Three years ago I read The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah and my life was forever changed. Since then, my love for historical fiction with a focus on WWII and the Holocaust has only grown deeper with each book I read. 9 times out of 10, I reach for historical fiction books and 10 times out of 10, I cry like a baby.
I can’t help but chuckle when people ask me what my favorite genre to read is and seeing the look on their face when I say “historical fiction holocaust books”. Yes, the books are deeper than most, emotionally draining and gut wrenching, but I love embracing all of these feelings. I completely understand why someone wouldn’t want to subject themselves to these feelings while reading, an action which is a form of relaxation for most.
I love books that I can connect to beyond surface level emotions. While I obviously cannot relate with survivors and victims of WWII, I relate to human emotions. It is unbelievable to me that something as horrifying, sickening and disturbing as the Holocaust occurred in this world. As we grow farther and farther away from that dark time in history, it only becomes more important and essential that books serve as our gateway, allowing us never to forget the brave and courageous souls who lived and died during humanity’s most repulsive time.
Often when I’m reading historical fiction books and I’m learning what mothers and women had to do in order to survive or keep their children out of danger, or how some Germans risked everything in order to hide and take care of runaway Jews, my jaw quite literally drops in awe. I can’t help but think, would I be able to do this if it were me?. It truly blows my mind what these people went through and doing so with the utmost pride.
I’m always on the hunt for new historical fiction reads and I’ve got a few great ones on my list. But in the meantime, I’m highlighting a few of my favorites below from the past few years. Read them and appreciate them, let their wisdom and emotions seep through you, as they do with me!
The War That Saved My Life, reviewed here
Those Who Save Us, reviewed here
Auschwitz Lullaby, reviewed here
The Huntress, reviewed here
The Lost Girls of Paris, reviewed here