Sunday, January 4, 2015

The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah (Book Review)

Disclosure of material connection- I received an advanced copy of the book from the publisher via Netgalley. I was not required to write a positive review and all opinions stated are 100% my own. 

About the book-

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.

My thoughts-

About a year ago I saw a book on clearance at Barnes & Noble called Fly Away by Kristin Hannah. I picked it up and read the back and for whatever reason (likely that I had already met the quota for amount of books I could buy that day I set it back down. I had every intention of buying it the next time it was there and it was gone. I have been interested in reading something by Kristin Hannah ever since. I am so glad that The Nightingale was her first book that I was able to read. It seems like it is a little different from her other work, but I feel like it will be my absolute favorite (although after reading The Nightingale I checked out Night Road at the library and that was a pretty close second. It was a very fabulous book in it's own right). Back to The Nightingale- I was hooked from the very first pages. I have read pretty much every kind of book that there is about WWII. Fiction, non-fiction, different angles of different types of people during the war, and I have definitely read other books about some of the women that helped during the war, but I have never felt like I good as good of a feel of the constant terror they must have went through while doing what they felt was right during the war until this one. Isabelle is young and fearless. She may start off as a little immature, but her role in the war causes her to grow up quickly. Her sister Vianne has children and a husband in the war so she is a little more cautious about her actions. By the end of this novel, I was in a pool of tears. To me, that is always a great way to end a novel. Any type of strong emotion, smiling from ear to ear, full out rage at how things went or sadness so profound it brings you to tears, to me these are all signs of great writing. I recommend The Nightingale to anyone who is interested in WWII or enjoys historical fiction or dramas. 

The Nightingale will be available February 3. You can pre-order it on

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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