The Nightingale

The Nightingale

Book - 2015
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May 10, 2021

Well written story about a French family who resisted the Nazis, in their own different ways, during their rule of France in WWII. Although men are involved in the story, the plot revolves around 2 sisters, one a late teen, the other a young married woman, and their differing wartime experiences on the homefront. The teen at first has annoying habits and I wondered how she could ever become an undercover guide leading downed Allied airmen out of France by walking over the Pyrennee Mountains into Spain. The other sister is the one less driven to "Free France", but her friendship with her Jewish neighbor heightens her awareness of how she can help Jews who are forcibly herded to the town square and then shipped to work camps by train. The story has tension throughout; there is always the threat of exposure, punishment, and death. The story comes to life with action, adventure, family love, young love, and danger. A beautiful ending, however, despite the many painful experiences the sisters had. The story would probably appeal more to female than male readers.

ArapahoeJulia Apr 26, 2021

Wow this book. This one was very intense, but very good. If you enjoy historical fiction, look no further than this read. It is heartbreaking, eye-opening, and a testament to the resiliency and the power of family.

Apr 08, 2021

I’m halfway through reading this book and although I find the subject and storyline compelling, I am finding that the writing isn’t my style. I checked other comments here and decided that there are other books that I have to spend time on instead as this book is requested back at the library.

Mar 15, 2021

I guess I’ve read too many books on Germany’s invasion in France during WWll that this falls under “another WWll” story. It is inspiring and draining at the same time. It shows how the heart and the spirit triumph over anything a person/regime can do to the body or the mind. It also takes you through some of the horrific events that a control-freak loathsome man commanded in his quest for power. But the resilience of two sisters and others in their circle are not defeated by the mad dictator’s actions.

Feb 23, 2021


Feb 18, 2021

A few small flaws in the plot and a somewhat simplified writing style but all in all a very compelling book. Since history doesn't teach us about women and their role in war, this was very educational. I can see it being a netflix movie some day.

Feb 11, 2021

I could not put this book down. Cried, gasped, and even found my mouth hanging open in sheer shock at what these women, and others, went through. Broken hearted. Felt like I was there and wanted to help. A must read!

Feb 09, 2021

This is a hard review to write because to experience this book you have to read it for yourself. I tend to shy away from books that deal with World War II, especially books containing graphic scenes such as this one, but because this is Kristin Hannah, I knew that it would be an amazing read. From the beginning it captured and held my interest but I have to admit at some point in the book it lost its appeal, which was most likely due to my lack of knowledge for the subject of war in France. But by the time that the main story-line involving Isabelle and her courageous journey began I could hardly put this book down.

I read on and on, wondering when in God's name would these women, Isabelle and Vianne, Vianne's daughter Sophie and other prominent characters finally find peace. Everyone in this book; even the children involved, are the bravest souls I can imagine. If I were in their position, I wouldn't have been able to live through such a harrowing ordeal and would have given up early in the story-line. If this is really what World War 2 was like (and I have no doubt that it was-the amount of research that must have been involved in this book is, in itself, remarkable), I am forever indebted to everyone who gave their lives, their dignity, their bravery for their country.

No amount of my gushing or explaining could do justice to this book; like I said before, you just have to read it for yourself. It is graphic; remarkably so and is far different than any book Kristin Hannah has ever written. I mean that in a good way. I absolutely loved "Home Front" which is another book about war that takes place in more modern times. But this book focuses entirely on the war itself instead of those at home.

I finished this book last night, five days after it was due at the library and I feel completely drained.I felt like I was in this war right along with Isabelle and Vianne. There is another story interwoven here; an old woman who's identity isn't revealed until the end of the book and it beautifully ties everything together, making the reader nod in understanding. I loved that it was interwoven into the story because it broke up the storyline in such a way that was welcome rather than an intrusion.

Even if you think you can't handle graphic and raw scenes like those depicted in war, read this book. It's amazing and perhaps even a bit life-changing. Kristin Hannah has been my favorite author since I first read "On Mystic Lake" back in 2007, and this just cements the reasons that I find her truly wonderful. She has a gift that no one can match.

