The Nightingale

The Nightingale

Book - 2015
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"An epic love story and family drama set at the dawn of World War II"--Provided by publisher.
"Viann and Isabelle have always been close despite their differences. Younger, bolder sister Isabelle lives in Paris while Viann lives a quiet and content life in the French countryside with her husband Antoine and their daughter. When World War II strikes and Antoine is sent off to fight, Viann and Isabelle's father sends Isabelle to help her older sister cope. As the war progresses, it's not only the sisters' relationship that is tested, but also their strength and their individual senses of right and wrong. With life as they know it 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"--Provided by publisher.
Publisher: New York :, St. Martin's Press,, 2015
Edition: First edition
ISBN: 9780312577223
0312577222
Characteristics: 440 pages ; 25 cm

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goddessbeth
Jan 13, 2019

This book was difficult to get through- not because it was poorly written in any way, but because it claws your heart out.

Despite being not much like Vianne or Isabel (except for the impulsiveness), I quickly felt a deep connection with both characters. Everything they go through, everything they do to survive during WWII, hurts the heart to read. It's very well written, not over embellishing or romanticizing the war, not even focusing on their inner struggles too much. These are two women making choices and (among many other women doing the same thing) getting on with it.

It feels well researched, though the author doesn't include any information about what in her novel was fact and what was fiction. That there was a "shadow war" for the French women left behind, surviving and resisting, who didn't get parades after the end of the war, I have no doubt. Was there also a Nightingale, who helped organize and lead downed Allied airmen out of occupied France? I have no idea. The concentration camps mentioned did exist, and the horror of them as described in the books was true, but was the timeline and events regarding the Free Zone factual? The book reads as though it's all factual, which breaks my heart a bit, and reminds me of my limited perspective on WWII (as an American), and lack of knowledge about France during the war.

Overall, this was a moving, engaging, heartbreaking historical fiction. I highly recommend it, but understand that it's an emotional commitment (and, like me, you may end up crying during some parts, and raging during others).

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LibraryLES
Jan 10, 2019

This was a wonderful, well written book. The author draws you into the story, the characters and the scenery. I am usually not a fan of books written about war, but loved this one.

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CarleeMcDot
Jan 07, 2019

When 2018 was coming to a close I saw a few of my friends mentioning some of their favorite reads of the previous year. A couple of them mentioned the same author multiple times - Kristin Hannah. Folks were repeating the titles The Nightingale and The Great Alone, and luck was on my side because both titles were available at my library so I snagged them both. As per usual, I didn't know much about the book before I opened it, other than friends were raving about it, but that has never stopped me before. This novel revolved around two sisters during World War II and their stories of love, strength and bravery. I don't want to give anything away, but let me just say one word... WOW! I flew through this one (and at over 400 pages that isn't an easy feat) and had to do my fair share of reading through tears. I know this was "just" a novel, but it really struck me that there were so many people who actually lived through stories similar to the one in the book. I still have to shake my head at the atrocities that occurred and pray daily that we never let similar travesties repeat themselves. I would give it a 10 out of 10.

mazinwhistler Jan 03, 2019

A page turner...WW2 history intertwined into a fiction story about love, family and the sacrifices that come with war.

l
LWBlevins
Dec 08, 2018

OMG!! I highly recommend this book for anyway looking for their next book to read!! Just finished and had the ugliest cry ever! It is amazing! At times the emotions surprise you. Sometimes you can see it coming but the way the author puts it, the emotions smack you harder than you expected. Love, hate, strength, bravery, sorrow, tragedy, it has it all!

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LeslieA4115
Dec 04, 2018

I found this book tedious, repetitive and most insulting to my time, it was poorly written. Achingly overreaching for prose, flowery similes & metaphors, and not additive to the story. Yet ANOTHER book where flipping between the (near) present and mostly the past is a tiresome construction that authors seem to use lately that adds nothing. I wanted to stop by the 5-10 chapter (of 39!) but finished this 600+ page "tome", as it's a book club assignment. Yes, this story is supposed to highlight the female viewpoint of the war experience, but the sisters seemed so incredibly stupid. When it came to reacting/behaving to the increasing horrors of the war and repeatedly putting themselves at risk, their characters were not believable nor sympathetic. I was more interested in the secondary characters: the other woman in the resistance or the father's backstory. The love story just seemed thrown in for the benefit of a potential screenplay deal. And the younger sister who's so compelled to do something "important" and not be interested in silly boys, in the end all she can say is, "I used to be pretty" - wow, negates the whole feminist rationale for this book.

c
christina_aubry
Nov 18, 2018

This book captivated me from the first chapter. It's beautifully written with excellent character development and historical description. I learned details about occupied France that I'd not considered or imagined before. Highly recommend!

