Thursday, February 12, 2015

The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah

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

FRANCE, 1939

In 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 a German captain requisitions Vianne’s home, she and her daughter must live with the enemy or lose everything. Without food or money or hope, as danger escalates all around them, she is forced to make one impossible choice after another to keep her family alive.

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 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. But when he betrays her, Isabelle joins the Resistance and never looks back, risking her life time and again to save others.

With courage, grace and powerful insight, bestselling author Kristin Hannah captures 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.
Hardcover, 448 pages
Published February 3rd 2015 by St. Martin's Press
arc - netgalley

I am relatively new to Kristin Hannah, Home Front was my one and only book of hers that I've read, which I loved.

I finished The Nightingale a couple days ago and needed a day or two to gather my thoughts and calm my beating heart.  It's not that often that a book affects me like The Nightingale has and I don't even know if I can do this review justice.  Oh I've read plenty about France during WW II, but The Nightingale is different.

Isabelle and Viann are sisters, different as night and day.  I connected right away with  both of them and it wasn't hard to, the author's writing style just drew me right in.  Written with much detail and emotion I couldn't stop reading.  I got to know both of them so well and as the war progressed their true nature took over.  What lengths will you go to protect those you love?  Or fight for something you believe in? This is a book about survival, loyalty, family, forgiveness and love (plus more).

Beautifully written The Nightingale shows vivid details of what the French had to endure, it didn't matter your religion or nationality or even your age you were at the mercy of the Germans.   Heartbreaking, this book will stay with you long after you are finished.


  1. I've always enjoyed her books but I can tll this is such an intense and emotional read. Thasnks for your review. It's at the top pf my TRL.
    Carol L
    Lucky4750 (at) aol (dot ) com

  2. I just bought this book yesterday. It definitely sounds like one worth reading!