10 Fantastic World War II Books by Female Authors

7. Good Evening, Mrs Craven: Wartime Stories by Mollie Panter-Donnes

One for all the short story fans out there, this collection brings together some of Panter-Donnes’ stories, written between 1939 and 1944. They are slices of life; revealing aspects of English domestic lives during wartime. Panter-Donnes covers a wide range of topics, such as evacuation, social revolution, and sewing parties. She also blends humour and sadness effortlessly, making the stories an absolute joy to read. Some characters appear in more than one story, and it is interesting to see how they all tie together. If you are interested in civilian life during WWII, then definitely check this collection out. Read More.
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8. The Zookeeper’s Wife by Diane Ackerman

Set in Warsaw, Poland, The Zookeeper’s Wife follows Antonina Zabinski and her husband Jan. Luftwaffe bombers have devastated their zoo, and most of the animals that survived have been taken to Berlin. After converting their near empty zoo into a farm, the couple decide to become active in the underground resistance, secretly sheltering Jews and hiding ammunition. Loosely based on Antonina’s diary, The Zookeeper’s Wife is a love letter to bravery and compassion. Antonina is such a fascinating character it is hard to put the book down. Her relationship with Jan is beautifully drawn, revealing the love between them but also the strain the hardships of warfare can cause. It is a very nuanced portrait of a marriage set against this horrifying backdrop. Fans of the film starring Jessica Chastain and Daniel Brühl will also enjoy the novel. Read More.
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9. The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah

A massive bestseller, pretty much everyone has heard of The Nightingale. Estranged sisters Vianne and Isabelle live in France at the start of WWII, but the similarities end there. Vianne is a married schoolteacher whose husband Antoine is drafted into the army, leaving her to care for their daughter alone. Isabelle, however, joins the French Resistance and begins distributing anti-Nazi propaganda. The book follows the sisters throughout the war as they struggle to stay alive. A definite page-turner, The Nightingale is a gripping story of survival. Hannah’s writing style is very evocative, bringing these characters to life with ease. The reader becomes so invested in Vianne and Isabelle that the final chapters are truly heart-breaking. Best to have some tissues handy as you read! Read More.
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10. The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Schaffer and Annie Barrows

Although not technically set during World War II, the novel certainly deals with events during the war. Writer Juliet Ashton is struggling to come up with an idea for her next book when a letter from the Channel Islands arrives on her doorstep. Farmer Dawsey Adams has discovered her address in a second-hand book and wrote to her to see if she can send more novels and biographies. The two begin a correspondence and when Dawsey mentions the eponymous Society, Juliet is soon bombarded with letters from other members, slowly revealing life under Nazi-occupied Guernsey. Written by aunt and niece team Schaffer and Barrows, this is a very sweet, light-hearted novel with plenty of laughs. The characters are very charming and likeable, revealing an amazing strength even in dark times. A lovely, cosy read to warm even the coldest of hearts. Read More.
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