There is an older book, The Avenue Goes to War, by R.F. Delderfield and as such is not readily available. I feel that it is worth the effort to trace it down. It is the second part of the series that starts with The Avenue. It tells the story of a neighborhood in pre-WWII(The Avenue) and WWII London(The Avenue Goes to War). Both The Avenue and The Avenue Goes to War are very good. If you like the time periods and would like to branch into videos, try Enemy at the Door (seasons 1 & 2) and Island at War. Both deal with the German occupation of the channel islands.
stones from the river by ursula hegi is a wonderful book about a young woman dwarf librarian growing up in a small german town just prior to world war 2. if you liked the book thief, you will also love this one
Ok I am traveling again and looking for a book to take with - prefer it available on Kindle - but beggars can't be choosers. I loved Our Hearts were Young and Gay - gives you a feel for traveling Europe back in the 1920's and 30's. Thank you for the recommendation. But now I am going back to China - into Beijing but the main trip will be in Shanghai and Guilin. I have read Pearl S Buck - am really looking for something set in the period when there was the foreign enclave in Shanghai - the international settlements. Any recommendation would be greatly appreciated . And any recommendations on river cruising and Guilin would be tremendous!
I think you will enjoy Gertruda's Oath re a Polish Catholic Nanny during WWII promising to care for her Jewish charge as Warsaw falls and they finally make their way to Israel on the Exodus- a story of love and duty. Also Sarah's Key set in WWII Paris- a Jewish family taken away by the Paris police and the daughter trying to return with her apartment key to save her brother. Good historical fiction
Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet. That is what i would recommend. It is set in WW11 period from the point of view of a Chinese American boy who had a Japanese American schoolmate. I loved Guernsey and am about to start the Book Thief.
Winspear's novels, starting with Maisie Dobbs, were very enjoyable reading, set in post WWII England, if you haven't discovered them yet. They are better if you can start at the first novel and read chronologically.
I quite enjoyed the Piano Teacher by Janice Y. K. Lee. Beautifully written, Gatsby-esque. Set in Hong Kong, it focuses on the intertwined lives of high society British ex-pats and locals while the time period alternates between the war-torn 1940s during the German occupation and post-war 1950s. Both romance and mystery, it is a story of survival and finding oneself.
I would also recommend Lost by Daniel Mendelsohn. A very touching account of one man's journey to research what happened to 6 relatives from Bolechow, Poland who perished in the Holocaust. Along the way he discovers the heart-wrenching stories of other survivors and reconnects with his siblings.
If you like books such as Guernsey & The Book Thief, then try the Flavia de Luce mysteries by Alan Bradley which are set in post-war 1950 on a crumbling English Manor. The protagonist is precocious 11-year old Flavia, who wins your heart with her passion for chemistry, quirky literary references and fearlessness to solve local crimes.
Off the subject of WWII: try Molokai by Alan Brennert- beautiful story, well-written and ver y interesting. Also, Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet-by Jamie Ford. But, Book Thief will forever remain my favorite!
SHANGHAI GIRLS by lisa See - begins in China 1937, as Japanese invade China, details of international community, difficulty of evacuation, Chinese immigrants crossing the Pacific, reaction of the Chinese community of in CA to war - begins where THE GOOD EARTH stops.
SHANGHAI GIRLS by lisa See - begins in Shanghai in 1937 as Japanese invade China, the international community in Shanghai, historical detail as Chinese travel to escape Japanese atrocities - immigration experience, reaction of China Town in CA to send aid back to China, Chinese view of war years and immigrant experience. Another point of view of WWII.