7 Books Like The Nightingale for Fans of Historical Drama
Find your next favorite historical fiction novel here!
If You Loved The Nightingale, Read These Books Next!
The Great Alone. Firefly Lane. Winter Garden. These books are all by Kristin Hannah, an author loved around the world. However, her most popular novel is, hands down, The Nightingale, a book that once you finish reading, you immediately need more!
Not all of them are necessarily World War II novels, though many of them deal with war or the repercussions of war much like The Nightingale does. This includes the horrors war leaves in its wake and the glimmers of humanity that can be found if you look hard enough.
1. Half of a Yellow Sun by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
With her books Americanah and We Should All Be Feminists, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie has become a household name, and her novel, Half of a Yellow Sun, is just as wonderful as everything else she's written. The book chronicles the attempt of Biafra to create an independent republic from Nigeria and the Biafran War of the late 1960s that followed. The book gets told through the eyes of five characters with different places in society and subsequently different perspectives.
2. When We Left Cuba by Chanel Cleeton
After the Cuban Revolution, Beatriz Perez lost everything in When We Left Cuba by Chanel Cleeton. Now, the CIA has recruited her to work her way into Fidel Castro's inner circle. That's just fine with Beatriz because she wants revenge for the life, people, and country she lost. The Cold War is bubbling, sweeping her up in a "clash of Cuban American politics and the perils of a forbidden affair with a powerful man driven by ambitions of his own." Ultimately, Beatriz will have to make a choice between her past and her future, her home and her heart.
3. Undiscovered Country: A Novel Inspired by the Lives of Eleanor Roosevelt and Lorena Hickok by Kelly O'Connor McNees
Undiscovered Country by Kelly O'Connor McNees takes on a fictionalized version of the relationship between Eleanor Roosevelt and Lorena "Hick" Hickok. In 1932, Hick gets assigned to cover cover Roosevelt's presidential campaign and do a feature on his esteemed wife, Eleanor, changing Hick's life in ways she never could have imagined. Based on the more than 3,000 letters Hick and Eleanor sent to each other over 30 years, NcNees shares this incredible love story that, despite having to be kept a secret, ultimately "changed history."
4. Under the Udala Trees by Chinelo Okparanta
Under the Udala Trees by Chinelo Okparanta is the story of Ijeoma, a young woman who "comes of age as her nation does." She's eleven when civil war breaks out and is sent to safety. That's when she meets another displaced girl from a different ethnic community and they fall in love. Their relationship is discovered and Ijeoma learns she must keep her sexuality a secret. However, living a lie always comes with a price.
5. The Only Woman in the Room by Marie Benedict
Before she was Hedy Lamarr, famous Hollywood actress, she was a woman married to an Austrian arms dealer, saved from the rising Nazi party because of her beauty. However, in Marie Benedict's The Only Woman in the Room, her intelligence was grossly underestimated, the Third Reich talking opening in front of her. Hedy came up with a plan to flee and eventually wound up in Hollywood. Few knew she was also a scientist and, with valuable information about the enemy, she'd come up with something that could help fight the Nazis. She just needed people to listen to her.
6. The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafón
Carlos Ruiz Zafón's novel, The Shadow of the Wind, takes place in Barcelona in 1945, a city still recovering from the Spanish Civil War. Daniel is the son of an antiquarian book dealer and mourns the death of his mother. His only solace is Julián Carax's The Shadow of the Wind. As Daniel begins looking for more books by Carax, he discovers that someone out there is destroying each and every book ever written by Carax. Daniel may even have the last one in existence. His "seemingly innocent quest opens a door into one of Barcelona's darkest secrets--an epic story of murder, madness, and doomed love."
7. The Alice Network by Kate Quinn
It's 1947 in Kate Quinn's The Alice Network. Charlie St. Claire has gotten pregnant while at college and, to hide the shame, gets sent to Europe to get the pregnancy taken care of. Charlie's cousin Rose disappeared somewhere in Nazi-occupied France during the war, so Charlie takes this chance to figure out what happened to her. In 1915, Eve Gardiner gets recruited to the Alice Network. Thirty years later, she is still haunted by the betrayal that tore them apart. One day, an American woman comes into her life, "uttering a name Eve hasn't heard in decades, [launching] them both on a mission to find the truth."
Let's Keep the Conversation Going...
Have you read The Nightingale What books would you recommend to read next?