Historical fiction is one of my favorite genres and I typically read ones that take place during World War II. I’ve read a lot of them and have some underrated books that I wanted to share.
Sarah’s Key by Tatiana de Rosnay
Sarah’s Key takes place in 1942 during the Vel’ d’Hiv’s roundup in Sarah’s perspective and during 2002 from a journalist’s perspective. When Sarah and her family were forced out of their apartment, she locked her brother in the cupboards thinking they would be back soon. This book is heartbreaking, but also exposed secrets that France tries to hide and taught me so much.
The Things We Cannot Say by Kelly Rimmer
The Things We Cannot Say is my all-time favorite historical fiction novel and it deserves much more love. It is another dual timeline book that is from the perspective of Alina, a Polish girl, during 1942 and her granddaughter in the present day. This book made me cry and had an unexpected plot twist. I adore the characters and the story they tell.
The Lost Wife by Alyson Richman
The Lost Wife tells the story of Lenka and Josef who marry, but are torn apart because of the war and live separate lives thinking they will never see the other again. Like the others, this story is heartbreaking, but it shows human resilience and the endurance of true love. I cried in public while reading this because it was such a beautiful story.
Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys
Everyone talks about Salt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys, but Between Shades of Gray is an amazing story as well and the two books are connected (the main character from each are cousins). This book takes place in 1941 from the perspective of a Lithuanian girl, Lina, who is forced to work at a camp under Stalin. This is the book that got me into historical fiction and it was extremely powerful and moving.