Monday, 5 September 2016

Review: The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah

Despite their differences, sisters Viann and Isabelle have always been close. Younger, bolder Isabelle lives in Paris while Viann is content with life in the French countryside with her husband Antoine and their daughter. But when the Second World War strikes, Antoine is sent off to fight and Viann finds herself isolated so Isabelle is sent by their father to help her.

As the war progresses, the sisters' relationship and strength is tested. With life changing in unbelievably horrific ways, Viann and Isabelle will find themselves facing frightening situations and responding in ways they never thought possible as bravery and resistance take different forms in each of their actions.

Hardcover, 1st Edition, 440 pages
Published February 3rd 2015 by St. Martin's Press

Terri's Thoughts

I literally just read the last word of this book and wanted to try to put a cohesive thought or two together right away.  I honestly do not know if I can, I am still under the spell of the story and feel that I would dishonor it by trying to write my thoughts down.

First thing, this was my first foray into audio books.  I wanted to try it to accompany me during my workouts.  I chose this particular story because I had heard great things about it and I love a good war story.  While it was a bit weird at first I soon got used to the story being read to me and got lost in the story.  The only issue I had is that I can read much faster than the pace of the audio book and when I got invested in the story, I got frustrated as I wanted to race through it.  Needless to say that I got a lot of workouts in, they lasted longer, the book came in the shower with me and accompanied me while I walked my dog etc.  I was listening pretty much anytime I was not working.

There is not a lot I can say about this story that hasn't been said.  Historical fiction is my favorite genre of book, and wartime stories my favorite of those.  I have read a lot of WWII books and before picking this up I wondered if perhaps I have read all of the fiction there is on the topic.  Could a story on the topic still engage me as much as if I have read none? 

The answer is yes, it can, and Hannah did it magnificently. I have such a series of conflicting emotions right now that I can even describe them.  The tears are still fresh on my face from the tragedies that unfold and yet I can also feel the optimism evident in the story. 

Sigh, I am really trying to put some intelligent thoughts in this review but I am still to overwhelmed from the story.  I really have no words because I am still feeling the words.  Kristin Hannah has penned a beautifully tragic story that has left me breathless.  It truly makes me appreciate the fact that I do not have to endure the things mentioned in this story.

Without a moments hesitation, the best book I have read this year.

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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