Baddiel, David. The Secret Purposes (Harper Perennial, 2006).
When the flood of Nazism enters Isaac and Lulu Fabian's lives, they're forced to flee their home in East Prussia. In Cambridge, England, the Fabians believe they have finally found the freedom that was denied to them in Germany. But the year is 1940, and prejudice, ignorance, and suspicion abound, propelling the British government to round up thousands of Germans—Nazis, sympathizers, and Jewish refugees alike—and ship them off to the Isle of Man, where they are to be interned until the war's end. It is there that Isaac's story will become intertwined with June Murray's, a translator at the Ministry of Information who is determined to expose the truth about the atrocities being perpetrated across the continent. But June's encounter with internee Isaac Fabian will radically shift her purpose, remolding it into something far more personal and complex than either of them could have ever imagined.
Bainbridge, Beryl. The Dressmaker (Carroll & Graf Publishers, 1996).
The setting is Liverpool, 1944. The war pressures naïve teenaged Rita to dream beyond the fortified shores of her own country. The town is full of Yanks who come from the land of Hollywood. Rita claims one for herself, but her two aunts, who have raised her, see more and less in him than Rita suspects. The ending is inspired and in itself gives reason why this book was runner-up for the Booker Prize.
Ballard, James. Empire of the Sun (Simon & Schuster, Re-print, 2002).
Jim is separated from his parents in a world at war. To survive, he must find a strength greater than all the events that surround him. Shanghai, 1941—a city aflame from the fateful torch of Pearl Harbor. In streets full of chaos and corpses, a young British boy searches in vain for his parents. Imprisoned in a Japanese concentration camp, he is witness to the fierce white flash of Nagasaki, as the bomb bellows the end of the war...and the dawn of a blighted world. Ballard's enduring novel of war and deprivation, internment camps and death marches, and starvation and survival is an honest coming-of-age tale set in a world thrown utterly out of joint.
Barkdull, Larry. Cold Train Coming (Shadow Mountain Publishing, 2004).
It's 1942 And America Is At War. A sense of peril and wartime shortages have reached even the small town of Fort Benton, Montana, where 13-ear-old Ben Colby is growing up. Ben is in love for the first time, with Ellie Beck, a high-school beauty who is three years older than Ben. But that's not the only dilemma Ben is facing. When he learns that one of his mother's old boyfriend has moved to town, he worries about what that might mean for his parents' seemingly shaking marriage. Everyone is nearly frantic about the polio epidemic that is raging through the town. In the midst of all this, Ben tries to befriend a stray sheepdog that no one has ever been able to win over—a dog that remain fiercely loyal to its previous master.
Barker, Noel. A Woman of Cairo (Hodder & Stoughton, Ltd., 2007).
Son and daughter of diplomats in Cairo, the gentle Serena Pasha and Mark Holt are privileged and attractive, growing up in a magical world of champagne breakfasts and midnight picnics at the pyramids. Their lives entwined since childhood, they grow ever closer as adults. Yet Serena's hand has been promised not to Mark, but to his brother, Greg. As World War II speeds closer to Cairo, a shocking accident gives these young lovers a second chance—but with this chance comes terrible danger. Egypt is threatened not only by the German army but by nationalist forces within Cairo determined to end the British occupation at any cost. The country torn apart, and enemies everywhere, Mark and Serena's love is tested to the limit.
Barnett, Jill. Sentimental Journey (Pocket Star, 2002).
In a time when ordinary people became heroes, they lived hard, loved hard, and fought hard: Kitty Kincaid must rely on her wits to survive capture by a deadly enemy in a faraway land....U.S. Army officer J.R. Cassidy lives for dangerous missions—but recusing Kitty nearly costs both their lives....Charlotte Morrison does a man's job, flying planes to Britain's RAF—while her heart is all woman, and torn between two lovers....Red Walker, a small-town mechanic, dares to leave his familiar world and fight for his country....Flying ace George "Skip" Inskip carries a burden from the past that only love can heal....On burning sands, in blue skies, and under screaming Nazi bombs, they make their personal journeys. But when fate unites them in a place where duty comes first, they can no longer live only for today—not if they want to see tomorrow.
Baron, Eileen G. The Torch of Tangiers (Poisoned Pen Press, 2007).
