5 World War Books Like Beneath A Scarlet Sky

World War Fictions

Beneath A Scarlet Sky by Mark Sullivan is a historical fiction bestseller based on actual events. This novel is based on the life of Penola, an Italian teenager with an incredibly unique, fascinating, and heroic life during World War Two. He experienced mountain climber Pino who helped numerous families escape by crossing the Alps. Then, to keep Pino safe, his parents asked that he sign up as a Nazi soldier, but ultimately he became a spy. This book is about World War Two from the perspective of an Italian teenager.

Books like Beneath a Scarlet Sky provide a rich historical backdrop that can deepen your understanding of a specific time period or event. They offer insights into lesser-known aspects of history, shedding light on the experiences and the larger historical context. These books feature gripping narratives that combine adventure, suspense, and personal growth. They take you on a captivating journey, immersing you in the characters’ lives and extraordinary experiences.

5 Books Like Beneath A Scarlet Sky (World War Fiction)

In Beneath A Scarlet Sky, the author says he interviewed Pino’s real life, but some stuff is added to the story. So it’s a fictionalized story based on a true story. It explores people’s ethical choices in extreme adversity and the blurred lines between right and wrong.

The biggest thing is that I’ve learned much about Italy’s going on during this time. If you want to know more about historical war fiction, you are in the right place. I will talk about five books similar to Beneath A Scarlet Sky. Let’s go!

1. Lilac Girls

Lilac Girls explores survival, redemption, and the complexities of forgiveness. The story’s premise follows three women in different parts of the world during World War Two. We follow Kasia, a Polish woman sent to rape Innsbruck, a concentration camp that tests women. They did like medical experiments. We follow Herta, one of the brave Innsbruck doctors doing the testing. Then Caroline, a socialite in New York, and these stories somehow intertwine throughout this novel.

You will get immersed in these characters, these worlds, and their experiences. Like Beneath A Scarlet Sky, the author also does a good job jumping around from the different storylines. Towards the end, they all become interconnected, and you see the obvious connection between Herta and Kasia. But you don’t know how Caroline gets mixed into it.

These storylines are seamlessly woven into each other. Even though some are taking place in Europe and some are taking place in New York. Each character’s perspective was given to see their point of view, especially with her. This is loosely based on a true story. Caroline and Herta were two real people. The book raises questions about humanity’s capacity for both cruelty and compassion, leaving readers with much to contemplate.

Author: Martha Hall Kelly
Average Rating: 4.6/5
Category: Literary War Fiction, Women’s Fiction
Available: Audiobook | Paperback | Hardcover | Kindle

2. Winter Garden

Winter Garden shows two timelines, transporting readers between the present day and World War II-era Russia. Like most of Kristen Hannah’s books, this centers around the story of women. This case follows a mother and her two children, now grown women. This family has not had the best relationship at all. Their mother is very cold and distant, and these sisters don’t have a good relationship with each other or their mother.

So when their father is on his deathbed, he asks his wife’s dying wishes for his wife to tell the tale of the princess and the girl. After his death, and there’s a lot of other stuff going on, the mother tells this tale of this girl growing up in Russia and falling in love with a prince.

Nina and Meredith, her children, realize that maybe there’s more to this story than meets the eye, and it connects to the siege of Leningrad during World War Two. So the author does an excellent job of seamlessly weaving in the fairy tale side to it with the present day. It was done very seamlessly. It’s a different perspective from a different side of the World War. The author does not sugarcoat anything, and it’s heartbreaking similar to Beneath A Scarlet Sky.

Author: Kristin Hannah
Average Rating: 4.6/5
Category: Family Life Fiction, Historical War
Available: Audiobook | Paperback | Hardcover | Kindle

3. The Book Thief

The Book Thief celebrates the ability of words to inspire, console, and challenge the status quo. It’s a story about Nazi Germany. The author wanted you to feel like death was telling you the story about a girl in Nazi Germany who started to steal books, and this story is stunning.

A scene in this book brings me to tears because it’s a moment where Liesl, the main character, realizes that she hates Hitler. She says it to her father, who slaps her because that is so dangerous to say in Nazi Germany. Like Beneath A Scarlet Sky, there’s so poetic a story about this town in Nazi Germany about how they live their lives.

They’re trying to stay alive and getting bombed because they’re in Germany. There’s this part where Death says, Is this Nazi Germany? Halfway through the book, the author tells you what happens when the family takes in a Jewish guy hiding from the Nazis. Liesl and Max would have it because this girl’s parents were taken away from her because they were communists.