Feb 07, 2021

Flipping the last page of The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah, a best-selling in New York Time, I decided to write a review about this book immediately. In the beginning, The Nightingale brought us to the peaceful village called Carriveau in France before the invasion of Germany of World War II. The story focuses mainly on the sisters, named Vianne and Isabelle Mauriac. Each sister has their own belief in life, love, and bravery. Vianne struggles to protect her children under the billet of a German soldier when every second is a danger and has to make difficult choices to keep her family alive. Isabelle falls in love with Gaetan, a partisan who believed France can win the war within the country. And when Gaetan betrays her, she joins the Resistance, risking her life to save others. After reading this book, I love that the book shows us what women’s war is and breaks the opinion about women being useless in wartime. Each sister contributed in different ways but we cannot deny that they have a strong soul, the sisters have won their ego, weaknesses and grown a lot through the war. Nevertheless, the narrative at first is quite slow, making the readers feel bored. To sum up, with courage, grace, and powerful insight, The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah is worth reading.

Jan 31, 2021

Two sisters who struggle to survive and resist German occupation of France on the eve of WWII.

Jan 30, 2021

Exquisite and Powerful!

Jan 21, 2021

Holocaust lit. Good Read

Jan 20, 2021

If you have never read any WWII historical fiction, then you will be blown away by this book. However, if you have read others of this era, then you will see that it is just an okay book. W-a-a-a-a-y to long for an outcome that holds no surprises. It is a 2 star read at best

Jan 14, 2021

Some of the lessons about family have stuck with me and informed my thinking ever since I reached the end of this intricate and engrossing story.

Jan 05, 2021

Loved this book!

Nov 19, 2020

Outstanding from a favorite author

Nov 15, 2020

Cannot wait for the movie.

Nov 09, 2020

While reading this sappy, predicable, melodramatic book, the story seemed all too familiar. I am sure I must have read it years ago. I felt the same way then as I do now. Only a bit more foolish.

Oct 04, 2020

Heart wrenching story of regret, survival, resilience and sacrifice for love and humanity. Beautifully told. It’s engaging story.

Sep 12, 2020

The experiences and reactions of two very different sisters to the nazi invasion of France. One joins the resistance while the other struggles to maintain her family in the face of starvation and persecution. Heartbreaking what people endured.

Sep 11, 2020

I was really anticipating a better written book than this turned out to be especially in the wake of having gotten through a couple of books set in the same era/locale by Pam Jenoff (The Lost Girls of Paris and The Orphan's Tale) both of which I'd also found to be lacking in real verve and style. Would that The Nightingale had lived up to its glorious cover art and the promise of its storyline and setting. I hear that there is a movie due out next year based on this novel starring the Fanning sisters. It might make for better cinema. I'll give that a shot ~ fingers crossed!

Aug 16, 2020

One of the best books ever!

Aug 14, 2020

Excellent story line - keeps you engaged from beginning to end.

Aug 04, 2020

In war-torn France during WWII, two sisters with a troubled past face the consequences of living in the German-occupied country. Vianne, the eldest of the two, finds herself in an inescapable situation of danger and fear when a Nazi officer demands she allow him to lodge in her home. Soon every move of her and her daughter are being carefully watched and held against them. What makes the circumstance even dire is when Vianne’s eighteen-year-old sister, Isabelle, comes to stay. Isabelle, who believes that the Germans have no right to invade her country and take the lives of so many, joins the resistance. This book highlights the power of love and trust in such a dark period of time, as the sisters and their beliefs clash with every bit of added peril to their lives.
This book was very interesting, and while the middle section of the story sometimes felt a little slow, it still captured my attention. The ending was exciting and very emotional and did a very good job of showing the devastating results of post-war. It was fascinating to read about such opposing beliefs between Isabelle and Vianne, and since Isabelle couldn’t understand her sister’s hesitance to aid the resistance, they had to navigate their trust for each other as well. I recommend this book for ages 14 and older.

Aug 04, 2020

Such a wonderful novel! I highly recommend it! The ending was beautiful. This book is now the standard that I compare all other novels. It is perhaps the best book I've ever read.

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