For The Light Over London, I got to immerse myself in a number of histories of the ATS, the Blitz, women’s roles in the British military, and more. I’ve included a few mentions of these books in my author’s note at the end of The Light Over London, but I wanted to mention a few more titles in case there are any readers who want to learn more about this fascinating time period.
Used for The Light Over London
These are the books that had the greatest impact on me while writing Louise and Cara’s stories. I don’t think it would’ve been possible to write the detail of the 1941 story without Barrett and Calvi’s excellent history of a Gunner Girl (as well as a Wren and a WAAF) or Green’s extensive research into the everyday lives of women in the ATS.
Girls in Khaki: A History of the Second World War by Barbara Green
The Girls Who Went to War by Duncan Barrett and Nuala Calvi
The Secret History of the Blitz by Joshua Levine
Woman at the Front: Memoirs of an ATS Girl by Sylvia Wild
Additional Resources Used
From time to time, I needed to get a greater context of what was going on in Britain or Europe during the war. For that, I turned to several of these books. Certain titles also were invaluable for giving The Light Over London texture in the fashions and hairstyle or learning about social attitudes to things like love and marriage during the war.
Britain’s War: Into Battle 1937-1941 by Daniel Todman
The Blitz: The British Under Attack by Juliet Gardiner
Debs at War: 1939-1945 by Anne de Courcy
Forties Fashion: From Siren Suits to the New Look by Jonathan Walford
Historical Fiction Set on the Home Front
If you enjoyed The Light Over London and are interested in reading more books set on the Home Front during this time period, I recommend the five-volume family saga by Elizabeth Jane Howard, The Cazalet Chronicles. Rosamunde Pilcher’s The Shell Seekers also touches on World War II in Cornwall and the Wrens in a charming historical and contemporary narrative.
If you’re a reader of books set in Britain during WWII, I’d love to hear your recommendations. Please feel free to leave a comment below.