So she’s forced to live with some foster parents who come to be her family. She starts to see them as family, but her story is similar to Max’s, and he’s somebody who’s been persecuted because he’s a Jew and he’s hiding out. How they interact and how they talk to each other is very spectacular.

Author: Markus Zusak
Average Rating: 4.7/5
Category: Historical Fiction, World War II
Available: Audiobook | Paperback | Hardcover | Kindle

4. Salt to the Sea

Salt to the Sea was the Goodreads 2016 choice winner for young adult fiction, and you can see why this is a historical fiction book about this historic shipwreck during World War Two. A cruise ship was being repurposed to immediately transport German refugees across the Baltic Sea. This ship gets hit by Russian torpedoes and starts going down, but the thing about this is that this ship’s capacity was about fifteen hundred people. Also, it was carrying over 10000 refugees and soldiers.

So many people died on the ship, and a lot of times, it’s omitted from history. This ship has a lot to do with Germany and Russia. It told these four young people about the war through their eyes. A Latvian girl has been repatriated to be German because she knows it. The only way to survive is to become German, even though she misses her home and country.

There are characters’ perspectives, so many girls like her whose stories aren’t told. Even though it is a work of fiction, this one got told breathtakingly to me. There’s also this guy who’s been restoring art that the Nazis have been stealing, and he’d been fed lies. When he finally comes to his senses and realizes how bad the Nazi regime is, he steals this precious piece of art and then is on the run.

Then our final main character is this sociopathic sailor. Interestingly, his perspective is mainly told through his writing letters to this girl back home in his mind, and you get in his head and see how twisted he is because he is invested in the Nazi regime. That’s what is spectacular about this book: you are in their heads throughout all perspectives. You see the war through their eyes. Also, you will see it through these four different perspectives, as in the book Beneath A Scarlet Sky.

Author: Ruta Sepetys
Average Rating: 4.7/5
Category: Military & Wars Historical Fiction
Available: Audiobook | Paperback | Hardcover | Kindle | Audio CD

5. The Book of Lost Names

The Book of Lost Names is set in France during World War Two. It tells the story of a Jewish girl and her mother, who gets separated from her father. They’re forced to flee from Paris during the invasion of the Nazis only to find a temporary home for them in the southeast of France by the border of Switzerland.

In Aurignon, they find welcoming, warm, and generous French souls secretly fighting for the cause by sheltering fugitives and caring for them. As a side note, the way that the daughter and mother managed to get there was at the request of the father to create false identity papers and fool the French and German police into believing they were not Jews.

Eva, the story’s protagonist, finds more than a refuge in Aurignon. However, her mother is highly antagonistic about it all. Eva finds a purpose in this town by asking a Catholic priest to use her hitherto undiscovered artistic talent to forge official documents, like identity papers.

It helps transport innocent lives of main children across the border to freedom in Switzerland. No matter how much her mom hates it because she feels she’s lost Eva and considers her act of working with Catholics as a betrayal of their religious faith. Eva feels a mounting urgency to do all she can to help the plight of her fellow Jews.

With the passage of time and impending doom, the Germans will finally capture these Resistance fighters. Together, Eva and Remy utilize ingenious ways to not only mass-produce forged documents, along with the stamps and every detail that makes it impeccable.

But they also think of a method to document the children’s real names on some random book that Eva picks up from the church library where they work, which happens to be 12th-century religious text. Also, they do this by using a code called the Fibonacci sequence to help preserve the identities being wiped out.

So Eva and Remy would draw stars or dots over words picked out using the Fibonacci sequence to spell out the children’s real names they created fake identities for. That’s why that text itself gets called The Book of Lost Names and becomes a way for Remy and Eva to leave secret messages for each other, especially during such a dangerous time. The story’s unexpected twist can probably throw your average reader off. If you like Beneath A Scarlet Sky, you must read it.

Author: Kristin Harmel
Average Rating: 4.7/5
Category: World War II Historical Fiction
Available: Audiobook | Paperback | Hardcover | Kindle | Audio CD

Last Words

By reading books similar to “Beneath a Scarlet Sky,” you can gain historical knowledge, engage with compelling stories, and explore the depths of human experiences during challenging times. They offer an opportunity for both entertainment and personal enrichment, allowing you to immerse yourself in narratives that leave a lasting impact.

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Pauline Jackson

I like to talk about popular books. My book review inspires you to read and save time. Also, I summarize the book and give you the best lessons or ideas that can change your life. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

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