Thursday, December 31, 2020

An abundance of upcoming WWII fiction for the first half of 2021

Since I'd posted earlier about historical novels not featuring WWII, I thought it only fair to include a gallery of forthcoming fiction set during this prominent era.  All will be appearing in the first half of 2021. There are more where these came from; I selected a dozen out of personal interest and in an attempt to provide a variety of locales, without considering the cover designs.  As it happens, many offer a similar look: women in period-appropriate garb (and seriously spiffy hairdos) with their back to the reader.  Links go to the book's page on Goodreads.


Above we have a mix of debut novels and new releases from established historical novelists. Kristin Beck's Courage, My Love (Berkley, April) features two young Italian women who join the resistance during the Nazi occupation of Rome. The Historians (Harper Perennial, Jan.), from Swedish novelist  Cecilia Ekb√§ck, is a conspiracy thriller set amidst tensions surrounding Sweden's neutral status in the war. Saint-Malo, a historic coastal town in Brittany, is the locale for Mario Escobar's The Librarian of Saint-Malo (Thomas Nelson, June). It reveals the love story between a librarian and her longtime sweetheart and her determination to protect the library's book collections during the war.

Another debut, The Girl from the Channel Islands by Jenny Lecoat (Graydon House, Jan.), called Hedy's War in the UK, centers on a young Jewish woman, a refugee from Vienna, and the daring choices she makes to survive the Nazi occupation of the island of Jersey. Madeline Martin's first mainstream historical, The Last Bookshop in London (Hanover Square, Apr.), another novel with obvious appeal for bibliophiles, evokes the value of stories in its tale of Grace Bennett, a bookshop employee in wartime London. The Rose Code by Kate Quinn (Berkley, Mar.), her followup to The Huntress, promises to be another twisty historical novel, this time surrounding three women involved in codebreaking activity at Bletchley Park. I visited Bletchley on vacation last year, back when we could still travel, so this novel is high on my TBR.



Canadian author Jennifer Robson writes that her newest book, Our Darkest Night (Morrow, Jan.) is based on true events; it focuses on a young Jewish woman from Venice who takes refuge with a former-seminarian-turned-farmer to escape the Holocaust. Virginia Hall, an American spy who worked with Britain's SOE during WWII, is the subject of Erika Robuck's biographical novel The Invisible Woman (Berkley, Feb.). Bestselling thriller writer Lisa Scottoline's first historical novel is Eternal (Putnam, Mar.), which centers on three friends as Mussolini comes to power in Italy; it promises a story of love, loss, and tested loyalties in the heart of Rome.

The Codebreakers by Alli Sinclair (MIRA Australia, Mar.) is about the women covertly working for the intelligence organization called the Central Bureau in 1943 Brisbane, cracking codes that may shift the course of WWII in the Pacific. Deborah Swift's newest romantic WWII saga, The Lifeline (Sapere, Jan.), takes place in Nazi-occupied Norway and deals with the covert seafaring operation known as the Shetland Bus.  And the setting of S. Kirk Walsh's The Elephant of Belfast (Counterpoint, Apr.) should be obvious; the blurb reveals it's inspired by historical events and features a female zookeeper's bond with an elephant in the Belfast zoo during the Blitz.

This is my last post for this year, and I'll be glad to see 2020 gone. Thanks for reading my site, and I send my wishes for a peaceful 2021 and an upcoming year of great reading to everyone.

8 comments:

  1. Great list - I would read them all! This doesn't help me pare down my TBR though! :)

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    1. Me too, and me neither. I haven't read any of these yet but have copies of some of them. Thanks, and happy new year!

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  2. Happy New Year and thanks for these books to look forward to reading.

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    1. Happy New Year, Alex! I look forward to seeing what you'll review in the coming year.

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  3. I received the Rose Code as an ARC-OMG it did not disappoint! So good!

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    1. Nice that you got an ARC, and glad to hear it was so good!

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