrows

Everyone Brave is Forgiven by Chris Cleave

IhatchedaSnorlax Sun 30-Oct-16 22:21:09

Also came on to say Guernsey Literary & Potato Peel Pie Society. Brilliant book.

MermaidofZennor Mon 31-Oct-16 06:19:01

The Report by Jessica Frances Kane is set in London and centres on the Bethnal Green Tube Station disaster and subsequent enquiry into how it could have happened. Was very well written.

A God in Ruins by Kate Atkinson - not home front though but still very good accounts of what it was like to be a fighter pilot.

Atonement by Ian McEwan - again very good accounts of war.

Fair Stood the Wind for France by H E Bates - iirc about an RAF officer in hiding in France having crashed.

The Book of Ebenezer le Page by G B Edwards. Not wholly set in WW2 but has account of life in Guernsey under German Occupation. Better than Potato Literary thing becayse the author was a Guernseyman and it was genuine.

ChessieFL Mon 31-Oct-16 08:56:24

All the adult ones I was going to recommend have already been said!

However, would add Goodnight Mr Tom and Back Home, both by Michelle Magorian. They are children's books but I love them and do give you the child's perspective of what it was like to be evacuated.

MermaidofZennor Mon 31-Oct-16 09:15:50

Yy to children's books.

Carrie's War by Nina Bawden - about children evacuated to rural Wales.

When Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit by Judith Kerr and sequels.

KeithLeMonde Mon 31-Oct-16 12:47:27

Their Finest Hour and a Half by Lissa Evans. This, along with The Night Watch, are two of the most wonderfully atmospheric books that I've read about life in the UK (esp London) during WW2.

Under and English Heaven by Robert Radcliffe - American pilots based in Suffolk and their interactions with the local village. Beautiful - made me weep copiously!

The Welsh Girl by Peter Ho Davies. Several strands including a POW camp in rural Wales - think it was longlisted for the Booker and is very good.

KeithLeMonde Mon 31-Oct-16 12:55:11

Mermaid, The Report looks good, thank you, I have put that onto my own TBR list.

readitagain Mon 31-Oct-16 13:03:46

not fiction, but "Nella Lasts War" is an amazing insight into the home front and what it was like for civilians during WW2

piebald Mon 31-Oct-16 13:58:16

Charlotte Gray by Sebastion Faulks
Not fiction but look out for biography of Nancy Wake The White Mouse, it is an incredible read

MermaidofZennor Mon 31-Oct-16 14:26:33

Nella Last was superb. I listened to an audiobook version. She wrote her diaries as part of the Mass Observation.

readitagain Mon 31-Oct-16 14:26:52

I feel the same way too about feeling like I'm lying, or that I've done something terrible. I'm always waiting to be found out and punished even though I've not done anything

this is the same for me - and it's horrid

readitagain Mon 31-Oct-16 14:27:31

oops sorry - wrong thread

hackmum Mon 31-Oct-16 18:28:33

I want to second Their Finest Hour and a Half by Lissa Evans. It's absolutely brilliant. As is the other book she's written about WW2 - Crooked Heart. They're both quite funny and show the other, less heroic side of the home front.

GiddyOnZackHunt Mon 31-Oct-16 18:40:41

I can't remember the title or editor (doh) but there is a collection of Mass Observations from Ww2

GiddyOnZackHunt Mon 31-Oct-16 18:44:15

Might have been "Nine Wartime Lives"

Mittensonastring Mon 31-Oct-16 18:45:14

I am 15 and I do not want to die, haunting stuff.

FormerlyCatherineDeB Mon 31-Oct-16 18:54:52

Not fiction but I recently finished 'They Fought in the Fields', about the women's land army, really enjoyed it.

Available as an ebook at my county library.

lemonpuff Mon 31-Oct-16 19:06:16

Place marking for later....

Sadik Mon 31-Oct-16 19:11:22

The Provincial Lady at War is very good (and very funny) - was originally published as 'diary entries' in Time and Tide magazine.

iseenodust Mon 31-Oct-16 19:18:07

The Book Thief - set in Germany but recommended.
Agree Guernsey Literary...

BikeRunSki Mon 31-Oct-16 19:19:55

Parts of Roald Dahl's autobiography "Going Solo" recount his time in the RAF in WW2.

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