War time Tangier, policed by Franco's Guardia Civil, thick with many nationalities including Germans and Allies, bitter with the insults of Colonialism, is a dangerous place. Archaeologist Lily Sampson, recruited from her studies in Chicago by the enigmatic Dr. Drury, finds herself in Morocco digging up Neanderthal artifacts at the Cave of Hercules. And soon, working at the American Legation on an undercover mission linked to Operation Torch. The target date: November 8, 1942. The mission: to control French Morocco, Algeria, and Tunisia, squash Rommel, and thrust into Europe's underbelly. Out in the Atlantic, Ike will rely on relayed communications. But Lily's mastery of code is interrupted by murder--not one, but two-which not only imperils her, but Torch itself.
Beach, Edward L. Run Silent, Run Deep (Cassell, New edition, 2007).
An American equivalent of Das Boot, this gripping, bestselling novel of submarine warfare inspired a well-known Hollywood film starring Burt Lancaster and Clark Gable. Set in the aftermath of the attack on Pearl Harbor, the tension-filled story focuses on an American submarine captain given orders to destroy Japanese shipping in the Pacific. At first his missions go well, but when he takes on an infamous Japanese destroyer, nicknamed Bungo Pete, a terrifying game of cat and mouse begins. From the training of the crew right through to the breathtaking climax, this tale is absolutely riveting, and will have fans of military writers such as Tom Clancy cheering.
Beazely, Jan and Thom Lemmons. King's Ransom (WaterBrook Press, 2004).
Set during the darkest days of World War II, King's Ransom tells the heroic story of Tsar Boris III, King of Bulgaria, and his extraordinary efforts to save his country's Jewish population from Hitler's concentration camps. Aware of the price he might pay for his risks, Boris faced the Third Reich with courage and resolve, firm in his Christian convictions that would not permit him to abandon nearly 50,000 Jews. Boris, along with members of the Orthodox Church, Jewish religious leaders, and others, ultimately ensured that no Bulgarian Jews lost their lives to Hitler's regime.
Historically accurate, Boris's quest to save Bulgaria's Jews is interwoven with the love story of Daria, the Jewish attendant to the Bulgarian royal family, and Dobri, a sergeant in the king's guard. With courageous characters and passionate storytelling, King's Ransom reveals how individuals acting on faith can change the course of history.
Belton, Neil. A Game with Sharpened Knives (Orion Publishing, 2007).
1941. Murder is in the air. Ireland is a country not truly at peace, either with Germany or with its neighbor across the Irish Sea. Erwin Schrödinger, cosmopolitan intellectual and emotional enigma, is living in cramped exile on the outskirts of Dublin with his wife, his lover, and his child. Haunted by his past and by mysterious threats in the present, Schrödinger is about to find out that nothing in this tense and isolated city is quite as it seems.
Benn, James R. Billy Boyle (Soho Press, 2006).
What's a twenty-two-year-old Irish American cop who's never been out of Massa-chusetts before doing at Beardsley Hall, an English country house, having lunch with King Haakon of Norway? Billy Boyle himself wonders. Back home in Southie, he'd barely made detective when war was declared. Unwilling to fight-and perhaps die-for England, he was relieved when his mother wangled a job for him on the staff of a general married to her distant cousin. But the general turns out to be Dwight D. Eisenhower, whose headquarters are in London, which is undergoing the Blitz. And Uncle Ike wants Billy to be his personal investigator. Billy is dispatched to the seat of the Norwegian government in exile. Operation Jupiter, the impending invasion of Norway, is being planned, but it is feared that there is a German spy amongst the Norwegians. Billy doubts his own abilities, with good reason. A theft and two murders test his investigative powers, but Billy proves to be a better detective than he or anyone else expected.
Berg, Elizabeth. Dream When You're Feeling Blue (Random House, 2007).
New York Times bestselling author Elizabeth Berg takes us to Chicago at the time of World War II in this wonderful story about three sisters, their lively Irish family, and the men they love. As the novel opens, Kitty and Louise Heaney say good-bye to their boyfriends Julian and Michael, who are going to fight overseas. On the domestic front, meat is rationed, children participate in metal drives, and Tommy Dorsey and Glenn Miller play songs that offer hope and lift spirits. And now the Heaney sisters sit at their kitchen table every evening to write letters–Louise to her fiancé, Kitty to the man she wishes fervently would propose, and Tish to an ever-changing group of men she meets at USO dances. In the letters the sisters send and receive are intimate glimpses of life both on the battlefront and at home. For Kitty, a confident, headstrong young woman, the departure of her boyfriend and the lessons she learns about love, resilience, and war will bring a surprise and a secret, and will lead her to a radical action for those she loves. The lifelong consequences of the choices the Heaney sisters make are at the heart of this superb novel about the power of love and the enduring strength of family.
