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August 18, 2023

World War II Books That You May Have Missed

by Susan Roberts

book covers of the three books reviewed

World War II historical fiction is one of the most popular genres right now.  It's impossible to read all of them but here are reviews of 3 that I've read recently.

Amazon affiliate links are used on this site. Free books were provided for honest reviews.  

Daughters of Paris by Elisabeth Hobbes

book cover of WWII historical fiction novel Daughters of Paris by Elisabeth Hobbes
March 2023; One More Chapter; 978-0008498153
audio, ebook, print (416 pages); WWII fiction

A promise that binds them together. A war that pulls them apart.

Colette and Fleur grew up together in Paris in the 1930s.  They were friends and treated each other like sisters until they got older and began to realize the difference between their lives - Colette is the daughter of a rich family and Fleur is the housekeeper's niece.  Collette's life plan is to become the wife of a rich man.  Fleur wants to get an education and travel.  When the Nazis invade Paris, the difference between the two young women becomes even more visible - Colette likes to party and dance and doesn't care that many of the people she is partying with are Germans.  Fleur becomes involved with the resistance and keeps her life a secret from her once best friend.  As the war continues, Colette begins to see the error of her ways and wants to work with the resistance.  Will their friendship survive the ultimate betrayal?

This was a well-written novel about friendship, betrayal, and forgiveness.  I enjoyed the friendship between the two women but had trouble connecting with Colette because she was such a snob which made her change of heart a bit more difficult to believe.  Overall, it was a very good story and a quick read.

Buy Daughters of Paris at Amazon

Goodnight From Paris by Jane Healey

book cover of WWII historical fiction novel Goodnight From Paris by Jane Healey
March 2023; Lake Union Publishing; 978-1662505294
audio, ebook, print (413 pages); WWII fiction

In Nazi-occupied France, an American film star takes on the most dangerous role of her life in a gripping novel about loyalty and resistance, inspired by a true story.

It's 1939 and American movie star Drue Leyton is living in Paris with her French husband Jacques.  She loves her adopted city and even after her husband goes to Britain to work as a liaison for the British military, she refuses to take his advice and return to America where he knows she will be safe.  She's asked to do radio broadcasts from France to America to explain how bad things are in Paris and to try to convince Americans that they need to get involved in this war.  Her other goal is to help the French resistance.  Her radio program becomes so popular that Hitler vows to execute her as soon as his troops invade Paris.  Instead of being quiet, she continues her work with the resistance and flees Paris to begin doing her radio broadcast in a safer area of France.  She also gets involved in hiding downed English pilots until they can be returned back home.  Drue took a lot of chances to help people in her adopted country and was considered a hero.

Interestingly enough, this novel is based on a real American actress Drue Leyton who worked with the French resistance during the war.  There were also other people in the book based on real people who helped France during this time.  I had never heard of Drue Leyton and all of the work she did to help France and have spent time goggling her to find out more about her life.  This book was an interesting and well researched book about a real hero of the war.

Buy Good Night from Paris at Amazon

Angels of the Resistance by Noelle Salazar

book cover of WWII historical fiction novel Angels of the Resistance by Noelle Salazar
November 2022; MIRA; 978-0778333609
audio, ebook, print (384 pages); WWII fiction

World War II story inspired by true events, about courageous women who risked everything for country, for family, and for each other.

Two young sisters lived with their mother in the Netherlands.  Life has been very normal for them in Haarlem even though the rumors of war are getting stronger.  In 1940, the Nazis invaded their country and life changed dramatically.  Lien is 14 and wants to be part of the Resistance like her older sister.  She believes that she's much braver than Elif and she desperately wants to do her part to rid her beloved country of the Germans.  The resistance leaders soon realize that Lien would be a perfect courier.  Because of her young age, the Nazis won't suspect her.  Once the leaders find out that both sisters had been taught to shoot by their late father, their involvement becomes even more dangerous.  The author goes into great detail about some of the brave missions that the sisters were part of.  One of the parts of the book that I enjoyed the most was the loving relationship between the two sisters.  They always tried to take care of each other no matter what was going on.

I learned in the author's notes that this book was based on two young sisters who were part of the resistance - Truus and Freddie Oversteegen.  The author also added other real people to the story such as Carrie Ten Boom who lived near the sisters.  This book is a beautifully written and well-researched book that looks at the true exploits of two young sisters who made a difference and put their lives in danger to bring freedom to their country.

Susan Roberts grew up in Michigan but loves the laid-back life at her home in the Piedmont area of North Carolina where she is two hours from the beach to the east and the mountains in the west.  She reads almost anything but her favorite genres are Southern Fiction and Historical Fiction.  You can connect with her on Facebook.

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