New World War II Historical Fiction For 2024

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Rachel is a writer from Arkansas, most at home surrounded by forests and animals much like a Disney Princess. She spends most of her time writing stories and playing around in imaginary worlds. You can follow her writing at Twitter and Instagram: @rachelsbrittain

For a lot of people, historical fiction and World War II fiction are almost synonymous. That’s not a surprise considering just how popular WWII fiction is as a subgenre. Novels about WWII were probably my own introduction to the historical fiction genre as a kid. I have distinct memories of being shocked by the atrocities of war when reading about WWII in middle school. And while I know some people get tired of the inundation of WWII fiction, there are so many unique and still relatively unknown stories to be told. These stories deserve to be known, and, especially in a time when we’re seeing increasing violence and conflict around the world, it’s so important to reflect on the wars of our past. They may not always keep us from repeating the same mistakes and atrocities, but knowing the past helps us understand the present.

In these ten new WWII historical fiction novels coming out this year, you’ll find a cast of many incredible women (and a few men) fighting for what they believed in. Whether right or wrong, spy or saboteur, these men and women are trying to do what’s right when the world itself seems wrong. Whether you’re a longtime WWII buff looking for new stories to continue your obsession or simply a reader looking to learn about a new side of the war, these new WWII historical fiction novels are the perfect thing for you.

The Curse of Pietro Houdini book cover

The Curse of Pietro Houdini by Derek B. Miller

A 14-year-old orphan fleeing the bombing in Rome during WWII meets a mysterious man claiming to be a master artist. Pietro Houdini says he is preserving ancient treasures within a monastery and needs Massimo’s help. Whether the story he’s telling is entirely true or not, Massimo is soon drawn into a wild plan to smuggle priceless Renaissance paintings away from the encroaching war.

No Better Time book coverNo Better Time book cover

No Better Time by Sheila Williams

Like Sisters in Arms and Women of the Post, No Better Time shines light on a courageous group of women who braved racism, segregation, and terrible wartime conditions to help the soldiers fighting overseas in WWII. Though they received little recognition at the time, the women of the first all-Black battalion in the Women’s Auxilary Corps, the 6888th Central Postal Directory Battalion, sorted through an enormous backlog of mail with the motto, “no mail, low morale.” Despite the excessive hardships they faced as Black women in the military, their time in the Six-Triple-Eight also showed them a world of possibilities and determination for a better future that they would bring with them when they came back to the States.

Unsinkable book coverUnsinkable book cover

Unsinkable by Jenni L. Walsh

Many people at the time may have considered the Titanic unsinkable, but it was stewardess Violet Jessop who was truly unsinkable, surviving not only the Titanic but another shipwreck and a sinking. Yet she kept returning to the sea. Intertwining Violet’s story during WWI with that of another unsinkable woman during WWII, Unsinkable shows the power of indomitable women when they set tragedy aside and do what must be done.

The Storm We Made book coverThe Storm We Made book cover

The Storm We Made by Vanessa Chan

A Malaysian mother caught up in a Japanese general’s promises of an “Asia for Asians” would do anything to go back and change her actions that helped usher in a Japanese occupation. Now, with one daughter hidden away in the basement, the other working at a tea house serving drunk Japanese soldiers, and her teenage son missing, Cecily knows her family — and her country — is teetering on the edge. She would do anything to save them, and she would do anything to keep them from learning the truth.

Code Name Butterfly book coverCode Name Butterfly book cover

Code Name Butterfly by Embassie Susberry

Josephine Baker went down in history as an incredible dancer and performer, but she was also a spy. During WWII, Josephine joined the French Resistance, fighting against fascism in Europe. In Code Name Butterfly, a young journalist is drawn into the Resistance when she’s mistaken for Josephine after a show in Paris. Can these women who have found so much joy and freedom in France protect their new home from the Nazis?

The Star on the Grave book coverThe Star on the Grave book cover

The Star on the Grave by Linda Margolin Royal

Based on the author’s own family history, The Star on the Grave follows an Australian woman who accidentally unravels a decades-old family secret when she announces her engagement to a Greek Orthodox man: she and her family are Jewish, a fact that was hidden from her and the rest of the world her entire life. As Rachel struggles to understand why, she learns of Chiune Sugihara, the Japanese diplomat who saved her family and thousands of others.

Twilight Territory book coverTwilight Territory book cover

Twilight Territory by Andrew X. Pham

War and the Japanese occupation have upset the delicate balance of French Indochina. In a small Vietnamese fishing village, a Japanese general disillusioned with the Empire is taken in by a young woman and her family. Tuyet develops a strange kinship with this man who should be her enemy. And when he’s drawn into the resistance, fighting with the Viet Minh against the French, Tuyet and her family are faced with the firsthand devastation of war.

The Woman with No Name book coverThe Woman with No Name book cover

The Woman with No Name by Audrey Blake

As an older woman, Yvonne Rudellat is overlooked by everyone. It’s no different even when she’s recruited as Britain’s first female saboteur. In fact, her ability to be overlooked — and her aptitude with explosives — sets her apart. Now, with a new name and identity to keep her safe, she arrives in France ready to set the enemy ablaze. She is the nameless, faceless woman who will stop at nothing to destroy the Nazi regime. But will she be able to hold on to who she is throughout the process, or will she lose herself entirely to this war?

The Underground Library book coverThe Underground Library book cover

The Underground Library by Jennifer Ryan

When the Bethnal Green Library is destroyed in the Blitz, three women who have found work and refuge there come together to save it. Juliet, the new deputy librarian, begins moving books to the Underground station serving as a nightly shelter, hoping the stories will bring people some semblance of stability. Along with Katie, another library employee, and Sofie, a Jewish refugee, Juliet is determined to keep the Bethnal Green Library going against all odds.

The Lost Book of Bonn book coverThe Lost Book of Bonn book cover

The Lost Book of Bonn by Brianna Labuskes (March 19, 2024)

This new novel from the author of The Librarian of Burned Books follows a librarian sent overseas to assist the Monuments Men in their efforts to save precious literature from the Nazis. When one particular inscription leads Emmy down a trail after two sisters and an astonishing anti-Nazi protest in Berlin at the height of the war, she discovers a heart-wrenching story of love, courage, and betrayal.

If you’re excited about all these new WWII historical fiction books, you might also enjoy these books about unsung heroes of WWII and this list of 100 must-read WWII books.

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