Quint, Michael. In Our Strange Gardens (Penguin Group, 2001).
"Michel has a story to tell. Something that he remembers. Something someone else once remembered for him. It's about his father, an ordinary man, and his cousin, a man with an extraordinary secret." "Years ago, in the bitter years toward the end of World War II, two cousins found themselves at the mercy of a German guard following an explosive act of resistance. Thrown into a deep pit with a small group of terrified hostages, the men are told that one of them will die by dawn to serve as an example for the others. It's up to the prisoners to propose who will be sacrificed. But then the guard returns with an extraordinary proposition of his own." In years to come it will become an old man's anecdote, a memory of a moment that once changed the lives of the men who lived it, and once recalled, will define the life of the boy to whom it was told.
Ratcliffe, Denis F. A Stranger at Home (Seren Books, 2003).
This novel centers on the conflicting ideologies in Central Europe during the 1930s and the resulting conflicts during the Second World War. Favel Steiger is caught up in the passion and betrayal of Czech politics. A gifted young man, he is sent to the Soviet Union for training, where he becomes a member of the Communist Party. Arriving back in Czechoslovakia in 1938, he is caught in the German occupation of the Sudetenland and becomes a member of the SS. Trapped in Germany, it is perhaps inevitable that his corps becomes part of the Sixth Army, which is trapped at Stalingrad. This remarkable and epic story records the degradations visited upon the populations of middle Europe as the war grinds bitterly and brutally to its conclusion.
Reasoner, James. Zero Hour (Forge Books, 2003).
The U.S. has started to turn the tide against the Japanese. Through the eyes of young soldiers and nurses, we experience the gritty action and poignant stories of Americans trying to win the Pacific island by island. And in North Africa, British Intelligence may have the key to winning the tank war. Up close and personal, the bullets fly at the climactic Battle of Algiers.
Reasoner, James. Battle Lines (Forge Books, 2002).
It is 1941, and friends Adam, Joe, Dale, and Catherine are similar to most young adults. College, dating, and fast cars are what they know and live for. And in Chicago, Illinois, the near center of America, world conflict seems merely a distant rumor.But as turmoil in Europe develops into full-scale war, Chicago suddenly abounds with talk of America's entering the fight. Drawn by the promise of freedom and the allure of battle, Joe and Dale join the Army, Adam the Marines, and Catherine the Naval Nurse Service. Far away from home and facing the reality of war in all its horror, they find the world a frighteningly big and unforgiving place, and what began as a quest for freedom becomes a battle to stay alive in one of the bloodiest wars of the twentieth century.
Reasoner, James. Trial by Fire (Forge Books, 2002).
"A day that will live in infamy," is how President Franklin Delano Roosevelt described the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. With a devastating stroke, World War II was no longer a strictly European war; it was now our war, too. In this powerful, exciting sequel to Battle Lines, James Reasoner shows us the fight through four friends cast into the chaos of the war that reshaped the twentieth century. As the Japanese attack Pearl Harbor, they simultaneously launch an assault on Wake Island, where Adam Bergman is one of the marines working feverishly to complete the installation of an airstrip. He is unaware of the Pearl Harbor disaster that sends hundreds of casualties streaming into the hospital on the United States Naval Base, where his wife, Nurse Catherine Tancred of the Naval Medical Corps, is one of dozens ministering to the wounded and dying.
While Adam and Catherine are immersed in the Pacific war effort, their friends Joe and Dale Parker are stationed with British tank divisions that are fighting the Germans for control of North Africa.Joe and Dale are only supposed to advise their British allies, but before long, Dale is manning a tank to help stem the tide of battle, and Joe is working directly with British intelligence in Cairo.
Reeman, Douglas. In Danger’s Hour (Arrow Books, 2003).
A battle-scarred minesweeper is sent to the Mediterranean to help clear the way for an Allied invasion of Italy.
Remarque, Erich Maria. The Night in Lisbon (Ballantine Books, Revised edition, 1998).
With the world slowly sliding into war, it is crucial that enemies of the Reich flee Europe at once. But so many routes are closed, and so much money is needed. Then one night in Lisbon, as a poor refugee gazes hungrily at the boat enroute to America, a man approaches him with two tickets and a story to tell. It is a harrowing tale of bravery and butchery, daring and death, where the price of love is beyond measure, and the legacy of evil is infinite. And as the young man listens spellbound to the desperate teller, in a matter of hours, the two form a unique and unshakable bond—one that will last all their lives.
Remarque, Erich Maria. The Arch of Triumph (Simon Publications, Reprint, 2001).
It is 1939. Despite a law banning him from performing surgery, Ravic--a German doctor and refugee living in Paris--has been treating some of the city's most elite citizens for two years on the behalf of two less-than-skillful French physicians. Forbidden to return to his own country, and dodging the everyday dangers of jail and deportation, Ravic manages to hang on--all the while searching for the Nazi who tortured him back in Germany. And though he's given up on the possibility of love, life has a curious way of taking a turn for the romantic, even during the worst of times.
Renault, Mary. The Charioteer (Vintage, 2003).
After enduring an injury at Dunkirk during World War II, Laurie Odell is sent to a rural veterans’ hospital in England to convalesce. There he befriends the young, bright Andrew, a conscientious objector serving as an orderly. As they find solace and companionship together in the idyllic surroundings of the hospital, their friendship blooms into a discreet, chaste romance. Then one day, Ralph Lanyon, a mentor from Laurie’s schoolboy days, suddenly reappears in Laurie’s life, and draws him into a tight-knit social circle of world-weary gay men. Laurie is forced to choose between the sweet ideals of innocence and the distinct pleasures of experience. Originally published in the United States in 1959, The Charioteer is a bold, unapologetic portrayal of male homosexuality during World War II that stands with Gore Vidal’s The City and the Pillar and Christopher Isherwood’s Berlin Stories as a monumental work in gay literature.
Riviere, William. Kate Caterina (Grove/Atlantic, 2003).
"Kate Fenn, a great English beauty, marries a young left-wing Italian doctor and moves to Tuscany where she relishes the beauty of the countryside and the strong family ties of the D'Alessandrias. In the passionate private life she shares with her husband, she calls herself Kate Caterina, trying to wed the two conflicting parts of herself, although to everyone else she is simply Caterina. It is the time of Mussolini, jack-booted Black Shirts, and nationalist fervor." Caterina's best friend and beautiful sister-in-law, Esmeralda, marries a high-ranking Fascist official just as Italy declares war against Britain, and in the years that follow, love and friendships are dramatically tested. Caterina finds herself locked inside Nazi-Fascist Europe with a brother and brother-in-law in opposing armies, a husband who is imprisoned for his socialist ideas, and a small daughter she has to raise alone.
Riviere, William. Echoes of War (Sceptre, 1998).
English-born, Italian resident spins a thick family-saga that spans the decades between the two world wars, and follows the losses, loves, hopes, and histories of various branches of the Lammas family. An unhurried narrative style gives Rivire the chance to lavish great quantities of prose on the features of the English land- and sea-scape, and upon finely minor incidents. The memory of a young man lost to war, and the dread of war among those still living, decisively stamps the Lammas family, and ultimately leaves none of their lives untouched. With its leisurely exploration of the generational permutations of loss and fear, this story makes its point with variations that may seem too many and too subtle for patience. Yet the writing rarely sags, and will surely be enjoyed by fans of R.F. Delderfield and Colleen McCullough. (Kirkus Review)