Who said that a historical fiction book couldn’t be a thriller? If someone did, Kate Quinn didn’t listen. The author of The Alice Network has a new novel that takes place post WWII and is as much a thriller as it is a historical fiction novel. The Huntress is based on true events about a female Russian bomber pilot fighting against the Nazis in a group called the Night Witches. The story follows Nina, who finds that after WWII has ended, she has become the hunted by the infamous Nazi murderess called the huntress. This story will have you on the edge of your seat following Nina’s attempts to survive.
If you are interested in WWII espionage, Kate Atkinson’s novel Transcription will sate your desires for a good story. The book follows Juliet, who becomes part of an “obscure department of MI5 tasked with monitoring the comings and goings of British Fascist sympathizers.” Years after the war while Juliet is working for BBC, she comes face to face with the consequences of her actions during the war. For a perspective from the American home front, you can check out The Atomic City Girls, which follows three women working with heavy machinery that is supposed to help win the war, but they are not told anything about the specifics of what they are doing. The bombing of Hiroshima makes them question their own ideals and the consequences of war.
Another great WWII novel is Lilac Girls by Martha Hall Kelly. If you like multiple story lines that converge, this is a great historical fiction novel. In this book, three women are followed through their story as a Nazi doctor, a girl stuck in a concentration camp and a French consulate volunteer. The different perspectives help bring the story together while giving a fuller idea of the realities and horrors of WWII. In the The Postmistress by Sarah Blake, two women who correspond through letters are torn apart by WWII. Through the war, one of the women is trying to keep the secrets of others while the other, a journalist, is trying to uncover them.
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