Parsons, Alexander. In the Shadows of the Sun (Doubleday Publishing, 2005).
From award-winning novelist Alexander Parsons comes a vivid chronicle of the traumatic impact of WWII on an American family at the dawn of the nuclear age.Set in the high desert badlands of New Mexico and the ravaged, war-torn landscape of the Philippine jungle, In the Shadows of the Sun tells the story of a New Mexican ranching family — the Stricklands — struggling to hold on to their way of life in the aftermath of Pearl Harbor. Imprisoned by the Japanese, Jack Strickland endures the horrors of the Bataan Death March, his will to stay alive fueled by his desire to return home. A world away, forces threaten to tear his family apart. An illicit love blooms between Baylis Strickland and his brother's wife, Sara, even as the family confronts the threat of devastating loss and displacement: they have been served with an eviction notice from the War Department, which plans to build a bombing range on the land they've worked for generations.
Paul, Caroline. East Wind, Rain (HarperCollins, 2007).
Off the lush coast of Kauai sits the almost unknown island of Niihau. Its inhabitants—mostly Hawaiian natives—lead a quiet, simple life. They work the ranch of the island's owner, Aylmer Robinson, an eccentric haole who insists that Niihau remain isolated from the outside world; no phones, cars, electricity, or other conveniences are allowed. According to Robinson's Christian view, his people must be protected from modern evils, and his island haven kept as pure as Eden before the Fall. Then a plane crash-lands on Niihau. The Hawaiians have no idea that it's a Japanese Zero, and that the pilot—who survives the landing—has just taken part in the attack on Pearl Harbor. Concerned primarily with the fact that visitors aren't allowed, Niihau's residents await Mr. Robinson's monthly visit from Kauai. But unknown to them, the outside world is now at war. Don
Only the island's one Japanese-American couple, Irene and Yoshio Harada, realize the significance of the downed soldier. Convinced that Japan has successfully invaded the United States, and pressured by the desperate pilot, the Haradas face a growing dilemma. Are they loyal to America, their country, but one that has bruised them with prejudice? Or should they help the pilot, betraying their Hawaiian neighbors but saving themselves? As the Zero smolders in the Niihauan soil, and the Niihauans slowly figure out that the modern world has encroached on their remote island whether they like it or not, the Haradas see cracks in their own shaky marriage beginning to widen. Paradise, once within reach, slowly falls victim to its own isolated innocence.
Pearce, Donn. Nobody Comes Back (Forge Books, 2004).
Donn Pearce, the author of Cool Hand Luke, again revisits the subject of men under tremendous pressure, living and dying according to oppressive circumstances. Now, he brings you another tragic hero, thrust out of the only world he knew and forced to create one on his own terms . . . or die trying. Toby Parker was America's unwanted son. Only sixteen years old, he was too young to be enlisted in the army, but old enough to know that he didn't want to return to the life he knew: moving from new home to new home, neglected by his mother, ignored by his father, overlooked by everyone else. The war overseas promised exotic locations and adventure, but what it delivered was something else entirely. The Nazis were beginning to fall back, and the war was all but over. But the fighting still raged on in pockets of Europe. Out of the critical focus on France, only one last position needed to hold: the city of Bastogne. Thrown into battle almost immediately upon arrival, he soon found himself wounded and alone, struggling to survive and looked upon to lead. It was here that Toby was to learn what war really was, and what kind of man he was destined to become. Many American boys went into World War II, and each one lived their own nightmare, critically shaped by what they experienced. Out of the dead, even the survivors, Nobody Comes Back. Told with gritty authenticity, Donn Pearce captures the very essence of what it means to be caught under the worst circumstances imaginable, while having the strength and humanity to rise above them.
Pears, Iain. The Dream of Scipio (Penguin Group, 2003).
In the final days of the Roman Empire, in the years of the Black Death, in the darkest hours of World War II, three men sought refuge from the madness that surrounded them in the realm of ideas. Set in Provence at three different critical moments of Western civilization, The Dream of Scipio follows the fortunes of these men: Manlius Hippomanes, a Gallic aristocrat obsessed with the preservation of Roman civilization; Olivier de Noyen, a poet in the service of a powerful cardinal who is engaged in a treacherous plot to restore the papacy to Rome; and Julien Barneuve, a disaffected intellectual who joins the Vichy government in the hope of rescuing his own sense of humanity. Each man is in love with an extraordinary woman, and each love affair, because of its era, is ill starred.
Peet, Mal. Tamar (Walker Books, 2005).
