13 Books to read if you loved The Nightingale

13 Books to Read if You Loved the Nightingale

photo by @poncha_kiwi

A novel about the strength and compassion of women during World War II, The Nightingale celebrates an otherwise untalked about story: the women’s war. For fans of Kristin Hannah, these brilliant books will fulfill your need for brave characters in perilous times of war and tragedy.

Island of Sweet Pies and Soldiers by Sara Ackerman

A year after her husband went missing, Violet Iverson is still dealing with unanswered questions about his disappearance. Suspicious that her daughter may know more than she’s letting onto, Violet can’t shake the feeling something bad has happened. Through the opening of a pie stand near the military base and a new interest in a bold marine, Violet will do everything in her power to keep her life from falling to pieces yet again in this alluring World War II novel.

White Houses by Amy Bloom

In Amy Bloom’s new historical read, she tells the fascinating story of Eleanor Roosevelt and Lorena Hickok. Lorena and Eleanor met during Franklin Roosevelt’s first presidential campaign and unbeknownst to them, this meeting would spur the love of a lifetime. As the two women grow closer, Lorena moves into the White House and works alongside the married couple, giving her the status of “first friend.” Detailing the lifelong friendship and romantic relationship between these two women, White Houses is the touching story of the Roosevelts that many people don’t know–the perfect book for fans of The Paris Wife.

all the light we cannot see by Anthony Doerr

All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr

At the height of World War II, two young children are trapped in a world full of war and evil. One is an exceptionally smart boy who escapes the dangerous future of coal mining by attending Hitler’s Youth Academy and the other a brave blind girl who must flee Paris with her father. At a time when children should be carefree, this novel tells two complex coming-of-age stories during a dark point in history.

the sympathizer by Viet Thanh Nguyen

The Sympathizer by Viet Thanh Nguyen

Stuck somewhere between wanting to be a part of America and its culture and feeling the need to stay true to his Vietnamese roots, one communist double agent must field the worlds of love, loyalty and war in this novel of self-exploration and belonging. Set during the Vietnam war in Los Angeles, Nguyen’s novel relays what it is really like to be Vietnamese-American.

Before We Were Yours by Lisa Wingate

Before We Were Yours by Lisa Wingate

Based on a real-life scandal, this New York Times bestseller opens on five children forced out of their home and into an adoption center where they’re later put up for sale. Almost a century later, Avery Stafford, a wealthy young woman in Aiken, South Carolina is about to uncover her family’s darkest secrets. Faced with nightmares of the past, she must find a way to redeem the family name.  

The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt

The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt

Caught in the middle of a terrorist attack in a museum that only Theo escapes, he can’t go on without feeling the constant grief of his mother’s death. Having taken a painting his mother loved from the museum after the attack, Theo, now an adult, must decide the fate of the painting and the trouble he will be up against if he returns it to its rightful owner.

everyone brave is forgiven by Chris Cleave

Everyone Brave is Forgiven by Chris Cleave

Based on true events that aren’t often talked about, this instant New York Times bestseller follows three young adults at the beginning of World War II. Mary, Alistair and Tom have all signed up to serve on the island of Malta. What awaits them is more than they ever expected in this story of love, loss and the impact of daily triumphs that keep people hopeful.

among the survivors by Ann Z. Leventhal

Among the Survivors by Ann Z. Leventhal

Karla didn’t think it was possible to feel any more smothered by her mother, but after her death, new information threatens to suffocate Karla’s entire existence. When she discovers that her mom had lied about being a Holocaust survivor, she must now dig through her family’s history and her own past in order to find her true identity.

as bright as heaven by Susan Meissner

As Bright As Heaven by Susan Meissner

A captivating story about a mother, her daughters and the hardships they endure, As Bright As Heaven captures life in Philadelphia when the Spanish Flu plagued the nation. Just when the family thinks their grief has taken over everything, they take in a miracle child who will teach them just how great life can still be amidst catastrophic loss and disappointment.

the bakers secret by Stephen P. Kiernan

The Baker’s Secret by Stephen P. Kiernan

In a small town in Normandy, Emma no longer believes that the allied forces will come to save her and the people in her struggling village. Knowing she has to do something, Emma makes it her duty to keep her neighbors from starving to death. Leading up to the invasion of Normandy The Baker’s Secret keeps hope alive in the form of one brave and kind girl.

The Girl Who Smiled Beads by Clemantine Wamariya and Elizabeth Weil

Clemantine was just six years old when she and her 15-year-old sister fled the Rwandan massacre. Fleeing through seven African countries over six years, the two sisters saw and endured unspeakable tragedy and cruelty before being granted refugee status in America. Clemantine ended up living a seemingly normal American life and even graduated from Yale. Clemantine wants to set her own fate and live by her own rules not be defined as a victim.

Next Year in Havana by Chanel Cleeton

A story told both in the past and present, Marisol Ferrera will travel to Havana to spread the ashes of her beloved grandmother and learn a thing or two along the way. While in Havana, Marisol will uncover secrets from her family’s past and when she meets a mysterious man who seems to be harboring his own secrets, she’ll use her knowledge of her grandmother’s past to handle the tricky love connection.

Winter Sisters by Robin Oliveira 

This historical fiction read from Robin Oliveira takes place after a terrible storm in New York as two sisters have gone missing. Dr. Mary Sutter is picking up the pieces of her life when the two children of her deceased family friends go missing. Determined to find the girls, she enlists the help of her mother and niece who have come to New York for their own mysterious reasons. But when Mary digs up the truth about the girls’ whereabouts, it’ll affect the entire town in ways she never thought possible.

Ashley Johnson

Editor

Ashley has always been a writer at heart, receiving a diary from her mother at a very young age. Supportive book-buying parents influenced her love of literature and storytelling as she grew up. Her love for songwriting led the way to creating short stories and the start of her own blog where she documented her life as a college student. A fan of dark plot lines, Ashley picked up Stephen King’s It and never looked back. When she is not working on her first novel or new story ideas, Ashley can be found curled up with her rescue chihuahuas or reviewing the newest liquid lipstick formula on her YouTube channel.

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