Skeletons at the Feast by Chris Bohjalian (2008)
In the waning months of World War II in Europe, the German Emmerich family makes their way across Poland and Germany in an attempt to escape the Russians. On the way they are helped by the mysterious Manfred, a German soldier who has seen too much but seems to belong to no specific army unit. This book has an involving story and characters to care about—but its real strength is its evocation of the brutality and randomness of war.
For an excerpt, backstory, and author interview, visit Bohjalian's official website.