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Wartime Novels?

(77 Posts)
tethersend Thu 21-Mar-13 23:49:53

Set in Germany?

Or England?

Or anywhere?

Have just finished the good-in-parts-but-overall-grindingly-disappointing Dominion by C J Sansom and it's left me wanting something better. Have had a bash at Fatherland by Robert Harris, but it's not really doing it for me either.

Has anyone read anything good which would fit my apparently narrow field of interest?

LittlePushka Thu 21-Mar-13 23:52:32

Try Mila 18 - Leon Uris smile

NomenOmen Thu 21-Mar-13 23:56:27

The Heat of the Day, Elizabeth Bowen.

LittleBunnyFeileFooFoo Thu 21-Mar-13 23:59:26

A particular war, or any war?

the Archer's Tale by Bernard Cornwell takes place at the beginning of the 100 years war, in England and France.

dabdab Fri 22-Mar-13 00:01:42

Birdsong, by Sebastian Faulks

CardinalRichelieu Fri 22-Mar-13 00:02:56

Enigma by Robert Harris is ace. It's about Bletchley Park and how they broke the uboat code for the North Atlantic, with a murder mystery mixed in

tigerdriverII Fri 22-Mar-13 00:03:34

Night Watch - Sarah Waters. WWII. Brilliant book, tons better than the tv adaptation.

SageBush Fri 22-Mar-13 00:05:00

The Regeneration Trilogy, by Pat Barker. Stunningly good - better than Birdsong, I think (though that is good too).

tigerdriverII Fri 22-Mar-13 00:18:26

Yy agree with Pat Barker. For a WWI period piece, try Siegfried Sassoon.

ThePigOfHappiness Fri 22-Mar-13 00:28:46

Yy to birdsong.

dashoflime Fri 22-Mar-13 00:33:33

Gone to Soldiers: Marge Piercy

Cremolafoam Fri 22-Mar-13 00:39:20

Alone in Berlin: hans Fallada but you might find it grindingly dull: not in the same way as sansome tho

April in Paris - love story between French girl and Nazi

Try Pam Jenoff if you want something a little fluffier

Elisabeth Elgin- fluffier still- lots if land girls and hunky Italian POWs

And Sarah's Key perhaps?

Cremolafoam Fri 22-Mar-13 00:40:27

Oh yes Irene Nemerovsky of course

BOEUF Fri 22-Mar-13 01:14:44

War Crimes For The Home. I think it's still reduced on Kindle. Really good.

GeorginaWorsley Fri 22-Mar-13 07:16:32

I love first and second world war novels
My dear I wanted to tell you,Louisa Young
David Downing's 'Station' novels,series set in Germany
Philip Kerr's Bernie Gunther series
The Last Summer,Andrew Grieg
Laura Wilson's Strachan series
Coming Home,Rosamunde Pilcher
Cazalet novels,Elizabeth Jane Howard
Will scouer bookshelves for more!

DuchessofMalfi Fri 22-Mar-13 08:13:45

I agree with Georgina My Dear I Wanted to Tell You is very good.

I've just finished reading Atonement by Ian McEwan. Whilst the lengthy first part is pre-war, the next two parts are about the evacuation from Dunkirk, and about nursing the wounded soldiers when they get back. That was when the book got very interesting. I enjoyed reading it.

Kyrptonite Fri 22-Mar-13 08:14:50

Ken Follet century trilogy. Well the two that have been released anyhow!

tripfiction Fri 22-Mar-13 08:46:48

Two Brothers by Ben Elton set in Berlin, very good

A Woman in Berlin by Anonymous

Philip Kerr books featurin Bernie Gunther

Ilovemyteddy Fri 22-Mar-13 09:53:23

Guernica by Dave Boling is fantastic (although the end is a bit dodgy.) Half of the Human Race by Anthony Quinn is a good read if you want something on life leading up to WW1. Charlotte Grey by Sebastian Faulks is an interesting read about a British woman working within the French Resistance movement.

And I loved Sarah's Key by Tatiana de Rosnay which was mentioned up thread.

MiddleAgeMiddleEngland Fri 22-Mar-13 10:09:57

Shute's Pied Piper. One of my very favourite books. About an elderly man who finds himself in France at the start of the war and escorts a group of children to safety.

It was actually written at the time but is quite non-judgemental, just an uplifting story,

Birdsong is on my list to read.

cq Fri 22-Mar-13 10:13:00

Agree with all upthread

My Dear I wanted to Tell You
Birdsong - best book I've EVER read - really want DS (14) to read it but shame about the huge red room sex scene.
Sarah's Key.

Also Suite Francaise

And Those who Save Us

Sorry can't remember any authors and just dashing out.....

agnesf Fri 22-Mar-13 10:16:10

I second The Heat of the Day. Beautiful evocative book.

SorrelForbes Fri 22-Mar-13 10:17:28

Just put this on another thread but I can recommend another of Neville Shute's books: Reqiuem For A Wren.

tethersend Fri 22-Mar-13 10:17:55

Ok, I should have been more specific- I want WW2 only... But thank you for all the responses and recommendations!

I have read:

Alone in Berlin (loved)
A woman in Berlin (fascinating)
Two brothers (loved, surprisingly)
Atonement (was ok)

Have seen the film adaptation of Sarah's Key, so know the plot, which tends to spoil the book IYSWIM... Ditto night watch.

I don't really want fluffy stuff grin

Am off to google all the other suggestions. Thanks smile

tethersend Fri 22-Mar-13 10:19:35

How did the BBC adaptation of Birdsong compare to the book? Saw the first episode and it didn't grab me at all.

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