Sunday, 14 August 2016

Review: The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah

In love we find out who we want to be.
In war we find out who we are.

FRANCE, 1939In the quiet village of Carriveau, Vianne Mauriac says goodbye to her husband, Antoine, as he heads for the Front. She doesn’t believe that the Nazis will invade France...but invade they do, in droves of marching soldiers, in caravans of trucks and tanks, in planes that fill the skies and drop bombs upon the innocent. When France is overrun, Vianne is forced to take an enemy into her house, and suddenly her every move is watched; her life and her child’s life is at constant risk. Without food or money or hope, as danger escalates around her, she must make one terrible choice after another.

Vianne’s sister, Isabelle, is a rebellious eighteen-year-old girl, searching for purpose with all the reckless passion of youth. While thousands of Parisians march into the unknown terrors of war, she meets the compelling and mysterious Gäetan, a partisan who believes the French can fight the Nazis from within France, and she falls in love as only the young can...completely. When he betrays her, Isabelle races headlong into danger and joins the Resistance, never looking back or giving a thought to the real--and deadly--consequences.

 With courage, grace and powerful insight, bestselling author Kristin Hannah takes her talented pen to the epic panorama of WWII and illuminates an intimate part of history seldom seen: the women’s war. The Nightingale tells the stories of two sisters, separated by years and experience, by ideals, passion and circumstance, each embarking on her own dangerous path toward survival, love, and freedom in German-occupied, war-torn France--a heartbreakingly beautiful novel that celebrates the resilience of the human spirit and the durability of women. It is a novel for everyone, a novel for a lifetime.

Kindle Edition, 449 pages
Published February 3rd 2015 by St. Martin's Press 
Genre: Historical Fiction

Kristine's Thoughts:

In my attempt to dwindle down my ever growing tbr pile I finally managed to picked up The Nightingale and read it. I am a fan of Kristin Hannah and I have read quite a few of her novels and because of that my expectations were high with this one.

Historical fiction happens to be one of my all time favourite genres and I am particularly interested in stories surrounding both world wars. Hannah first captured me with The Winter Garden, telling a story about Leningrad during the 900 day blockade and she captured me again with The Nightingale with the story of two very different sisters in France during WWII.

This was a powerful story about the women left behind or should I say two sisters that were left behind during the war. It wasn't just a story of survival although surviving was a major goal. It was a story of two woman who couldn't stand to see what was happening around them and did something about it. Their battles were very different but their goals were similar. Each of them battled their own internal war in an effort to save others and survive during an unthinkable time.

The Nightingale was both beautiful and devastating. I had tears on a couple of ocassions. Hannah writes historical fiction in such a way that it is easy to read and understand. Some novels of this genre can be difficult to understand and therefore quite boring. This was not the case with The Nightingale. The writing was flawless and the story captivated me imediately. I would describe it as beautifully simplistic.

My only regret is that it took me this long to read The Nightingale. I won't go into detail with the plot because the book is not new and there are thousands of reviews that do. I'll just say that I highly recommend this book to fans of historical fiction. Even people who would not normally read this genre would probably enjoy it. I adored every minute of it.

About the Author
Kristin Hannah is the New York Times bestselling author of twenty-one novels, including the blockbuster Firefly Lane and #1 bestsellers Night Road and Home Front. She is a former lawyer turned writer and is the mother of one son. She lives in the Pacific Northwest and Hawaii with her husband.

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