Loyalties: A Novel of World War II

Thomas Fleming - 1994
     In Berlin, Berthe von Hoffman dreams of an angel in the depths, embracing her husband's submarine – and remembers Kristallnacht, when Hitler declared all-out war on the Jews. The stench of evil in that memory draws her to the headquarters of Admiral Wilhelm Canaris, enigmatic head of the German secret service – and guiding spirit of the Schwarze Kapelle, the circle of courageous men and women who comprise the secret dangerous resistance to Nazism. Aboard the USS Spencer Lewis off Iceland, Lieutenant Commander Jonathan Trumbull Talbot is denouncing President Franklin D. Roosevelt's unconstitutional undeclared war against Germany when a torpedo fired by Berthe's husband, Kapitanleutnant Ernst von Hoffmann, cut the destroyer in half. Out of this conjunction grows a tormented tangle of love and jealousy and patriotic deceit when the three meet in Spain after Pearl Harbor has catapulted American into the war. By that time, Talbot's criticism of the president has wrecked both his naval career and his marriage to Annie Richman, daughter of a congressman whose power depends on FDR's political wizardry. When Talbot returns from Spain to urge negotiations with Canaris and other leaders of the German resistance, Annie, now a powerful journalist, becomes a player in the struggle for the mind of the intransigent, mortally ill president. At its gripping climax, Loyalties draws everyone into an anguished confrontation with the limits of patriotism and God's baffling role in the middle of human destiny. From murderous contests between rival intelligence agencies in Spain to the labyrinthine political machinations in Washington, London, and Berlin to warfare beneath the North Atlantic, Loyalties is a dazzling mosaic of men and women caught in the crossfire of history – yet finding in the midst of destruction and chaos inexplicable glimpse of meaning and hope.

The Kent Family Chronicles: Volumes One Through Three

John Jakes - 1974
    This multigenerational saga follows the Kent family and their pursuit of a foothold and future in the expanding United States. From the family’s initial journey traveling to America’s shore to their voyage to the Western frontier, their fate is intertwined with the course of American history in these first three volumes of the series.  The Bastard: Denied his birthright as the illegitimate son of the Duke of Kentland, Philippe Charboneau seeks a new life in London, where he meets Benjamin Franklin and reads the works of patriot firebrand Sam Adams. Inspired by such brave new ideas, he travels to the American colonies at the brink of the Revolution. There he will choose his own name—Philip Kent—and finally decide his own fate.  The Rebels: Philip Kent fights as a Continental soldier at the Battle of Bunker Hill. In a bold move, he has taken up arms for the future of his new family. Spirited and unwavering in his dedication to his adopted homeland, Philip fights in the most violent battles in America’s early history. But far from the front lines, another battle rages that will sweep his wife, Anne, on her own perilous journey that may destroy all Philip has fought for.  The Seekers: Returning from fighting valiantly on the frontier, Abraham Kent—son of Philip and Anne—returns to Boston, only to realize that he cannot abide the confines of civilization. Determined not to live in his father’s shadow, he takes his young bride and settles on the American frontier. But the life of a pioneer comes at a high price, and the cost of Abraham’s restless ambitions may be more than he can bear.

Caged Eagles

Eric Walters - 2000
    Without recourse of any kind, they were forced to leave their homes along with the British Columbia coast, their possessions were sold, and their rights as citizens denied. Caged Eagles follows fourteen-year-old Tadashi Fukushima and his family as they embark on a tortuous physical and emotional journey. Along with neighbours from their remote village on the northern BC coast, they travel by fishing boat to Vancouver, where they are placed in detention in Hastings Park, the Pacific National Exhibition ground, and forced to live in cattle stalls. For Tadashi detention becomes both an adventure and a dilemma as he struggles to understand the undercurrents of racism and injustice that have overtaken his life and those of his community.

A Summer Promise

Katie Flynn - 2015
    Growing up in the Yorkshire Dales, Maddy Hebditch can't imagine the changes that war will bring when she joins the ATS.1938: Maddy Hebditch has been living in poverty with her cantankerous grandmother since she was orphaned when she was just five, and it’s a constant struggle to stay out of the workhouse. However, though life is hard, Maddy has her friends Alice, Marigold and Tom to help her. Together the four spend their summers exploring the Dales and making plans for the future. Until war breaks out and everything changes.As the four go their separate ways, Maddy joins the ATS, where she is recruited for one of the most dangerous jobs a woman could do in wartime: the Ack Ack sites. All four face dangers as the war worsens, but when Tom is terribly injured, Maddy’s world falls apart…

