6 Beautiful Books Just Like All the Light We Cannot See
Find your next favorite WWII novel to read after All the Light We Cannot See!
Novels Similar to All the Light We Cannot See
Anthony Doerr's Pulitzer Prize winning novel, All the Light We Cannot See, is a look into the desolation of World War II. There are few WWII stories as evocative and compelling as Doerr's work, but those that exist are terrific.
We've created a list of books like All the Light We Cannot See that you're sure to fall in love with. Each of these six books are set within the same devastation of Nazi-occupied countries about ordinary people whose lives where forever altered during the war. However, like All the Light We Cannot See, these ordinary people are demonstrate extraordinary compassion and courage despite their circumstances.
1. The Paris Architect by Charles Belfoure
Charles Belfoure's The Paris Architect begins in Paris in 1942. An architect named Lucien Bernard gets commissioned with a dangerous project that has the potential to line his pockets. He just needs to create a hiding space for a wealthy Jewish man German officers will never be able to find. Needing the money and getting the chance to stick it to the Nazis, he takes the job. However, after one of Lucien's hiding places gets found, and Lucien's mission becomes more and more personal to him.
2. Aimée & Jaguar: A Love Story, Berlin 1943 by Erica Fischer
Based on a true story, Erica Fischer's novel, Aimée & Jaguar, is the tale of Lilly Wust (Aimée) and Felice Schragenheim (Jaguar), two women who couldn't be more different. They fell in love almost immediately and began planning a future together, sending each other love letters and poems. Jaguar confesses to Aimée she's Jewish, something that brings them closer. However, Jaguar gets arrested and deported.
3. We Were the Lucky Ones by Georgia Hunter
War looms ever-closer in the spring of 1939 at the beginning of Georgia Hunter's We Were the Lucky Ones. The Kurc family does their best to continue on, but only for so long. As horror overtakes Europe, the Kurcs get separated. One is forced into exile. Another tries to flee, while others try to escape death by working in the ghetto's factories or hiding in plain sight as gentiles. They know they may never see each other again, but it doesn't dim their will to reunite.
4. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
Markus Zusak's The Book Thief is set in Nazi Germany in the year 1939. Liesel Meminger is young foster child who steals what she needs to get by. Despite being unable to read, Liesel is unable to resist stealing a book she comes across. Her foster father teaches her to read and Liesel steals more books, accumulating an odd group of friends along the way: Jewish refugee Max, the mayors reclusive wife, a boy named Rudy, and, most importantly, her foster parents.
5. The Tattooist of Auschwitz by Heather Morris
The Tattooist of Auschwitz by Heather Morris is about Lale Sokolov, a Slovakian Jewish man who gets sent to Auschwitz-Birkenau. After it's discovered he speaks several languages, his captors put him to work as a Tätowierer, marking fellow prisoners. Lale uses the small amount of privilege he has to "exchange jewels and money from murdered Jews for food to keep his fellow prisoners alive." One day, Lale extends comfort to Gita, a frightened woman he is about to tattoo. It is then Lale decides he will do anything to survive the concentration camp and someday marry Gita.
6. The Things We Cannot Say by Kelly Rimmer
Alina Dziak grew up knowing she would marry her best friend Tomasz in The Things We Cannot Say by Kelly Rimmer. At fifteen, she is now engaged to him and longs for the day he returns from college in Warsaw for them to marry. The reports of Nazi soldiers at the Polish border don't concern Alina and her neighbors until it's too late. Tomasz disappears and now, the best Alina can do is to avoid the attention of the Nazi soldiers occupying her small town. Avoid attention, and hope.
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