Historical Fiction from The Great War

This November marks the 100-year anniversary of the end of World War I, also known as The Great War. It began on July 28, 1914 and ended on November 11, 1918. Originally the people of Great Britain and other Allies believed the war would last a few months; however, it ended up lasting over four years with the death of 10 million military personnel and almost seven million civilians. When the war ended, people called it “the war to end all wars.” For those interested in learning more about life during that time, here are some historical fiction book recommendations.

Somewhere in France by Jennifer Robson
Robbie has worked his way up from the slums of Glasgow to being a doctor in London. As WWI breaks out he is assigned to become a doctor in France. Lily, the youngest sister of Robbie’s best friend Edward, has had a crush on Robbie for as long as she can remember. Find out what the war does to their relationship in this book, the first in the Ashton family series.

The Summer Before the War by Helen Simonson
Taking place during the summer of 1914 in Sussex, this book brings a tale of small towns, a penniless and eccentric female Latin teacher, and the beginnings of war to life. This book shows small-town society and the calm before the storm. Simonson also wrote Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand.

The Echo of Twilight by Judith Kinghorn
Kinghorn’s book follows a lady’s maid with a habit of changing her identity while traveling and her employer. As the events of the summer of 1914 unfold and war breaks out, the two women’s lives and friendship are tested when the men they love are sent to fight.

The Last Christmas in Paris by Hazel Gaynor and Heather Webb
An epistolary novel that shows despair, love, hate, desperation, friendship, and the strength of letters written to and from soldiers on the front lines of World War I.

As Bright as Heaven by Susan Meissner
Shortly after the end of World War I, a Spanish Influenza outbreak spread worldwide, taking over 50 million lives. Meissner focuses her book in Philadelphia and a family of three daughters. The book focuses on what a person can and cannot live without as a deadly epidemic spreads.