Lists and Suggestions
List: Summer Reads: War Time Stories
If You Leave Me
Kim, Crystal Hana, 1987- author.
An emotionally riveting debut novel about war, family, and forbidden love, the unforgettable saga of... More
An emotionally riveting debut novel about war, family, and forbidden love, the unforgettable saga of two ill-fated lovers in Korea and the heartbreaking choices they're forced to make in the years surrounding the civil war that still haunts us today. When the communist-backed army from the north invades her home, sixteen-year-old Haemi Lee, along with her widowed mother and ailing brother, is forced to flee to a refugee camp along the coast. For a few hours each night, she escapes her family's makeshift home and tragic circumstances with her childhood friend, Kyunghwan. Focused on finishing school, Kyunghwan doesn't realize his older and wealthier cousin, Jisoo, has his sights set on the beautiful and spirited Haemi, and is determined to marry her before joining the fight. But as Haemi becomes a wife, then a mother, her decision to forsake the boy she always loved for the security of her family sets off a dramatic saga that will have profound effects for generations to come. Richly told and deeply moving, If You Leave Me is a stunning portrait of war and refugee life, a passionate and timeless romance, and a heartrending exploration of one woman's longing for autonomy in a rapidly changing world. Less
Days Without End
Barry, Sebastian, 1955- author.
Entering the U.S. army after fleeing the Great Famine in Ireland, seventeen-year-old Thomas McNulty ... More
Entering the U.S. army after fleeing the Great Famine in Ireland, seventeen-year-old Thomas McNulty and his brother-in-arms, John Cole, experience the harrowing realities of the Indian wars and the American Civil War between the Wyoming plains and Tennessee. Less
Sisters of Night and Fog
Robuck, Erika, author.
Based on the extraordinary true stories of an American socialite and a British secret agent whose st... More
Based on the extraordinary true stories of an American socialite and a British secret agent whose stunning acts of courage collide in the darkest hours of WWII, from the bestselling author of The Invisible Woman. Two women, two countries. Nothing in common but a call to resist. 1940. In a world newly burning with war, and in spite of her American family's wishes, Virginia decides to stay in occupied France with her French husband. She's sure that if they keep their heads down they'll make it through. But as the call to resist the enemy grows around her, Virginia must decide if she's willing to risk everything to help those in need. Nineteen-year-old Violette is a crack shot with an unquenchable spirit of adventure, and she's desperate to fight the Nazis however she can. When her mother sends her to find an exiled soldier, Violette meets the man who will change her life. Then tragedy strikes, and Britain's clandestine war organization--the Special Operations Executive--learns of Violette's dual citizenship and adept firearm handling and starts to recruit her. But Violette is no stranger to loss and must decide whether the cost of defiance is too great a price to pay. Less
The Kite Runner
An epic tale of fathers and sons, of friendship and betrayal, that takes us from Afghanistan in the ... More
An epic tale of fathers and sons, of friendship and betrayal, that takes us from Afghanistan in the final days of the monarchy to the atrocities of the present. The unforgettable, heartbreaking story of the unlikely friendship between a wealthy boy and the son of his father's servant, The Kite Runner is a beautifully crafted novel set in a country that is in the process of being destroyed. It is about the power of reading, the price of betrayal, and the possibility of redemption, and it is also about the power of fathers over sons-their love, their sacrifices, their lies. Less
The Women of Chateau Lafayette
Dray, Stephanie, author.
Based on the true story of an extraordinary castle in the heart of France and the remarkable women b... More
Based on the true story of an extraordinary castle in the heart of France and the remarkable women bound by its legacy in some of humanity's darkest hours. Most castles are protected by powerful men. This one by women ... A reluctant resistor ... 1940. French schoolteacher and aspiring artist Marthe Simone has an orphan's self-reliance and wants nothing to do with war. But as the realities of Nazi occupation transform her life in the isolated castle where she came of age, she makes a discovery that calls into question who she is, and more importantly, who she is willing to become. A daring visionary ... 1914. Glittering New York socialite Beatrice Astor Chanler is a force of nature, daunted by nothing--not her humble beginnings, her crumbling marriage, or the outbreak of war. But after witnessing the devastation in France and delivering war relief over dangerous seas, Beatrice takes on the challenge of a lifetime: convincing America to fight for what's right. A founding mother ... 1774. Gently bred noblewoman Adrienne Lafayette becomes her husband's political partner in the fight for American independence. But when their idealism sparks revolution in France and the guillotine threatens everything she holds dear, Adrienne must choose whether to renounce the complicated man she loves or risk her life for a legacy that will inspire generations to come. Less
The Diamond Eye
Quinn, Kate, author.
Based on a true story. In 1937 in the snowbound city of Kiev (now known as Kyiv), wry and bookish hi... More
Based on a true story. In 1937 in the snowbound city of Kiev (now known as Kyiv), wry and bookish history student Mila Pavlichenko organizes her life around her library job and her young son--but Hitler's invasion of Ukraine and Russia sends her on a different path. Given a rifle and sent to join the fight, Mila must forge herself from studious girl to deadly sniper--a lethal hunter of Nazis known as Lady Death. When news of her three hundredth kill makes her a national heroine, Mila finds herself torn from the bloody battlefields of the eastern front and sent to America on a goodwill tour. Still reeling from war wounds and devastated by loss, Mila finds herself isolated and lonely in the glittering world of Washington, DC--until an unexpected friendship with First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt and an even more unexpected connection with a silent fellow sniper offer the possibility of happiness. But when an old enemy from Mila's past joins forces with a deadly new foe lurking in the shadows, Lady Death finds herself battling her own demons and enemy bullets in the deadliest duel of her life. Based on a true story, The Diamond Eye is a haunting novel of heroism born of desperation, of a mother who became a soldier, of a woman who found her place in the world and changed the course of history forever. Less
The Traitor's Wife: The Woman Behind Benedict Arnold and the Plan to Betray America
Socialite Peggy Shippen is half Benedict Arnold's age when she seduces the war hero during his ... More
Socialite Peggy Shippen is half Benedict Arnold's age when she seduces the war hero during his stint as military commander of Philadelphia. Blinded by his young bride's beauty and wit, Arnold does not realize that she harbors a secret: loyalty to the British. Nor does he know that she hides a past romance with the handsome British spy John André. Peggy watches as her husband, crippled from battle wounds and in debt from years of service to the colonies, grows ever more disillusioned with his hero, Washington, and the American cause. Together with her former love and her disaffected husband, Peggy hatches the plot to deliver West Point to the British and, in exchange, win fame and fortune for herself and Arnold. Less
Nguyen, Viet Thanh, 1971- author.
The story of a South Vietnamese captain -- a man brought up by an absent French father and a poor Vi... More
The story of a South Vietnamese captain -- a man brought up by an absent French father and a poor Vietnamese mother, a man who went to university in America -- who returns to Vietnam to fight for the Communist cause. Less