m
miketany
Nov 15, 2018

Decent book but not one if you are looking for a detailed description of life during the German occupation of France. This book represents a very detailed story, but too detailed to have any regard to the entire war and how its progression changed life in France. There are two sisters, Isabelle, and Vianne Rossignol. The two sisters have two different mindsets about the war. Vianne is naive and thinks the government will protect them from the dangers of war, but Isabelle thinks not. She joins the "Resistance" and begins by spreading anti-german propaganda papers. I think escapes in this book are too narrow and it focuses too much on doubts of the abilities of women that it appears that the German interrogators are robots programmed to think women cannot do anything heroic and brave. Vianne soon realizes the reality of the situation and begins helping Jewish children. In the end, she saves 19 Jewish children and earns herself a righteous title of a war hero. I rated this 6/10 because this book is too tunnel-visioned that it is a book about assumptions, not facts.

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EPool_Lib
Oct 30, 2018

Some good history here, especially for readers without much knowledge of WWII in Europe as it can serve as an introduction to the war in France. However, the storyline itself becomes rather predictable for those who are well-versed regarding the Nazi invasion, the French Resistance and the horrors of the Holocaust.

r
RaquelFloro
Oct 25, 2018

Amazing story that's beautifully written. I loved it!

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Quotes

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b
BudgiesNbooks
Aug 07, 2018

“It’s better to be bold than meek...If you jump off a cliff at least you’ll fly before you fall.” - Isabelle to Sophie

y
ychen120
Jun 25, 2018

"They couldn't touch my heart. They couldn't change who i was inside. My body... they broke that in the first days, but not my heart, V. Whatever he did it, it was to your body, and your body will heal." - Isabelle

ArapahoeChristine Apr 24, 2017

Wounds heal. Love lasts. We remain.

ArapahoeChristine Apr 22, 2017

She wouldn't have understood how dark a side of love could have, how hiding it was the kindest thing you could do sometimes.

M_ALCOTT Feb 20, 2015

"If you're going through hell, keep going."-Winston Churchill

M_ALCOTT Feb 20, 2015

"If I have learned anything in this long life of mine, it is this: In love we find out who we want to be; in war we find out who we are."-Vianne

M_ALCOTT Feb 20, 2015

"Some stories don't have happy endings. Even love stories. Maybe especially love stories."-Micheline

Age

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b
BudgiesNbooks
Aug 07, 2018

BudgiesNbooks thinks this title is suitable for 14 years and over

l
latwell1
Jul 13, 2018

latwell1 thinks this title is suitable for 15 years and over

g
gac
Jun 24, 2018

gac thinks this title is suitable for 18 years and over

j
julsolmo
Mar 24, 2018

julsolmo thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over

ArapahoeChristine Apr 24, 2017

ArapahoeChristine thinks this title is suitable for 17 years and over

n
Nvfera
Aug 31, 2015

Nvfera thinks this title is suitable for 16 years and over

Summary

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SPL_Brittany Dec 12, 2016

“In love we find out who we want to be… in war we find out who we are”.

France 1939, Vianne Mauriac lives in the French countryside village of Carriveau with her husband Antoine and their young daughter Sophie. When war breaks out, Antoine is called away to the front leaving Vianne and Sophie alone and vulnerable. When a German Nazi captain billets at their house, Vianne and her daughter must live with the enemy or lose everything. Without food or money, danger escalates all around them, and she is forced to make one impossible decision after another.

Passionate, impulsive and rash, Isabelle is kicked out of yet another boarding school and flees to Paris to live with her father only to be told that she is to help Vianne in Carriveau. While Isabelle and Vianne struggle to mend their relationship, Isabelle struggles with desperately wanting to play a role in the French resistance yet knowing that in doing so puts Vianne and Sophie at risk. Throughout the war Vianne and Isabelle find their bond as well as their respective beliefs tested by a war that changes their world in horrific ways, each embarking on their own dangerous path toward survival, love and freedom in Nazi occupied war-torn France.

Kristin Hannah writes a sweeping and captivating tale of France during the Second World War shifting between the perspectives of Vianne and Isabelle. It is a novel that celebrates the resilience of the human spirit, and focuses on the role women played during the war. It is a novel that tests the bonds of love, family and friendship. Hannah slowly weaves her magic and by the end of the novel your emotions will be engaged and you will be captivated by her storytelling. This is a novel that will stay with you for a long after you have read it.

m
mardscott
Jul 11, 2016

The Nightingale portrays a realistic look at German occupied France during WWII. The novel focuses on two sisters who face enormous obstacles as they live their lives as French women. One must think first of her family, provide food and shelter for them, and attempt to protect them from the savage effects of war. The other thinks first of her country, seeks to fight in any way possible, including helping downed airmen to flee France to safety. Through it all, both women become stronger through their actions and in-actions and find an appreciation/love for one another that has been missing since their youth.

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ArapahoeChristine Apr 24, 2017

Sexual Content: Rape scene

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