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World War II Historical Fiction Books

If I were a betting woman, I would be willing to bet that World War II is the time period that has been written about in more novels than any other subject in history. It is indeed a multifaceted event, with millions of stories about tragedies and daring heroics to discuss. Novels like All the Light We Cannot SeeCatch-22, and The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society remain popular favorites long after their release. Every Tuesday when new books are hitting the shelves, dozens of them are World War II historical fiction books. But with so many choices, how do you find the best World War II novels to read?

Spoiler: By reading this list of course! Here are nine wonderful novels involving World War II that will tug on your heartstrings and teach you about history at the same time. That’s the best kind of learning!



Half-Blood Blues by Esi Edugyan

This Scotiabank Giller Prize-winning novel is about a Black jazz musician who is arrested by Nazies in Berlin and is never heard from again. His friends who gather together years later to view a documentary about him and learn some long-kept secrets.


China Dolls by Lisa See

Three young women from very different backgrounds become fast friends at San Francisco’s Forbidden City nightclub and rely on each other to get through the hard times and keep each other’s secrets. But after the Japanese attack Pearl Harbor, an act of betrayal will shatter their worlds.




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Liberty Hardy is a Book Riot senior contributing editor and velocireader in the great state of Maine, where she reads 500-600 books a year and lives with her three cats, who hate to read.