Nobody Comes Back: A Novel of the Battle of the Bulge

Donn Pearce - 2005
    Now, he brings you another tragic hero, thrust out of the only world he knew and forced to create one on his own terms . . . or die trying.Toby Parker was America's unwanted son. Only sixteen years old, he was too young to be enlisted in the army, but old enough to know that he didn't want to return to the life he knew: moving from new home to new home, neglected by his mother, ignored by his father, overlooked by everyone else. The war overseas promised exotic locations and adventure, but what it delivered was something else entirely. The Nazis were beginning to fall back, and the war was all but over. But the fighting still raged on in pockets of Europe. Out of the critical focus on France, only one last position needed to hold: the city of Bastogne. Thrown into battle almost immediately upon arrival, he soon found himself wounded and alone, struggling to survive and looked upon to lead. It was here that Toby was to learn what war really was, and what kind of man he was destined to become. Many American boys went into World War II, and each one lived their own nightmare, critically shaped by what they experienced. Out of the dead, even the survivors, Nobody Comes Back.Told with gritty authenticity, Donn Pearce captures the very essence of what it means to be caught under the worst circumstances imaginable, while having the strength and humanity to rise above them.

Silver Like Dust: One Family's Story of America's Japanese Internment

Kimi Cunningham Grant - 2012
    Growing up in rural Pennsylvania, all Kimi ever wanted to do was fit in, spurning traditional Japanese cuisine and her grandfather’s attempts to teach her the language.But there was one part of Obaachan’s life that had fascinated and haunted Kimi ever since the age of eleven—her gentle yet proud Obaachan had once been a prisoner, along with 112,000 Japanese Americans, for more than five years of her life. Obaachan never spoke of those years, and Kimi’s own mother only spoke of it in whispers. It was a source of haji, or shame. But what had really happened to Obaachan, then a young woman, and the thousands of other men, women, and children like her?Obaachan would meet her husband in the camps and watch her mother die there, too. From the turmoil, racism, and paranoia that sprang up after the bombing of Pearl Harbor and the terrifying train ride to Heart Mountain, to the false promise of V-J Day, Silver Like Dust captures a vital chapter of the Japanese American experience through the journey of one remarkable woman.Her story is one of thousands, yet is a powerful testament to the enduring bonds of family and an unusual look at the American dream.

Many a Tear has to Fall

Joan Jonker - 2000
    After causing years of worry, their younger daughter Tess, who had always been sickly and small, is starting to blossom into a confident, clever girl. It will be some time before she catches up with her older sister Maddy, but her family know she'll soon be just as strong. And they've just scraped together enough money to take them on their first holiday, to Wales, where the country life will be just what they need. But heartache is waiting for the family when they return to Liverpool, and many a tear will have to fall before they find the true happiness they long for...

The Distance from Normandy

Jonathan Hull - 2003
    But his most difficult battle was lost years later, when his beloved wife Sophie succumbed to cancer. Since then, he has waged a private war against both loneliness and the terrible memory of a day in 1945 that went horribly wrong-and has haunted him ever since.His grandson Andrew, a scared and angry high school sophomore, has been expelled and is heading down a path of self-destruction. Mead agrees to take the boy in for three weeks, to set him right. At first, the two circle warily around each other, finding little in common. Then Andrew befriends a widow named Evelyn, and Mead busies himself fending off the match, even as he feels a reluctant attraction to this cheerful woman who seems to understand his grandson.One afternoon, rummaging through the garage, Andrew discovers an antique Luger, the deadly memento of his grandfather's war. In a final effort to save his grandson from himself, Mead takes the teenager on a journey to the beaches, bunkers, and cemeteries of Normandy, where both of them confront the secrets they have been trying to forget.

Daughter Of Mine

Anne Bennett - 2007
    Her husband is away fighting in the Second World War and she has regretfully sent her two young children away to her parents in Galway, knowing that they will be safe there. She's grateful for her job in munitions but not so happy when that means getting home in the blackout, dodging the bomb damage.Then Lizzie is attacked on one such journey. She comes around battered and bruised, unable to remember the full extent of the attack – but she fears the worst, and is right to. Turning to her family in desperation, she is told she has brought them nothing but disgrace. Yet help is at hand, from the most unlikely place…

The Postwoman

Michael Kenneth Smith - 2018
    In 1940, Andrée “Dedee” de Jongh, a twenty-four-year-old Belgian nurse, is horrified by her country’s quick surrender to Nazi Germany. Every week she observes Germans inspecting the infirmary for injured Allied soldiers to ship off to work camps. Every day she witnesses new atrocities in the streets, such as Jewish countrymen being brutally beaten. Outraged at the injustice, Dedee devises a strategy with her father to aid in the resistance effort against the Germans. They hatch a plan to help downed Royal Air Force fliers escape Belgium and France and return to England, where they can rejoin the fight. It’s a dangerous endeavor and guaranteed death sentence if they’re caught, but Dedee is determined to do her part to defeat the enemy. Over time, the secret organization becomes one of the most successful wartime escape lines, saving more than eight hundred Allied fliers. Dedee manages to outwit the Nazis for a time, but with German soldiers hunting for the group and its leaders at every turn, will she be able to escape with her life?

