Adult Fiction--Nathanson to Niles
Nathanson, E.M. The Dirty Dozen (Cassell, New edition, 2001).
Twelve bearded, filthy GIs wait behind barbed wire, prisoners of their own army. Murderers, thieves, rapists, they wait to be sentenced to death or hard labour for life. They are the damned of the American Army. But at the last moment they are offered the opportunity of salvation: a mission just before D-Day. The chances of their getting away with it are about one in a million, but the damned don't care, and certainly don't count chances.
Nayman, Shira. Awake in the Dark: Stories (Scribner, 2007).
Bold and deeply affecting, Awake in the Dark is a provocative and haunting work of fiction about who we are and how we are formed by history. These luminous stories portray the contemporary lives of the children of Holocaust victims and perpetrators as they struggle with the legacy of their parents -- their questions of identity, family, and faith. In "The House on Kronen-strasse," a woman returns to Germany to find her childhood home; in "The Porcelain Monkey," the shocking origins of an Orthodox Jewish woman's faith are revealed; in "The Lamp," the harrowing experiences of a young woman leave her with the perfect daughter and a strange light; and in "Dark Urgings of the Blood," a patient is convinced that she shares a disturbing history with her psychiatrist. Rendered in powerful, unaffected prose, Awake in the Dark is an illuminating and startling book about the disguises we don, the secrets we keep, and the consequences of our silences.
Nemirovsky, Irene. Suite Francaise (Vintage, Reprint, 2007).
Beginning in Paris on the eve of the Nazi occupation in 1940. Suite Française tells the remarkable story of men and women thrown together in circumstances beyond their control. As Parisians flee the city, human folly surfaces in every imaginable way: a wealthy mother searches for sweets in a town without food; a couple is terrified at the thought of losing their jobs, even as their world begins to fall apart. Moving on to a provincial village now occupied by German soldiers, the locals must learn to coexist with the enemy—in their town, their homes, even in their hearts.
When Irène Némirovsky began working on Suite Française, she was already a highly successful writer living in Paris. But she was also a Jew, and in 1942 she was arrested and deported to Auschwitz, where she died. For sixty-four years, this novel remained hidden and unknown.
Newton, William. The Two-Pound Tram (Bloomsbury Publishings, 2006).
The year was 1937, and Hitler had just walked into Austria. It was also a marvelous year for clouded yellow butterflies. Wilfred and Duncan live in a big old house in Sussex, England. They spend their days catching butterflies and dreaming of escape, and only ever see their parents on Wednesdays for lunch. When their mother elopes and their already distant father takes up with other ladies, they decide that enough is enough. And they have a plan: they will leave home, go to London, and buy a tram, decommissioned by the bus and tram company, that they have seen advertised in the paper for two pounds sterling. Soon the brothers find that their adventures have begun in earnest-as they become proprietors of an old-fashioned horse-drawn tram service, then local celebrities whose tram advertises for a seaside merchant, and finally such heroes of the war effort that they receive a visit from royalty.
Niles, Douglas and Michael Dobson. Fox at the Front (Doherty, Tom Associates, 2004).
This World War II what-if novel picks up where Fox on the Rhine (an alternate history of the Battle of the Bulge) ended, with a disillusioned Field Marshal Rommel surrendering his armies to the Allies, but continuing operations against the Nazis under the tutelage of General Patton's forces. Soon President Roosevelt sees the value of founding a German rump state to help transfer power and reconstruct the country, just as the Allies did in Italy. As the new commander of the German Republican Army, Rommel operates alongside Patton's Third Army, creating a sort of WWII "Dream Team" for war gamers. Imagining how the dignified, sympathetic German commander might have reacted to the full revelation of Nazi atrocities, Niles and Dobson depict Rommel as shaken to the very core by his complicity in Hitler's final solution. The authors' attention to military detail and maneuvers would satisfy any drill instructor, and they imbue even minor historical characters with authenticity and personality, demonstrating how an individual's actions and reactions shape history. This is a thoroughly plausible what-if scenario, and as such will please and titillate alternate history fans, WWII buffs, war gamers and others. (Publisher’s Weekly)