This lengthy Carnegie Medal-winning novel is masterfully crafted, written in cinematic prose, and peopled by well-drawn, multidimensional characters. Intense and riveting, it is a mystery, a tale of passion, and a drama about resistance fighters in the Netherlands during World War II. The story unfolds in parallel narratives, most told by an omniscient narrator describing the resistance struggle, and fewer chapters as a narrative told by 15-year-old Tamar, the granddaughter of one of the resistance fighters. The locale and time shift between Holland in 1944 and '45 and England in 1995. The constant dangers faced by the resistance fighters as well as their determination to succeed in liberating their country from German occupation come vividly to life. Dart, Tamar, and Marijke are the main characters in this part of the book. Their loyalty to one another and the movement is palpable though love and jealousy gradually enter the story and painfully change the dynamics. Other characters jeopardize the safety of the group and intensify the life-threatening hazards they face. Peet deftly handles the developing intrigue that totally focuses readers. After her beloved grandfather commits suicide, modern-day Tamar is determined to undercover the mystery contained in a box of seemingly unrelated objects that he has left for her. Peet keeps the story going back and forth in time, and readers must wait till the end of this intricate book to understand fully what happened to these courageous people. This is an extraordinary, gripping novel. (written by Renee Steinberg for School Library Journal)
Tamar is being used as a reading book for West Sound Academy, Poulsbo, WA, all school reading program.
Pella, Judith. Homeward My Heart (Bethany House, 2004).
Cameron works as a foreign correspondent for her father's newspaper while she continues to try to obtain a Soviet visa in order to join her husband, Alex, who is not allowed to leave Russia. Blair is in Washington D.C., where husband, Gary, works for the State Department. Jackie is in California, struggling to cope with widowhood and single motherhood. All three are experiencing private heartaches that severely test their faith when Cameron's visa is suddenly approved. Blair and Jackie decide to join her in a clandestine search for their stepbrother. Danger and intrigue, courage and faith explode in a powerful conclusion.
Pella, Judith. Written on the Wind (Bethany House, 2002).
Cameron Hayes' determination to distance herself from her famous father and establish herself as a journalist finds her back in her beloved Russia, now threatened by Hitler's greed. In Moscow she meets Dr. Alex Rostov, a once-prominent US surgeon who has been forced to return to his Russian homeland. Anger over the politics of war brings Alex and Cameron together, but will tragedy ultimately drive them apart? Cameron's sisters, Blair and Jackie, have each set out on paths certain to dismantle a family already fragmented by turmoil, within and without. Long-held secrets shimmer just beneath the surface of a family united only in name...will the trauma of war be the catalyst for peace?
Pella, Judith. Somewhere a Song (Bethany House, 2002).
Somewhere a Song opens the day after Pearl Harbor as the daughters of newspaper tycoon Keegan Hayes suffer the aftermath on three different continents-journalist Cameron Hayes in Moscow, searching for the half-brother she's never met; Jackie in California, dangerously aligning herself with the Japanese community; and Blair in Manila, desperately seeking the whereabouts of her estranged army officer husband even as she is caught up in the terror of war. The trauma each woman experiences threatens to further drive a wedge in the Hayes family. Is there hope when the world's at war?
Petri, Romana. Umbrian War (Toby Press, 2000).
In the hills and countryside of Umbria there is a house outside a village in which live Alcina and Aliseo, sister and brother. She is older, wiser, apparently stronger; he is younger, his head is in the clouds. It is the last two years of war. The Germans are on the run, the local fascists engaged in a final desperate spree of cruelty and arrogance. Alcina confidently looks after the fields, runs the house and looks after Aliseo. But inside her heart there is fear, fear of loneliness and the terrible fear of death. She knows too much: her mother died giving birth to Aliseo, and her father also died young. Alcina and Aliseo join the partisans in the mountains: this experience will help her to overcome her fears. She will learn that there is space enough in her heart for all those things she previously denied, amongst them perhaps even love.
Piercy, Marge. Gone to Soldiers (Penguin Books, 1988).
"Piercy's war takes on universality of a sort that Hemingway's war, or Mailer's war, could never have achieved...she has mastered a huge subject, dismantled a centuries-old sex barrier and widened our perceptions of both war and literature. All this in a good beach book makes GONE TO SOLDIERS a victory by any standards." (NEWSWEEK)
Plain, Belva. Legacy of Silence (Dell Publishing, 1996).
A woman's life changes when the Nazis come to power in Germany. Caroline Hartzinger's boyfriend becomes a Nazi and abandons her because she is half-Jewish. She escapes to America, marries a fellow refugee and gives birth to the Nazi's son.
Pope, Dudley. Decoy (House of Strata, 2003).
It is February 1942 and the war in the Atlantic looks grim for the allied convoys. The 'Great Blackout' has started, leaving the spy centre of Bletchley Park in Buckinghamshire at a loss as to what the Nazis are planning. U-boat Command has changed the Hydra cipher. The Enigma cannot be broken. Cipher experts can no longer eavesdrop on Nazi command, which leaves convoys open for attack by packs of marauding Nazi submarines. Winning the battle of the Atlantic will surely give Hitler a final victory. And who can stop him?