Berry, Steve. The Amber Room (Ballantine Books, 2004).
The Amber Room is one of the greatest treasures ever made by man: an entire room forged of exquisite amber, from its four massive walls to its finely crafted furniture. But it is also the subject of one of history’s most intriguing mysteries. Originally commissioned in 1701 by Frederick I of Prussia, the Room was later perfected Tsarskoe Selo, the Russian imperial city. In 1941, German troops invaded the Soviet Union, looting everything in their wake and seizing the Amber Room. When the Allies began the bombing of Germany in August 1944, the Room was hidden. And despite the best efforts of treasure hunters and art collectors from around the world, it has never been seen again.
Bielski, Nella. The Year Is '42 (Knopf Publishing Group, 2004).
The year is 1942 and Europe is besieged by war. Germany has defeated most of the continent and is approaching Russia." "In Occupied Paris, Karl Bazinger, a German officer, has realised that he can no longer ignore the war. An adventurer, traveller, the perfect guest, Karl has always put the good life before politics. But lately he has begun to question the regime he serves." "In Germany, at the centre of power, Hans Beilenberg, a fellow officer and an old friend of Karl's, has found a way out of the same dilemma. But he knows - with chilling certainty - that his decision can only lead to death." "And in Kiev, now under the Germans, Katia, a doctor and a healer, holds together her family, broken by the massacre of Baby Yar and the mass deportations to the Gulag." What happens between these three people in the year '42? Destiny is so far-reaching precisely because it is unlikely.
Binding, Tim. Lying with the Enemy (Carroll and Graf, 2000).
At once a thriller and a moral tale, this taut, heart-stopping novel explores the deadly perils of collaboration on quiet, idyllic Guernsey in the Channel Islands, the only British territory to be occupied by German troops in World War II. It is 1943. The tide of the war is beginning to turn decisively and bloodily against Germany, but on Guernsey life proceeds blithely beyond the reach of brutal combat. Nazi officers party with local girls, love affairs blossom, the amateur dramatics society continues to stage theatricals. Then the body of a young woman, her nose and mouth filled with cement, is found dead in a bunker, and Guernsey's long-running comedy of collaborative manners sours into a dark drama of war horrors shared by the islanders and enemy alike.
Bock, Dennis. The Ash Garden (Knopf Publishing Group, 2001).
Emiko Amai is six years old in August 1945 when the Hiroshima bomb burns away half of her face. To Anton, a young German physicist involved in the Manhattan Project, that same bomb represents the pinnacle of scientific elegance. And for his Austrian wife Sophie, a Jewish refugee, it marks the start of an irreparable fissure in their new marriage. Fifty years later, seemingly far removed from the day that defined their lives, Emiko visits Anton and Sophie, and in Dennis Bock’s powerfully imagined narrative, their histories converge.
Boll, Heinrich. Billiards at Half Past Nine (Penguin Classics, 1994).
Novel by Heinrich Boll, first published in German as Billard um halbzehn in 1959. In its searing examination of the moral crises of postwar Germany, the novel resembles Boll's other fiction; its interior monologues and flashbacks, however, make it his most complex work. The novel examines the lives of three generations of architects and their responses to the Nazi regime and its aftermath. The present-day action takes place on the 80th birthday of patriarch Heinrich Fahmel, who built St. Anthony's Abbey. At the end of World War II, his son Robert destroyed the abbey to protest the church's complicity with the Nazis; Robert's son, Joseph, is serving his apprenticeship by helping to restore St. Anthony's. All three characters confront their relationship to building and destruction, as well as their personal and historical past. (The Merriam-Webster Encyclopedia of Literature)
Booth, Martin. Hiroshima Joe (Picador, 2003).
Captured by Hirohito's soldiers at the fall of Hong Kong and transferred to a Japanese slave camp outside Hiroshima, Captain Joe Sandingham was present when the bomb was dropped. Now a shell of a man, he lives in a cheap Hong Kong hotel, scrounging for food and the occasional bar girl. The locals call him 'Hiroshima Joe' with a mixture of pity and contempt. But Joe-haunted by the sounds and voices of his past, debilitated by illness, and shattered by his wartime ordeal-is a man whose compassion and will to survive define a clear-eyed and unexpected heroism.