Friday, August 26, 2016

The Tip of My Wish List: Novels Set During WWI

To change things up this year, I've decided to do a monthly post on 5 books from my insane wish list that I am most excited about getting to. Some might be new, some old and some out of wish list has it all! I'll pick a theme each month and share my wish list post on the last Friday of the month. I know a number of excellent reviewers who will be doing similar posts and I'll be sure to link to their posts as well so you can see all the goodies we're excited about and, hopefully, add a few new book to your own wish list.

For August I'm going with books that take place during WWI. I've read more about WWII but am finding myself drawn more and more towards this first Word War that seemed to change the landscape of the world and war forever.

  I'll link the titles to Goodreads where you can read reviews and find the various ways to purchase a copy of the books if they sounds like your style. I really hope you enjoy and let me know if you've read any of these or have others you would add to the list.


In the summer of 1913, the world seems full of possibility for four very different young men.

Young Jean-Baptiste dreams of the day he'll leave his Picardy home and row down-river to the sea.

Earnest and hard-working Frank has come to London to take up an apprenticeship in Regent Street. His ambitions are self-improvement, a wife and, above all, a bicycle.

Organ scholar Benedict is anxious yet enthralled by the sensations of his synaesthesia. He is uncertain both about God and the nature of his friendship with the brilliant and mercurial Theo.

Harry has turned his back on his wealthy English family, has a thriving business in New York and a beautiful American wife. But his nationality is still British.

Three years later, on the first of July 1916, their lives have been taken in entirely unexpected directions. Now in uniform they are waiting for dawn on the battlefield of the Somme. The generals tell them that victory will soon be theirs but the men are accompanied by regrets, fears and secrets as they move towards the line.

We That Are Left

Two sisters, born into privilege, are forced to make their way in a world turned upside down by war. One man transforms them both.

 1910. Jessica and Phyllis Melville have grown up at Ellinghurst, a family estate fraught with secrets. A headstrong beauty, Jessica longs for London — the glitter and glamour of debutante life — while bookish Phyllis dreams in vain of attending university. Into their midst walks Oskar Grunewald, a frequent visitor fascinated by the house but alternately tormented and ignored by the Melville children. Oskar seeks refuge in Ellinghurst’s enormous library. Meanwhile Theo, the adored Melville brother, eclipses everyone around him.

The Great War arrives to devastate and reshape their world. In a country unrecognizable from the idylls of their youth, the Melville sisters struggle to forge new paths without the guidance of the old rules. But Oskar’s life has become entwined with theirs once again, in ways—both immediate and unimaginable-- that will change all of their futures.

With elegance and insight, in prose characteristically “stirring and seductive” (The Economist) Clare Clark brings us a new story of a kind of old family whose reckoning with change will haunt and resonate for many generations.

Tides of Honour

A novel of love, loss, and honour amidst the horrors of war and its aftermath.

It’s 1916, and the last thing Nova Scotian soldier Danny Baker expects to find in war-torn France is the love of his life. Audrey Poulin is alone in the world, and struggling to survive the war in the French countryside. When Audrey and Danny meet and fall in love, it seems like the best version of fate.

But love is only the beginning, as Danny loses a leg in the Battle of the Somme, and returns home to Halifax with Audrey, only to discover that he’s unable to leave the war behind. Danny and Audrey struggle with their new life together, and must face not only their own internal demons, but a catastrophe that will soon rip apart everything they think they know about themselves and each other.

Genevieve Graham, author of Under the Same Sky and Sound of the Heart, brings her passion for weaving history and fiction together in a seamless tale that will capture and enthrall the reader.

The Soldier's Wife

Ruby and Jimmy Hawkins are sure their love will last forever, despite Jimmy being sent to Gallipoli only weeks after their marriage. Amid the desperate battles of the Dardanelles, Jimmy dreams of the future they planned together and writes Ruby letters full of love and longing.

Back in Sydney, Ruby must face challenges she never could have imagined as a young country bride. Finding a place in the city and taking a job as a bookkeeper in a timber merchant's yard, she discovers that working in a man's world is fraught with complications, especially when her employer suffers a devastating loss and she is expected to take the reins.

When Jimmy returns wounded in both body and spirit, he and Ruby come close to losing everything in the aftermath of war. They must find a new way to live and to love if their marriage is to survive.

Meadowlands: A World War I Family Saga

The comfortable, upper-class lives of the aristocratic Barsham family are set to change forever with the onset of World War I.

August, 1914. The silver wedding celebrations of Sir George Barsham, MP, and his wife, Lady Adelaide, are overshadowed by the declaration of war with Germany. Over the following months, as the male estate workers head for the Front and the maids disappear to work in the newly-opened munitions factory, the Barsham family's comfortable, aristocratic lifestyle is set to change forever.
Determined to do his bit for King and country, James Barsham enlists as an officer and heads for Flanders, leaving Lady Adelaide's maid Polly devastated. To Lady Adelaide's dismay, her younger daughter Millie learns to drive an ambulance: a most unladylike skill. Meanwhile Millie's sister Gina finds fulfilment in helping the local wives and children, left destitute while their husbands are away fighting.

During the course of the war, with devastating loses, the strength of character of the four Barsham siblings will be tested as never before. They will encounter hardship, danger, heartache and unexpected love.


Check out these lovely blogs for more books to add to your wish list:

Stephanie at Layered Pages has a variety of gorgeous books to add to her wish list HERE.

Holly at 2 Kids and Tired has a great list of autobiographies she's looking forward to HERE.

Magdalena at A Bookaholic Swede has 4 novels featuring The Romanovs HERE.

Erin at Flashlight Commentary is sharing historical novels set in India HERE.

Heather at The Maiden's Court has 5 novels featuring the wives of famous men HERE.


  1. These all sound worth reading, but I'm especially interested in Tides of Honour because the 100th anniversary of the Halifax explosion is coming up next year.

    Thanks for the additions to my TBR list!

    1. You are so very welcome, Debbie! I need to push Tides of Honour up my wish list and get it so I can read it for the anniversary! Thanks for stopping by!

  2. Thank you for the peek into your list. I seem to be adding a lot of books about people who survived the Holocaust books. I am currently reading Karolina's Twins and sadly it is ending! I broke down and bought a Man Called Ove last week! I have been deleting all the ones that are our of print but couldn't do it with one. That one came back!!

    1. Oh, I'm excited to see all the Holocaust books you have to read....I'm sure I'll be adding some of those to my wish list. I've had my eye on Karolina's Twins...maybe I need to add that one to my list as well!