9 Riveting World War II Era Novels About Women

By
Wed, 10 Oct 2018

World War II has been covered extensively in books, movies, and beyond. But most of these stories have one thing in common: they put men front and center. While women weren't necessarily fighting on the front lines during the conflict, that doesn't mean their perspective is any less valid. The nine books on this list dive into the stories of soviet fighter pilots, nurses, and more. When you click links from this website, we may receive advertising revenue to support our research. This video was made with Ezvid Wikimaker.

9 Riveting World War II Era Novels About Women

Title Author More by the Author
1. Daughters of the Night Sky Aimie K. Runyan Girls on the Line
2. The Wartime Sisters Lynda Cohen Loigman The Two-Family House
3. When the Future Comes Too Soon Selina Siak Chin Yoke The Woman Who Breathed Two Worlds
4. The Secret of Raven Point Jennifer Vanderbes Easter Island
5. The Chilbury Ladies' Choir Jennifer Ryan
6. The German Girl Armando Lucas Correa The Daughter's Tale
7. The Diplomat's Daughter Karin Tanabe The List
8. The Atomic City Girls Janet Beard Beneath the Pines
9. The Magic of Ordinary Days Ann Howard Creel While You Were Mine

8 Real Women Who Served in WWII

  1. Nancy Wake: Spy, smuggler, and guerrilla fighter
  2. Susan Travers: General who served in Italy, Germany, & France
  3. Reba Whittle: Flight nurse and prisoner of war
  4. Natalia Peshkova: Combat medic
  5. Eileen Nearne: British spy who survived Nazi torture
  6. Lyudmila Pavlichenko: Russian sniper
  7. Ruby Bradley: Army nurse & smuggler
  8. Annie Fox: American lieutenant and Purple Heart recipient

American Women During World War II

In Depth

While browsing for historical fiction about World War II, you'll probably notice that most books on the subject focus on the men fighting on the front lines. Back then, it was fairly uncommon to encounter female combatants, with women usually taking on more administrative roles or being left behind on the home front. But that doesn't make their stories any less important. With that in mind, we've compiled a list of nine riveting World War II era novels about women. Take note that this list is done in no particular order.

First up, at #1, we have "Daughters of the Night Sky" by Aimie K. Runyan. It revolves around a Russian pilot named Katya Ivanova, a fictional member of the all-female 588th Night Bomber Regiment, also known as the Night Witches. It's a story about a person chasing her dreams and defying the gender norms of her time, and it gives readers a brief look at what life was like in the Soviet Union.

At #2 is "The Wartime Sisters" by Lynda Cohen Loigman. As the title suggests, it's about two estranged sisters whose relationship has been fractured ever since they were children. During World War II, they both find themselves living together and working at the Springfield Armory. Their fragile relationship is tested when they start to learn more about each other, and the secrets that they reveal may just drive them apart.

Next up, at #3, we have "When the Future Comes Too Soon" by Selina Siak Chin Yoke. Set during the Japanese occupation of Malaya, the book focuses on a woman named Mei Foong. She comes from a well-off Chinese family, but they quickly lose their wealth when their town is bombed by the Japanese. The story follows Mei's life as she struggles to raise her family amid adversity, and it shows the hardships one has to go through as a mere civilian in a world ravaged by war.

Next, at #4, is "The Secret of Raven Point" by Jennifer Vanderbes. It features a seventeen-year-old nursing student named Juliet Dufresne. One day, she receives news that her brother, a soldier deployed in Europe, has suddenly gone missing. In an effort to find him, she lies about her age so that she can enlist as a nurse in an Italian field hospital, where someone might know her brother's current whereabouts.

At #5 is "The Chilbury Ladies' Choir" by Jennifer Ryan. After their sons and husbands all leave to participate in the war, the women of Chilbury come together and form a choir to help lift the spirits of everyone in the village. It's a story told through the letters and diary entries written by the women of the village, and it shows how those left on the home front cope with the absence of their relatives.

Next, at #6, is "The German Girl" by Armando Lucas Correa. As the title implies, this book mainly focuses on a girl named Hannah Rosenthal, a wealthy Jew living in Berlin. When war breaks out in 1939, she and her family escape by boarding the SS St. Louis, a ship bound for Cuba. The story switches between the past and the present as both Hannah and her grandniece reflect on their shared family history.

At #7 is "The Diplomat's Daughter" by Karin Tanabe. It revolves around Emi Kato, the daughter of a Japanese diplomat. After the bombing of Pearl Harbor, her family is imprisoned in an internment camp in Texas. There, she falls in love with a fellow prisoner from a German family, but they're eventually separated when Emi gets sent back to Japan. It's a story of how love can bloom even in a time of conflict, and it also explores the damage done by the war and how it affected people all across the globe.

At #8 is "The Atomic City Girls" by Janet Beard. This is a fictional story about the people who unwittingly worked on the Manhattan Project. It's told from the perspectives of four different characters, all of whom reside in the city of Oak Ridge, which is one of the sites that secretly helped develop the world's first atom bombs. The book mainly focuses on June Walker, a woman who is trying to figure out exactly how her job helps with the country's war efforts.

Finally, at #9, we have "The Magic of Ordinary Days" by Ann Howard Creel. It revolves around a young woman named Olivia Dunne, who married a farmer out of convenience after being impregnated by a departing soldier. Over time, she learns to live with the consequences of her one-night-stand, and she starts to grow fond of her husband who she barely knows.