Conner Street's War

Harry Bowling - 1988
    Corner shops nestle beside the tiny terraced houses and two minutes away is the lively Tower Road market, where it is said, if you can't buy something then it's not made. Once World War Two breaks out, however, life in Conner Street changes dramatically - for ever...

Cast the First Stone: A stunning wartime story

Angela Arney - 1992
    It was done at last. They were married. The wedding took place in Naples, a city of burning rubble and poverty – for the time was 1944 and the Germans were in retreat. Thousands of Italians were starving and prepared to do anything to survive. Liana was more determined than most, not only to survive, but to get out of the hell-hole that Naples had become. She had lied, cheated, played provocative games, and now stood in a crumbling church before an emaciated priest. Beside her stood Nicholas Hamilton-Howard, Earl of Wessex, a young English officer who was totally bewitched by the exquisite Italian girl. Even during the service she was terrified – terrified that someone would reveal the truth about her, but when the final blessing was given she knew she was safe and she vowed to devote her life to making Nicholas happy, even though she did not love him – even though their life together was to be built on lies and deception… Angela Arney was born in Hampshire, where she still lives with her husband. She has been a teacher, a hospital administrator and a cabaret singer. The author of a number of romances, Cast the First Stone is her first full-length novel.

The Allotment Girls

Kate Thompson - 2018
    Annie, Rose, Pearl and Millie carry on making matches for the British Army, with bombs raining down around them.Inspired by the Dig for Victory campaign, Annie persuades the owners to start Bryant & May allotment in the factory grounds. With plenty of sweat and toil, the girls eventually carve out a corner of the yard into a green plot full of life and colour. In the darkest of times, the girls find their allotment a tranquil, happy escape. Using pierced dustbin lids to sieve through the shrapnel and debris, they bring about a powerful change, not just in the factory, but their own lives. As the war rages on, the garden becomes a place of community, friendship – and deceit. As the garden thrives and grows, so do the girls' secrets . . . The Allotment Girls is an inspiring and heartwarming novel of wartime hardship, friendship and fortitude from Kate Thompson, author of the Secrets of the Sewing Bee.

Leaving Pimlico

P.B. North - 2014
    I can never get used to this, Alexi. Having you, that is. How did I deserve you? Deserve me? You don't have to do anything to deserve me. I love you. It's as simple as that. I love you for what you are. All you need to do is love me back. You don't earn love, as a payment in return.Peter Kingsmill's life had run into the sands since the death of his wife. What was a glittering London career had lost its shine. Until, that is, his life is turned upside down by an unexpected collision of events. He inherits the family estate, meets a girl seventeen years his junior and receives an anonymous letter which casts doubt on all the certainties on which he has built his past life.What follows is a journey of discovery which takes him back in time to war-torn Europe. To a story of betrayal in the secret world of spies and double agents, and ultimately to redemption and a bright new life.The narrative moves at speed from the dusty plains of pre-war Poland to the frozen winter landscapes of German-occupied Norway and finally to the gentle pastoral of the north Yorkshire hills. It is a story of a search for the pieces that make up a human life; and of the love that binds those pieces together....Do you remember the Snow Queen story? I can complete the pattern now. I have everything I need.

Midnight in Broad Daylight: A Japanese American Family Caught Between Two Worlds

Pamela Rotner Sakamoto - 2016
    An epic tale of family, separation, divided loyalties, love, reconciliation, loss, and redemption, Pamela Rotner Sakamoto’s history is a riveting chronicle of U.S.-Japan relations and of the Japanese experience in America.After their father’s death, the Fukuhara children—all born and raised in the Pacific Northwest—moved with their mother to Hiroshima, their parents’ ancestral home. Eager to go back to America, Harry and his sister, Mary, returned there in the late 1930s. Then came Pearl Harbor. Harry and Mary were sent to an internment camp until a call came for Japanese translators, and Harry dutifully volunteered to serve his country. Back in Hiroshima, their brothers, Frank and Pierce, became soldiers in the Imperial Japanese Army.As the war raged on, Harry, one of the finest bilingual interpreters in the United States Army, island-hopped across the Pacific, moving ever closer to the enemy—and to his younger brothers. But before the Fukuharas would have to face one another in battle, the U.S. detonated the atomic bomb over Hiroshima, gravely injuring tens of thousands of civilians, including members of the Fukuhara family.Alternating between American and Japanese perspectives, Midnight in Broad Daylight captures the uncertainty and intensity of those charged with the fighting, as well as the deteriorating home front of Hiroshima—never depicted before in English—and provides a fresh look at the events surrounding the dropping of the first atomic bomb. Intimate and evocative, here is an indelible portrait of a resilient family, a scathing examination of racism and xenophobia, an homage to the tremendous Japanese American contribution to the American war effort, and an invaluable addition to the historical record of this extraordinary time.