The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah has to be one of the best books I’ve read this year. It’s a historical fiction novel based on occupied France during World War II. If you’re looking forward to read about this war from a woman’s point of view, this is the book for you!
The Nightingale – Blurb
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 World War II 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.
Ever since I heard The Nightingale was becoming a motion picture, staring the fanning sisters, I knew I had to read it! You know when you see a book in every bookstore you go to and you finally succumb to reading it? Well, that’s what happened to me with this novel.
This book surpassed all my expectations. I devoured it in a few days, regardless of work and training a new puppy! It was that good.
Vianne and Isabelle were so furiously brave it literally brought tears to my eyes so many times. Although, that doesn’t count the amount of tragedies that knocked on their door.
Through their eyes, we get to experience World War II in a vivid way and in a woman’s point of view. I think that’s one of the things I enjoyed the most of The Nightingale. How hard it was for women with their husbands away. Despite the social limitations they all found a way to feed their families and most importantly, keep them alive. We know veterans were extremely brave, but this book shows how many women were not recognized as heroes in this time period and they risked so much in order to avoid people getting killed.
Vianne and Isabelle represent the struggle for them to participate in a war that was made by men and was also “fought” by them. However, taking this to their advantage, they were able to save so many people. They were very different and fought in different ways.
Isabelle was a lot more impulsive, but she didn’t have children as Vianne did. I think that made her a lot more measured in her actions and even caused conflict between them. However, by the end of the story you couldn’t deny they were sisters.
I’m not gonna lie, you’re going to cry like a baby at some point. On the other hand, you’re going to realize that breaking a sisterly bond is a lot harder than you might think. Throughout the book, Vianne and Isabelle fight so much, but you couldn’t deny their affection for one another.