Pound, Ezra. The Pisan Cantos (New Directions Publishing Corporation, 2003).
Ezra Pound's The Pisan Cantos was written in 1945, while the poet was being held in an American military detention center near Pisa, Italy, as a result of his pro-Fascist wartime broadcasts to America on Radio Rome. Imprisoned for some weeks in a wire cage open to the elements, Pound suffered a nervous collapse from the physical and emotional strain. Out of the agony of his own inferno came the eleven cantos that became the sixth book of his modernist epic, The Cantos, themselves conceived as a Divine Comedy for our time. The Pisan Cantos were published in 1948 by New Directions and in the following year were awarded the Bollingen Prize for poetry by the Library of Congress. The honor came amid violent controversy, for the dark cloud of treason still hung over Pound, incarcerated in St. Elizabeths Hospital for the Criminally Insane. Yet there is no doubt that The Pisan Cantos displays some of his finest and most affecting writing, marking an elegaic turn to the personal while synthesizing the philosophical and economic political themes of his previous cantos.
Pratt, James Michael. Ticket Home (St. Martin’s Paperbacks, 2002).
At the dawn of World War II, in rural Oklahoma, identical twins Lucien and Norman Parker are bound by the tragic death of their mother, their railroad jobs, and an abiding well of brotherly devotion. But when both fall for the prettiest girl in town, they learn the hard way that they can't share everything. It is brash Lucien who finally wins her hand, while gentle Norman must learn to live without the woman he cherishes and the brother who betrayed him. At last, reunited, and reconciled, in the war-torn South Pacific, Lucien and Norman fight side by side. But only one will return home for a bittersweet reunion, burdened with the heartbreaking loss of his brother—and the weight of a shocking secret that will haunt him for decades to come.
Priest, Christopher. The Separation (Old Earth Books, 2005).
In this subtle, unsettling alternative WWII history from British author Priest (The Prestige), Jack Sawyer is an RAF bomber pilot who encourages his government to distrust the peace proposal offered by renegade Nazi Rudolph Hess. At the same time, perhaps, Jack's identical twin brother, Joe, is a pacifist Red Cross staffer aiding peace negotiations with a German delegation headed by Hess. Jack's actions help shape the events we remember; Joe's lead to a truce between Germany and Britain in 1941 that results in a disturbingly familiar postwar world. Convincingly detailed diaries, scraps of published texts, declassified transcripts and more baffle a historian who tries to reconcile different realities. The brothers themselves recognize the uncertainty of motives and actions; Joe in particular struggles to believe that he's making a better future even though he realizes how much it costs him personally. Many alternative history novels are bloodless extrapolations from mountains of data, but this one quietly builds characters you care about—then leaves their dilemmas unresolved as they try to believe that what they have done is "right." (Publisher’s Weekly)
Purser, Philip. Lights in the Sky (Severn House, 2005).
Michael Pickup, a skilled but trouble-prone RAF pilot in the squadron which ferries agents and saboteurs in and out of Nazi-occupied Europe, finds himself despatched to neutral Sweden on an extraordinary political-warfare mission. He is to bring back two witnesses to the hideous crime that one day will be called the Holocaust, but in 1943 is little reported, and then seldom believed. Fumbling his way through the wiles of opposing factions and rival secret services, consoled by a spirited daughter of a Swedish nobleman, he steels himself for a desperate flight into the heart of darkness. His gripping and sometimes comic adventures are interwoven with the narrative of one of the witnesses to give a vivid picture of an outpost of the world at war, and cast a light on how a dreadful truth took so long to take hold.
Pynchon, Thomas. Gravity's Rainbow (Penguin, Reprint, 2000).
Tyrone Slothrop, a GI in London in 1944, has a big problem. Whenever he gets an erection, a Blitz bomb hits. Slothrop gets excited, and then (as Thomas Pynchon puts it in his sinister, insinuatingly sibilant opening sentence), "a screaming comes across the sky," heralding an angel of death, a V-2 rocket. The novel's title, Gravity's Rainbow, refers to the rocket's vapor arc, a cruel dark parody of what God sent Noah to symbolize his promise never to destroy humanity again. History has been a big trick: the plan is to switch from floods to obliterating fire from the sky.
Slothrop's father was an unwitting part of the cosmic doublecross. To provide for the boy's future Harvard education, he took cash from the mad German scientist Laszlo Jamf, who performed Pavlovian experiments on the infant Tyrone. Laszlo invented Imipolex G, a new plastic useful in rocket insulation, and conditioned Tyrone's privates to respond to its presence. Now the grown-up Tyrone helplessly senses the Imipolex G in incoming V-2s, and his military superiors are investigating him. Soon he is on the run from legions of bizarre enemies through the phantasmagoric horrors of Germany.