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Books set/about world war 2

(50 Posts)
GinevraWeasley Wed 21-Aug-19 08:33:23

Looking for any good book recommendations set or about world war 2 or life during the 1930s/1940s.

OP’s posts: |
Seeline Wed 21-Aug-19 08:46:52

Probably a bit dated now, but RF Delderfield's Avenue at War books (2 I think) tell of life during the war in the suburbs of London.

The Cazalet books include that time.

Kate Atkins Life after Life and A God in Ruins takes a strange look at that period.

Barbara Erskine The Darkest Hour is a the/now type story of fighter pilots.

LifeIsGoodish Wed 21-Aug-19 08:59:38

Goodnight Mr Tom
When Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit, and the sequels Bombs on Aunt Dainty and A Small Person Far Away.

LifeIsGoodish Wed 21-Aug-19 09:05:17

The 1940s House. I did not see the TV series, but I've read the book and it's excellent.

TonTonMacoute Wed 21-Aug-19 09:15:49

Diary of a Provincial Lady (can't remember the author)
Several contemporary writers such as Henry Green, Elizabeth Bowen, Rosamund Lehmann.
The Night Watch by Sarah Waters

CassianAndor Wed 21-Aug-19 09:17:36

there are squillions of books about the second world war, I think a bit more info is need, or you could just google that?

elkiedee Wed 21-Aug-19 10:15:42

Persephone Books publish quite a few written during/soon after WWII, including some in translation

There's one by Mollie Panter-Downes that is her reports from London at the time.

I like Barbara Euphan Todd, Miss Ranskill Comes Home, about a woman who finally finds her way home from being trapped on a desert island for a few years to discover rationing and all kinds of change to life as she knew it.

Marghanita Laski, To Bed With Grand Music, is about a woman who starts having lots of affairs while her husband is away.

There are also several translated from several European languages, fiction and non fiction, about life in some occupied countries, refugee experience, and some Jewish experiences of the war, by writers who survived and some who didn't (eg some stories by Irene Nemirovsky re France).

GinevraWeasley Wed 21-Aug-19 11:10:11

Thanks for the replies everyone, looks like I will have lots of good books to put on my kindle for holiday.

OP’s posts: |
Greenglassteacup Wed 21-Aug-19 11:13:56

Anything by Rosalind Lehman

Greenglassteacup Wed 21-Aug-19 11:14:27

Gah, autocorrect

Try again

Rosamond Lehman

thatonesmine Wed 21-Aug-19 11:20:39

Google Mass Observation books and take your pick! These are compilations of peoples real day to day experiences, they're highly readable and absolutely fascinating. Nella Last's War is probably the best known but there are many others.

GoodwithRocksandGems Wed 21-Aug-19 11:38:14

Fair Stood the Wind for France H E Bates is a classic. I’m currently reading A Woman of No Importance by Sonia Purnell.

LifeIsGoodish Wed 21-Aug-19 12:10:32

Das Boot - translation of a German novel about a U-boat

The Ship - a British novel about the ships that fought the U-boats.

Both IIRC written by men stationed on the vessels they wrote about.

historysock Wed 21-Aug-19 12:29:28

I liked 'Housewife, 41' Think it was later made into a TV programme with Victoria Wood in it.

DancelikeEmmaGoldman Wed 21-Aug-19 12:49:37

Susan Isaac’s Shining Through about spies.

cwg1 Wed 21-Aug-19 12:50:00

Nicholas Monserrat's Cruel Sea is a classic. Virago did an anthology of women's contemporary WWII writing, Hearts Undefeated, lovely book.

rosegoldwatcher Wed 21-Aug-19 13:38:15

Have you read Charlotte Gray by Sebastian Faulks? -
"In 1942, Charlotte Gray, a young Scottish woman, heads for Occupied France on a dual mission - officially, to run an apparently simple errand for a British special operations group and unofficially, to search for her lover, an English airman missing in action."
I loved this.
Or The Night Watch by Sarah Waters?

TheOnlyLivingBoyInNewCross Wed 21-Aug-19 13:43:54

Small Island by Andrea Levy is brilliant.

TheOnlyLivingBoyInNewCross Wed 21-Aug-19 13:44:43

Oh, and The English Patient.

TheOnlyLivingBoyInNewCross Wed 21-Aug-19 13:46:15

And Captain Corelli's Mandolin. Really, there's loads.

elkiedee Wed 21-Aug-19 15:55:13

If you're looking for stuff to put on your Kindle, some good suggestions there on the homefront.

Also Olivia Manning's The Balkan Trilogy and the Levant Trilogy - whatever the current selling price - each actually comprises 3 novels about a young English couple living abroad just before and during war time, first in Eastern Europe and then in the Middle East and North Africa. Harriet and Guy Pringle and their experiences are a somewhat (auto)biographal portrait.

Ellmau Wed 21-Aug-19 20:49:28

Dear Mrs Bird.

historysock Thu 22-Aug-19 03:23:02

War Crimes on the Home front.

Girlwhowearsglasses Thu 22-Aug-19 03:50:06

I second the Balkan and Levant trilogies by Olivia Manning. I’ve just re-read them in the beach and I think they are essential reading! As well as great stories and character - and a very detailed examination of marriage; the history and life experience they go through is seminal. As it’s from her own experience the historical context is really accurate and I feel much more clued up on what that part of the world went through over the course of the war.

Stunning books

StumpyinSomerset Thu 22-Aug-19 04:32:17

Coming Home by Rosamunde Pilcher

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