Yesterday was the Victory in Europe day. It has been 75 years since World War Two ended. There should have huge celebrations and parades. Instead President Macron laid a wreath at a deserted Arc du Triumph.
We hung bunting on our balcony, inspired by all the street parties (at a social distance!) going on in the UK, but none of our neighbours did anything.
My favourite image from yesterday is the gorgeous photo above, which was taken by my friend Sarah. The Eiffel Tower, my ultimate symbol of Paris, and a wild poppy. It seemed very appropriate for VE day. You can find Sarah on Instagram at XVIth Notes, she takes gorgeous photos.
As I have no VE day photos to share, I thought I’d share some of my favourite books set in WW2. It’s one of my favourite periods to read about. My fascination began young with The Silver Sword by Ian Serraillier, When Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit by Judith Kerr and Back Home by Michelle Magorian. If a book is set in WW2 I’ll always pick it up.
Five Favourite Books set during World War Two
The Book Thief
Narrated by Death, this book is beautiful and harrowing. I clearly remember reading the whole thing in one go on a flight from the UK to Mexico and alarming the people around me by sobbing through the end.
The Nightingale by Kristen Hannah
Another beautifully written and emotionally harrowing book. I loved Kristen Hannah’s tale of two, very different, sisters living in Nazi occupied France, who resist the Germans in their own unique ways.
The Cazalet Chronicles by Elizabeth Jane Howard
One of my favourite series. These five books follow the Cazalet Family, who live in Surry England, from the pre-war years to the 1950’s. The books set during the war are my favourite though.
Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein
I’ve been fascinated by the SOE (Special Operation Executive) since I first encountered them. Ordered by Churchill to “set Europe ablaze” the SOE was created to spy on and sabotage the Nazi’s in occupied countries. Many of the SOE recruits were woman. In Code Name Verity Elizabeth Wein does an amazing job of portraying the woman who fought for their countries. It’s brilliantly written and at the same time a fast paced page turner. I was a bundle of nerves the whole time I was reading. It is marketed as YA, but I think this is one of those books that is a perfect for adult readers too.
All the Light we Can Not See by Antony Doerr
A hauntingly beautiful book, that follows the lives of two children in different countries, growing up in World War Two. If you haven’t read this you must!
How did you celebrate VE day? And do you have any WW2 books to recommend to me?